When I logged into my Citibike account recently, the welcome page told me I had logged an astonishing 1,650 rides. I also owed $1.87 for a ride that went over the 45 minute per ride time limit plus the credit card on file had expired. I spent an hour trying to get the website to accept my updated credit card and then gave up. After putting the project aside for a day, I loaded the app on my phone, which accepted the updated credit card without a hiccup.
Crazy to think I logged 1,650 rides without ever loading the app. It is also crazy that the website wouldn’t accept my credit card but the app did.
Somewhere around ride 1,655, I was waiting at a light next to a woman on a vintage olive green Raleigh like one I remember having. I told her how beautiful it was, and she told me her age (76), and that the bike she was riding was a replacement that she found on Etsy after her old bike was stolen. My mother was riding her bike around Chicago well into her 80s, and I was so happy to chat with another role model.
Brief conversations with nice strangers are one of the great joys of being in NYC. For me, so is getting around on a Citibike …for the convenience and exercise, because I don’t have to worry about the bike getting stolen, and because of the joy of a downhill coast in Central Park. Although sharing the roads with the rest of NYC and managing the basic technology can be annoying, I plan to be like my mom and ride well past 76.