Choosing a durable bike for a cross-country bicycle tour is a good idea. When Jeffrey Tanenhaus chose a ride for his adventure, he went to a most familiar source — the New York City Bike bike share system.
Tanenhaus set off from New York City back on Aug. 6 on one of 12,000 bikes in the bike share program. He says it was one of the newest he had seen. The bike was free for the first 45 minutes. After that, the fines started mounting.
Amazingly, Tanenhaus continues riding on that bike. He has crossed 17 states and racked up more than 2,700 miles, according to NBC New York.
He’s also racked up $1,200 in loss fines — about the price of a decent touring bicycle.
Tanenhaus writes at his blog — Countri Bike — that he became familiar with Citi Bikes by using them to commute to his job in Manhattan. “I hated my job, but loved my commute on a Citi Bike.” [In addition to reporting on the uniqueness of his travels by Citi Bike, the Countri Bike website is a very good travelogue of a cross-country bike trip following the old National Road and Route 66.]
The New York City bikes are three-speeds, so he’s had some help doing the heavy lifting over hills. And he’s made a few modifications, like better tires and a different seat. He also added a Burley Travoy trailer that hitches to the seatpost.
Tanenhaus has said he’ll remember all the curious and helpful people he met along the way. One guy he’d like to forget is the pickup driver who pulled off the road in Oklahoma just to punch him in the face for riding a bicycle. The guy was later arrested after assaulting a couple in their home.Crossing into California around Christmas, he’s made it as far west as Redlands. He plans to end his wanderings when he gets to Santa Monica. That’s where he’ll disassemble the bike and send it back to New York City.
“I’ve spent enough time on this bicycle – it’s someone else’s turn. I’m happy to return it back to the bike-sharing system.”
Given the fact that New York City has 11,999 other bikes in its fleet, I’d recommend that they retire this one and exhibit it in a museum or use it for promotions. It has to be the first such bicycle that’s made a cross-country tour.