The end of (many a New York City bicyclist's sanity) is near. Yes, folks: After several delays, a whole lot of hoopla, and station installations all over New York City, the Citi Bike bike share program has an official start date!
As the Wall Street Journal reports, on May 27, a whole bunch of tourists, pedestrians, straphangers, and plenty of other people who don't regularly ride bikes will start to flood the streets and bike lanes of our fair city, and...see if they can actually stick to bike lanes. New Yorkers who are preemptively annoyed by this can probably expect the rate of "doored" people, car accidents, bike-on-bike accidents, and the case against bicyclists in New York City as anything more than a contingent of two-wheeled anarchist psychopaths go up in numbers and public profile. There's a catch, though:
Residents who pay $95 for an annual membership will have exclusive access to bikes for a week. On June 2, members who pay for daily or weekly passes can use the bikes. More than 8,000 people have already purchased a year-long membership, according to the city.
In other news, most of the truly scary people won't be getting on the bikes until after Memorial Day weekend. That said, this will make it easier to identify the New Yorkers who have already ponied up to rent bikes for thirty-minute sessions before everyone else. So at least we'll know what the most non-committal, smug, early-adopting New Yorkers will look like for a few days. Please don't be too mean to them, as many of them will probably be riding bikes for the first time in New York City, and are already a danger to the public without being teased for being—among other things—the world's largest advertisement for an Evil Multinational Bank as well.
Operative term: Too mean. Tweeting, photographing, and passing them on the right is perfectly acceptable, however.