Today: May 27, 2013 at 11am EST, bicycles officially became part of NYC’s public transportation system. I was upstate for the exact timing of this momentous occasion, and
calmed fed my excitement by checking in on the #bikenyc twitter hashtag. My friends were letting me know- it was a great day in NYC.
When I got back to the city, I went online to activate my key fob- only to realize I had forgotten to write down my user name & password. So I had a little delay as I waited to get through to a CitibikeNYC rep. Once I got through it was easy as pie to log on, activate my key and choose a new password.
It was time to finally meet my Citibike.
Shout out and thanks to Cristina & Chris(pictured below) who kindly agreed to snap a pic of my ‘maiden’ city bike voyage. As we talked, turned out that they also lived on the UWS and lived in the Phase 2 launch zone but were having a blast giving CitibikeNYC a spin today.
Soon after I set off with my first CitibikeNYC, another delight pedaled into my world.
We rode together for a few blocks, talking about….well, I mean really, what else is there to talk about besides bikes? Turns out
Jonathan (correction: Xavier) works at Tread up in Washington Heights and built all three of these tall bikes. Riding with these guys sure brought a lot of smiles to people’s faces.
At one point, a mounted NYPD even decided to ‘race’ alongside us and try to catch up.
My new friends turned off at 42nd street, and while the ride wasn’t quite as fun, it was still very enjoyable. People noticed that I was on a Citibike and I got a lot of thumbs up, smiles from pedestrians and even some thumbs up and questioning from NYC cab drivers. All positive.
As I continued on in the 9th Ave Bike lane, I spotted David Byrne on his #bikenyc. Phew, one more item checked off my bucket list.
I redocked my first Citibike in Chelsea. And took out my second Citibike for the return trip back to my bike on Broadway in Midtown.
I pedaled home via the 8th Ave bike lane. Approaching Port Authority, I got really excited since I noted a dearth of pedestrians in the 8th Avenue bike lane. Then I remembered it was Memorial Day. Oh well, I’ll keep dreaming. (In the meantime #bikenyc, please keep using this lane. It’s the only way to claim our space)
Since I had left my panniers at home when I took off on my own personal bike, I realized that I didn’t have lights with me, so I wanted to get home before dark. I didn’t do very well at this, since I kept running into more people who were gung-ho Citibike founders and people on foot who were extremely curious about Citibike.
I had a blast explaining how the system works to people who didn’t understand it yet. The amazing thing- once I explained the system, people were overwhelmingly excited about it and wanted to join.
It was even better when I had fellow #bikeNYCer’s to help me spread the word. Thanks Shruti!
It’s been an exciting and historic day here in NYC. It’s only going to keep getting better. The car isn’t going away, but it’s going to take up a little less space and it’s being replaced by people- on bicycles. Thank you Mayor Bloomberg for supporting our amazing NYC DOT commissioner Janette Sadik Khan. Thank you to Transportation Alternatives for providing a voice to people who believe in safer more human streets. And finally, thank you to each and every one of you who chose bikes or supported #bikenyc. We’re getting closer to a more livable beautiful NYC every day. It resembles a certain city in Europe where I lived for some time- Amsterdam. We are New Amsterdam. Let’s not forget our heritage.
And if you still haven’t signed up for Citibike…go here and do it now.