On Bike-Share Opening Day, the Post Wears Its Rotten Heart on Its Sleeve

The New York Post screams of "ruin" on bike-share launch day; the New Yorker, obviously, took a different tack.

This morning’s headline stack was full of attempts by the New York Post to pour cold water on today’s bike-share launch. The tabloid is so committed to its cause, it plastered it on its front cover, just below the day’s most important celebrity gossip.

Like the rest of the NYC press corps, the Post is covering today’s launch. I was interviewing bike-share users at Fulton Street and Hudson Avenue in Brooklyn at about 10:45 a.m. when Post reporter Julia Marsh stopped her car in the travel lane and hopped out to do an interview. Once she realized she wasn’t going to get a story there, she got back in her vehicle and sped off, engaging in a honking match with a motorist who was trying to pass her.

The New Yorker, meanwhile, offered some food for thought on physical activity and urban space. As illustrator Marcellus Hall explained in the magazine, “I’m not one of those hard-core bike freaks; it’s just a good way for me to get around in the city.”

  • Joe R.

    I think what says it all here is the fact that the NY Post considers the latest celebrity meltdown front page news. With priorities like this, it’s hard to take anything they write as serious journalism.

  • wait they are a new paper? I thought it was just the paper version of TMZ cross with a tea party newsletter.

  • Anonymous

    People take what they say seriously? When did this happen?

  • Peter

    Care to comment on the actual substance of the Post’s article – that a Citibike rack was place right outside of Frank’s bike shop! What a slap in the face to a long time local business and cycling advocate!

  • Bike salesman

    Actually it’s great exposure for his business. He should capitalize on it.

  • Guest

    So true!

  • Guest

    How ridiculous! The store owner knows what’s good for his business – not you!

  • Peter

    thats pretty silly

  • Bike share is a great way to get people who are not ready to spend $500 on a bike to discover that hey… this isn’t so bad to bike in NYC.

    When my mom started riding she first rented then, she slowly thought “hmm I could buy my own bike”

    I think there will be something of a symbiotic relationship.

    And let’s face it it’s not a replacement for day rentals even (which are less expensive) or for owning a bike by far.

    You can’t do five-boro on a citi bike, or a long commute–

    And they are clunkers– nothing like a bike that fits your body!

  • Ian Turner
  • Larry Littlefield

    His problem is the rack is not directly in front of his shop. That’s what I would want if I owned a bike shop.

    He needs to put out a sign saying now you can try getting around by bicycle for just $95 for a year, and can get your helmet and other accessories here!

    And then in a year put out another sign. Now that you’ve tried Citibike for a year, how about getting a bike of your own right here!

    Ask yourself this question. How many bike shops did the Post contact before coming up with one owner who thought it might be a negative?

  • Ridgewoodian

    The POST’s article is dishonest. It mentions that he rents bikes to tourists for $30 a day (which I assume is correct) but that the CitiBike 24 hour pass will be $10. Well, okay, but what they don’t mention is that that $10 only gets you half an hour for free. If you ride it for another half hour and don’t swap it out for a new one it’s going to be another $4, or $14 total. If you ride for another half hour hour it’s going to be another $13 – so after a 90 minute ride (which isn’t all that long), if you haven’t been swapping bikes, you’re already up to $27. At 91 minutes it’s already cheaper to rent for the day from Frank. Also, I assume that his bikes are a little less clunky and a little more fun to ride longer distances. CitiBike is like a cab, it only exists to get you from point A to point B. And, although I found it enjoyable enough to ride, that’s not its point. CitiBikes and Frank’s bikes are both bikes but that’s where their similarity end. They serve different purposes. So all Frank has to do is communicate this – you know, be a salesman – and I bet he does just fine.

  • ADN

    Sure, Peter, I’ll comment on the “substance” of the article. As has been reported in other cities with bike-share programs: It’s great for local bike shops. People spend money on helmets and accessories, they learn to ride a bicycle in the city and they buy their own bikes. Bike-share creates new cyclists. If you have to take your personal bike into the shop for repairs and leave it over night, it’s great to have a bike-share station right next door. The Post easily could have found this out had they bothered to make phone calls to a couple of bike shops in, say, Boston, D.C., London or Paris. But that would have ruined their story, right?

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry but while Frank himself is a good mechanic, he’s no thinker or much of a salesman, his other mechanics stink and in fact his shop now sucks eggs.

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