On your mark, get set — Citi Bike?

Citi Bikes are not exactly racing models.
Citi Bikes are not exactly racing models.

Some cyclists who are either confused or greatly in need of a challenge have reportedly contacted Citi Bike in the hopes of organizing a bike race using the bike share program’s heavy, somewhat clunky cruisers.

“We’re not really encouraging that since they’d be taking the bikes waaaaay over the normal time limits,” Citi Bike marketing director Dani Simons told the Wall Street Journal in an email. “It’s just not really what the bikes or the bike system was designed for.”

The bikes are intended for short rides around the city. Annual memberships are granted unlimited 45-minute rides; weekly or daily passes get unlimited 30-minute rides.

The Wall Street Journal apparently conducted “an informal survey of New York-area bicycle clubs” and found a lack of interest in Citi Bike racing among serious cyclists.

But Simons did add: “I’m sure some of our passionate users will figure out some creative ways to engage with the bikes.”

Metro asked Doug Gordon, the “relaxed biking” advocate behind the Brooklyn Spoke blog and one of the bike sharing program’s strongest defenders, for his thoughts on a potential Citi Bike derby.

“Hilarious!” Gordon said. “Although I suspect that riding a Citi Bike in a race would be a bit like driving a Crown Victoria taxi in the Indy 500.”

Gordon recalled a cyclist in Washington, D.C., who used a bike share bicycle in a triathlon. Exceeding time limits did pose a bit of a problem for him, as he racked up $101 in rental costs. The D.C. Department of Transportation apparently waived the rental fees, however — probably because it was for a good cause, Gordon noted. The man was doing the triathlon in support of a friend who had recently lost a child to leukemia.

Gordon also echoed Simons’ sentiment regarding the enthusiasm of bike share devotees.

“The good news is that these kinds of ideas about fun uses for Citi Bike show that it’s already being woven into the fabric of life in New York,” he said.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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