Struggle Bike: Video Shows the Agony of Docking CitiBikes in Brooklyn Heights

How ’bout those CitiBikes? In a new megamix video, bike users are seen struggling to return their bikes at the dock on Henry near Atlantic Avenue.

Have you had this issue?

The Awl: Some of these people get lucky, parking their bikes within seconds and heading happily toward home. Others—those who stayed late at work, perhaps, and thus arrived on the wrong side of the evening rush—encounter devastating disappointment, as they realize that the one or two open slots on the rack are only open because they’re hopelessly broken.

Most people who find themselves in this situation spend some time trying really hard to make the slots work. They shove their bikes into them as forcefully as they can, hoping with every thrust that the mechanism will lock like it’s supposed to. But in the end, everybody gives up and rides sadly away.

Fox5NY covered the story this morning:

New York News


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  • Karl Junkersfeld

    This video is the perfect definition of hyperbole. My goodness, one dock in the station is broken and its an indictment of the entire CitiBike system. The fact that the person filming shows multiple users attempting to place the bike in the same broken dock in the rack doesn’t make it more than just one dock. Fact is, if it wasn’t broken, it would have been filled and they still would have been frustrated. Shouldn’t it be expected that docks will break periodically? Personally, I’m shocked that it is just one given the way the public treats public assets.

  • Reggie

    This video does not show “the agony of docking Citi Bikes.” It shows two docks that are broken. It is not uncommon for docking stations to have one or two inoperable docks, often for extended periods of time. (I know where they are at the stations I frequent most.) It is also frustrating to dock a bike and get a green light even though the bike isn’t docked correctly, or get a yellow or red light despite the bike being properly docked. But that is not what this video demonstrates.

  • Joe A

    Some data for April 2014 Bike Share Program:

    April was Citi Bike’s eleventh full month of operation. There were 324 active stations at the end of the month. Our target fleet size for the month was 6,000 bicycles on the street, and our average fleet size was 5,731. Fleet size at the end of the month was 5,808. 4,767 annual members and 27,512 casual members signed up during the month. Total annual membership at the end of the month was 105,367.

    Overall ridership was 671,626 trips and 1,231,877 miles traveled, with annual members taking 608,429 trips and casual members accounting for 63,197 trips. There was an average of 22,388 rides per day in April with an average distance of 1.07 miles per trip. On average, each bicycle in the system had approximately 4 rides per day.

    But…but… but… One dock is broken at one of that stations. Oh, the humanity!

  • Daddyo

    This dude needs to get a life — or at least a cup of herb tea from Tazza to put himself to sleep…

  • petercow

    An occasional busted dock happens. Worse, though it’s hardly the end of the world, is I’ve come home at like midnight, and an entire dock is ‘full’. Have to pedal to another dock and walk home.

    It’s called being ‘dock-blocked’.

  • leoncrawl

    Sorry, who said the video was an “an indictment of the entire CitiBike system”?

  • Eddyde

    The dock in the video may indeed be broken, but most of these people are not even giving it a chance to lock. They are pulling the bike back out immediately and not waiting for the locking mechanism to engage, which takes 5-10 seconds.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    And I quote, “How ’bout those CitiBikes?”

  • leoncrawl

    There’s an explanation of the video at The Awl, which you can read by following the link above.

  • Eddyde

    I had the same impression as Karl and it seems like others as well. If the video generally gives an impression other than what was intended, it is a failure.

  • Liam

    Fox News trashing a system of pseudo-socialist-yet-confusingly-corporate-sponsored-non-oil-related-transport-for-the-masses? Shocker

  • Liam

    But shaming Tazza for allowing the Fox News Beast into the store. C’mon, I know we’re gentrifying but can we get some kind of decency standard that doesn’t allow Fox News into establishments that serve children?