The Ease of Bike Share

What I like about biking is that it’s a life-enhancing sport with a low start-up cost and skill set. With only a basic bike and the ability to stop it, you’re ready to roll. Ride in a suit and tie or shorts and flip-flops—your choice, your style.

Citi Bike conveniently solves the equipment part of the equation. No bike to buy, no u-lock to secure, no chain to grease, no worries about theft while brunching with your besties. The only barrier is knowing how to ride a bike—conquerable with free classes for beginners or city skills classes to acclimate to urban riding. You can even get a free day pass for Citi Bike by taking a class.

Before I got into biking, I skied. I got college gym credit for taking group lessons at the Dartmouth Skiway, one of only two school-owned ski areas in the nation. If conditions were right, I’d cut anthropology class and drive with a buddy to Ascutney mountain in Vermont and get $25 student lift tickets. Mohenjo-daro will be around to study for another 1,000 years, but 10” of fresh-fallen powder won’t last till lunch!

However, skiing requires a vehicle to drive to the slopes, time to drive there, and money for equipment, clothing, and mountain access. For Northeastern city-dwellers it’s a journey and investment before you even get a toe in the snow.

Back then I had an SUV and was within 45-minutes from a variety of mountains. Aside from lower car insurance rates, one benefit of switching to New Hampshire residency was lift ticket specials. Sunday afternoons at Okemo were just $19 with Vermont or New Hampshire ID.

I don’t think you can get a round of hot chocolates for that today. And sadly you can’t get anything at Ascutney. My favorite ski area went under in 2010. The lifts were sold and uprooted, and the abandoned lodge burned down earlier this year.

Not so with Citi Bike. After an initial bumpy start, the program is under new leadership and running smoother than ever. In fact, it’s poised to expand this year and again next year. So finally I’ll be able to visit friends on the Upper East Side because UES peeps just don’t go down to Brooklyn.