Why Werner Rides

Photo copyright Dmitry Gudkov

Werner is a retired sociology professor living in Cobble Hill. He signed up for bike-share to help him get around the neighborhood (his nearest Citi Bike station is a couple of blocks away in Brooklyn Heights).

At age 87, Werner finally gave up driving about a month ago. The bikes increase his range and riding a few blocks is physically easier than walking. Even with painted bike lanes like the one on Henry Street, though, he does not feel completely comfortable riding with traffic. “You’re still too close to the cars. They should build more of the two-way ones, like the one by Prospect Park.”

On the day Citi Bike launched, Werner was out testing out the system. “A reporter interviewed me, a nice woman from the New York Post. She kept asking me if I was having any problems using the bikes, I kept telling her, no, I’ve had no problems. The next day I opened the paper, and the story said there was nothing but problems!”

  • Bruce Nourish

    Pimp-style hat.

  • Joe R.

    After seeing this, I seriously need to teach my mother to ride. If he can do it, so can she (she’s 74).

  • Driver

    Riding a bike at an older age, and learning to ride a bike at an older age are two completely different things IMO, because the latter often involves taking a fall or two.

  • Jesse

    This guy is great. Can you adopt a grandfather?

  • Marina

    Great photo and writeup! I agree with Werner about the Henry Street bike lane and that it’s easier to bike than to walk. Also, I hope that NYC will become bike-friendly for the very young and the very old before I reach Werner’s age.

  • carma

    i hope if i get to 87 im still as mobile. my hero

  • Anonymous

    Damned hipsters! Never enough bike lanes!!

  • summer

    I love this series, Dmitry. I’ll have to remind myself that bike-share is being used by people like Werner when I read the Post stories about Brooklyn Heights cranks trashing Citi Bike docks.

  • wow

    Why are there no citibanks in Harlem? Wouldn’t a great location be on 112th and Lenox Ave, City College, Columbia U?


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