24 September 2013

Keeping The Citi Running

Biking regularly comes with maintenance and repair, and I've been wondering how all those Citibikes manage to stay in working order.

Once I saw a couple of workers open up one of the stations that wasn't working: it turns out they contain several car batteries, charged by a solar panel.  And I've occasionally seen bikes being loaded on or off box trucks in the dark, presumably to move them where they need to be for the morning's riders.

But maintenance remained a mystery until I ran across Knowlege and Lauren.
They work (part-time, it must be said) pumping up tires, tightening nuts and bolts, and checking that everything is in good working order.  They have a very cool trailer for their pump and tools and stuff, too.
I know the system has its flaws, including lack of availability outside of downtown Brooklyn and lower Manhattan.

But since its inauguration just a few months ago, I think Citibike is challenging the car-centric culture of New York.  I biked down Seventh Avenue this morning -- no bike lane, but except for one insane individual who swerved at me while blowing his horn, the drivers seemed to be in agreement that the bikes could have the left lane.

I'm curious to see if the new bikers keep riding as winter descends.