Citibike acts as a reminder that even though we’re the most diverse country in the world, with a seemingly always divided and dysfunctional political system, there is a commonality that binds us all together as Americans.
New York, New York. The city that never sleeps!
Home of the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Broadway, crazy taxi drivers, Central Park, and even the infamous “Cronut.” And now, to add to that list, the CitiBike share program.
Even Abby’s road has taken one out for a spin…
The concept is pretty simple—there are about 6,000 bikes around the city located at more than 300 docking stations—ready for you to ride anytime, anywhere. It’s financially friendly, and hey, you don’t have to worry about your bike getting stolen. It’s perfect for that quick trip across town to meet a friend, or even for those looking to just get a little exercise.
Even though cities like Chicago, DC, and Denver have had similar bike programs since 2010, I’ll be the first to say I was pretty skeptical when the program first rolled out almost three months ago. Adding thousands of beginner bikers to New York City’s already terrible traffic? Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, right?
So far, though, I have been proven wrong. Sure, there are the occasional crazy people that look like they’re about to topple over at any minute, and of course the bikers who, for whatever reason, insist on riding in the opposite direction of traffic.
But overall, it’s been enormously successful. In only three months, riders have traveled more than four million miles and made more than two million trips on these bikes. To put that in perspective: on busy days that’s more than 40,000 trips taken! And, even crazier, riding that many miles is equal to the calories in 1.6 Million hot dogs. What’s better than eating a New York City hot dog without feeling any guilt?
Hot dogs, and sunny bike rides aside—get ready cause we’re about to go someplace a little more philosophical. All because of this YouTube video.
Although they actually can’t afford to take the bikes out of the docking stations, that’s a group of New York homeless taking free cycling classes.
It not only makes those expensive cycling classes feel like a total rip-off, it also reminds me of something that none of us speak enough about. Each time I jump on one of the bikes, I always try to imagine the story of the person that rode the bike before me. Where did they coming from? Where were they going? And what was their life story?
I’ll never know, but it certainly acts as a reminder that even though we’re the most diverse country in the world, with a seemingly always divided and dysfunctional political system, there is a commonality that binds us all together as Americans.
Meaning, regardless of race, religion, or political persuasion, we can all identify with the shared values of freedom, personal responsibility, family, unwavering optimism, and opportunity.
Whether it’s making a better life for our family, reaching higher to achieve our own version of the American dream, or just enjoying the simplicity of liberty.
So thank you Citibike for not only proving me, and so many others wrong, but for reminding us of what we do have in common. Because, at the end of the day we’re all riding same bicycle.