Why Joe Rides

Photo copyright Dmitry Gudkov

Joe Zaro owns Zaro’s, a local chain of bakeries with locations in Grand Central and Penn Station, among others. He commutes to Manhattan from White Plains and often makes short trips between store locations and to meetings. He has a road bike that he uses to get around sometimes. He had just picked up a Citi Bike at Grand Central on his way to a meeting near Penn Station.

“I saw they have a docking station at 31st Street. I don’t have the bike storage issues most people do because I have retail spaces in the city where I can keep my bike. Still, it was only $100 for the whole year, so I figured why not try it. Another thing: if I’m going to a restaurant or something, I like that I can ride there and not have to worry about locking my bike or getting it back afterwards.”

I commented on the fact that he was wearing normal, non-cycling specific clothes.

“Yeah, and I also always wear a helmet when I ride my other bike, so I’m breaking all my own rules here.”

How does he like it so far?

“I don’t know yet – this will be my first ride.”

  • Joe demonstrates the perfect setup for the CitiBike and why it can be so useful in NYC.

    I keep a folding bicycle in my office and use it for running off to meetings at my workplace. Its more efficient than walking or trying to find a company car and parking, especially for short distances.

    Often, these meetings are a fifteen minute walk away or a five minute casual bike ride on the folding bike, which is set up to be ridden in street clothing (flat pedals, full chainguard, fenders) and with its own rack to carry a notebook. I do wear a helmet, since part of my job is being the chair of the traffic safety committee and the Laboratory’s official policy is that motorcyclists and bicyclists are encouraged to wear helmets.

    For the hilly, five mile ride to work and back, its full kit and a fast road bike. One can have it all, Angie!

  • Daphna

    Joe Zaro refers to the docking station at 31st Street at Penn Station; however, while the one on 8th Avenue is there, the one on 7th Avenue has not been installed. Penn Station is supposed to have 3 docking stations around it, but 1 of the 3, at 31st Street and 7th Avenue is still orange on the map as “planned” with no docks out yet. There are 20 orange “planned” stations on the map that were supposed to have been included in this part of phase I. Any word on when they will be installed?

  • Brad Aaron

    Dude, just buy a bike!

    — The Editors, New York Observer

  • Greg

    I’m still finding inaccuracies in the map. Henry & Atlantic, Brooklyn, is marked as inactive and has been for some time. But I regularly used it Monday and last returned a bike there late last night. So it’s clearly working fine.

    Any other mismarked stations?

  • vnm

    Excellent! I usually go to Zaro’s for the popcorn. Sometimes one just gets a hankering for the stuff.

  • Philly Bicycle Journal

    Read the article again he owns a bike.

    ” I don’t have the bike storage issues most people do because I have retail spaces in the city where I can keep my bike.”

  • Stacy Walsh Rosenstock

    CitiBike released an upgrade for the app the night before BikeShare was launched. When I checked the app the following day, even though they said the map would be active as of 11 am, none of the stations even appeared on my iPhone even though you could stand on the street corner and see people were obviously using it. Looks like they’re still experiencing some software issues.

  • The only question I have is, where am I going to go during my lunch hour tomorrow?

  • JamesR

    Did I read that correctly, that he commutes from White Plains to Grand Central by bike? Definite badassery if that’s the case.

  • Jack Cebe

    Wouldn’t it be cool if your fob from one city would work in others? It seems like it would be feasible with a lot of systems – especially since many use the same bixi platform. I know they have car-share partnerships across cities. I just signed up for Divvy in Chicago and I’m going to Boston in September, it would be so nice if I could just use my fob there and ride away

  • Dan

    Yes, there are still problems with stations being inaccurately labeled, but if you are still not seeing any stations on your iPhone, you need to force quite the app and relaunch to get it to refresh.


  • B-Cycle does this.


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