Friday, October 23, 2015

New Adventures In Commuting

Trains, trains, trains. Buses, buses, buses. Subways, subways, subways. Blah blah blah. When you read TTIV, do you feel like things get repetitive sometimes? Nah, me neither. Every day is a new experience when riding the rails. But how about we try something new? TTIV has decided to embark on a new commuting experience, Citi Bike.

The Citi Bike program has been around since 2013. When it started, the bikes were terrible and the program received lukewarm grades at best. A newer fleet of bikes have been introduced and many people are happier with the program now.

If you spend time within New York City limits, you've seen the bikes. They're blue, emblazoned with "Citi Bike," and let's face it, they look dorky. With a basket on the front, a bell, big fenders, and blinking lights, they're more reminiscent of Almira Gulch in "The Wizard of Oz" than "Tour de France."

But, they've caught my attention lately, and I'm interested in trying it out. I'm the kind of person who needs to gather as much information as humanly possible about something before trying it, so I've recently set out to answer these questions.

How do you get a bike off the dock?
How do you return a bike to the dock?
Are bikes available when I need them?
How frequently are these bikes serviced?
Are the brakes good?
Will the basket hold my backpack?
Do the bikes have gears?
What is the cost? Per day? Per month? Per year?
Has anyone I know tried it?
What do the online reviews say?

Believe me, there are more questions, but I'll spare you the rest. I've answered all of my key questions, and I'm ready to try it. I have no idea how the experience will turn out, but you'll know as soon as I have an opinion.

My commute requires a lot of MTA dependency. Between the Long Island Rail Road and the subway system, I'm at the mercy of powers I can't control. But if Citi Bike works well, I'll eliminate the subway from time to time if the weather permits.

Strap on your helmet, we're going for a ride.

Happy and safe commuting, and may you encounter uncommon sense.
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