Exploring New York: Adventures with Citi Bike

Bike sharing is new to New York City this year, and there’s been a lot of buzz surrounding the Citi Bike program. Unfortunately I hadn’t gotten around to trying one out yet before yesterday, since they don’t have a docking station in my neighborhood (or anywhere in Queens). So how was it? Read on for my review…

Citi Bike, Bike Sharing NYC

I hadn’t been on a bike in years, but what could be a more perfect way to burn off an indulgent brunch? So I downloaded the free Citi Bike app and located a docking station nearby in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We found one a short walk away at the corner of Wythe Street and North 3rd Street, where we went to purchase day passes and unlock our bikes.

Citi Bike, Bike Sharing NYC

Using the Citi Bike kiosk was a bit confusing. At first, it didn’t accept my credit card but after three tries our purchase finally went through. The day pass for a Citi Bike is $10, which means you can ride it in 30 minute increments for a 24-hour period. You are also required to put down a $50 deposit per bike, which will be held against your credit card. If you want to ride the bike for more than 30 minutes, you can simply dock and then unlock the bike again and time resets, or you can go over for an extra charge (all the pricing details can be found here).

Citi Bike, Bike Sharing NYC

After selecting the lucky bike that was to be mine for the next 30 minutes, I hopped on and started cruising around Brooklyn. We biked into Greenpoint, through a warehouse district where we could see the waterfront. The neighborhood had pretty good bike lanes so there were limited near-death experiences. It was a great place to try out bike sharing for someone who is inexperienced with riding a bike in the city!

Citi Bike, Bike Sharing NYC Citi Bike, Bike Sharing NYC

When our 30 minutes were up, we simply returned the bikes to the station and were on our way, a little sweatier and a few calories lighter. The neat thing about the Citi Bike program is that you can drop the bike off at ANY station. So you could pick it up in Brooklyn and bike to Manhattan with no concerns about bike locks, parking, etc. If you enjoy biking, then it’s the perfect affordable and eco-friendly alternative to a taxi or subway ride on a nice day – for tourists and daily commuters alike!

Of course my number one concern knowing I was going bike riding was what I was going to wear. I opted for skinny stretch cargo pants from JustFab (c/o), Keds sneakers (c/o) and my Brandy Melville backpack. The bikes do have a space for your handbag where you can strap it in, but I thought having a backpack was more convenient.

I’ve seen so many street style shots of girls wearing a skirt or dress biking, but it just didn’t seem like the best idea to me! I’d recommend jeans or pants with some stretch in them so you can move around and a loose, breathable top. Here are some Citi Bike-ready outfit ideas:

Stylish Biking Outfits

tops: La Garconne // Steffen Schraut // Rails

bottoms: LOFT // Blank Denim // Cheap Monday

shoes: Franco Sarto | Keds | Sam Edelman

Have you used Citi Bike or another bike sharing program? Do share!
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4 thoughts on “Exploring New York: Adventures with Citi Bike

  1. I love the concept. I take the train in to Penn then sometimes walk up to midtown east. Problem is if its not cold out it’s easy to get sweaty and I don’t want to feel like I need a shower or a change of clothes when I get to the office. If I could wear more casual clothes to work, or had a shower there I would use the bike all the time instead of the subway. It probably is a great option for many. Great post, I’ll have to check out more of your site!

    • Totally. Spring and fall are perfect weather for biking around the city because you won’t get too sweaty! Fortunately I work in a very casual office so it wouldn’t be a problem for me either way.

  2. I like the idea of bike sharing. My only concern would be returning the bike in the 30-minute window. Would I be close enough to a station? I think this is more for residents than visitors who might want to take a long tour of the city. But that overage fee takes care of them I suppose.

    • I agree that the 30 minutes does limit you. However, one way around it would be to plan your trip to pass other Citi Bike stations along the way. You can just dock the bike, then unlock it again to restart the timer. Or yes, you could just pay the extra fee for the convenience of not having to stop!

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