Photo copyright Dmitry Gudkov
Ron is an engineer living in Williamsburg. He was riding back to his office from a meeting when we took the photo, then emailed me his thoughts about bike-share.
“I was happy they added Williamsburg stations sooner than they had officially announced. I’ve been travelling over the Williamsburg Bridge each day and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the gear ratios they selected. The easy gear works nicely if you don’t want to bust it over the bridge, and the heavy gear can still provide power even when going pretty fast on the downhills.
“Bike-share gives me an incentive to get outside a bit during the workday, and liven up moving from one meeting to another (especially if they’re crosstown and I’m not near the L or 42nd St. shuttle). My bike will still be great when I want to go exploring the city on the weekend, taking it all over the place. But not having to carry the heavy NYC bike chain lock is a great perk that might be overlooked.
“Last night was the first time I needed to dock to get my entire trip in without cost, coming from the top end of the system at 59th and Amsterdam and heading all the way to Williamsburg, and when I docked at 33rd and Broadway the system took a good 15 minutes before it registered that I returned a bike and could take another one out. I tried the bike I docked and many others and it seems like it just took some time. Not a big problem, especially when it gave me a chance to have more extensive talks about the bikes and the system with four more people, one of whom was a pedi-cab driver.
“My biggest take away has been the overwhelming positivity among people regarding the bike share. Yesterday I even got a honk from a cabbie and wondered what he was upset about until I realized he was giving me a big thumbs up! I hope that when the daily/weekly rentals go live that those people who may ride less often are careful about being safe and not creating a hazard to vehicular traffic, because I think the annual members have been consciously providing a good example so far to the other traffic on NYC streets. But man it’s been cool having so many conversations with so many New Yorkers. That never happens in a city where everyone is very protective of their bubble and their personal space in packed subway cars and on sidewalks.
“Overall I’m surprised to say I’m even more excited and happy with how the system has turned out than I thought I’d be, and that was still with pretty high expectations! Hoping there’s some good software improvements with the app and the stations, but those will all come in due time.”