So you’re planning a visit to New York City, you kinda hate the smelly subways in summer (who doesn’t?) and you’ve worked yourself into a little lather about that spanking new bike sharing program. Sounds perfect, you get to pick up a bike at any street corner and ride it all over town — just like in London and Montreal.
Well, sort of.
There are some issues with the nascent Citi Bike program. Top of the list is that you have to keep checking it in every 30 minutes. Which isn’t that much of a problem if you know where you’re going (you’re a tourist… you don’t) and when you get there, you need to find an empty dock to park your bike. As it happens many of the docks in the most popular parts of town are often full, meaning you have to keep riding out of your way until you do find one with space. And if you pass the 30 minute mark, you’re not just paying the base rate for the bike, you’re now paying overtime fees. And panicking ever so slightly since you don’t really know the NYC streets all that well. That leisurely bike ride…suddenly not much fun at all.
There is, however, another great option for visitors planning a trip to NY in the summer. Several of the better hotels in downtown New York (the “cool” ones) offer complimentary bikes to guests. On top of that, the hotel’s bikes are often a lot more stylish than the heavy, hulking Citi Bikes and offer big baskets for your purchases, along with smoother gear shifting for those occasional hills & bridges.
What are these cool hotels offering free bikes for guests, you ask? Here are a few to consider: