On a sunny Friday I went Citibiking for a day. And that was fun! With a Citibike Station Map at hand (gotten at the NycGo tourist information bureau on 7th Avenue/52nd street because the Citibike app and I were not getting along) I took the first bike from the station at 8th Avenue/52nd Street, just below Central Park.
Getting a bike is pretty easy. You just stick your creditcard in the touchscreen kiosk, answer the questions that pop up (hint: they ask for your phonenumber and zipcode but if you only enter 0’s it works aswell), choose 1 or 2 bikes et voila, you get your code(s) printed out for you. The code remains valid for 5 minutes and that gives you enough time to enter the code on the keypad of the bike of your choice. A green light will come to let you know that you can remove the bike from the station. That goes pretty easy if you lift the bike by the seat, put it back down and pull it backwards at the handlebar. Make sure you return the bike to a station within 30 minutes otherwise you pay $4 for the first extra 30 minutes, $9 for the 30 minutes after that and from then on you pay $12 per half hour – that really adds on and would actually make a “normal” rentalbike cheaper. A 24-hour pass costs $9,95 (and a deposit of $101 is charged to your creditcard).
There are many stations on Manhattan (and in Brooklyn) but that did not stop me from getting nervous a couple of times because of the 30 minute limit. Which never happened, according to my creditcard statement (1 bike – a whole day = 8 euro).
The bikeride was great. Along the Hudson, right by the Intrepid, I walked the Highline (it just keeps getting bigger, greater and prettier), got off the bike to say hi-and-bye in The Jane and then continued towards and through Battery Park. Returned the last bike at Liberty Street/Broadway, treated myself to a fruit/vegetable shake, went over to the 09/11 memorial and raced through Century21 (with again an excellent score!).