You know, I wish I had a perfectly executed outfit (et hem, this Reformation dress, these devastatingly–no, really, devastating–white sneakers) to share in tandem with the brand new bikes giving our thighs a spin for their gluts. It would also rather seamlessly demonstrate how easy it will be to look like The Irrefutably Perfect Woman while on two wheels but alas, I’ve only got bullet points. That’s it.
Memorial Day Monday marked inaugural joy rides through New York City for several new Citi Bike members and the forthcoming week will mark the very same thing for the rest of us non-members while we finally put our metal to the petal(s), make like Paris (they’ve got 18,000) (or sultry women) and ride. Because I’d be hard pressed to tell you this is not a fantastic alternative to a. sweaty subways b. expensive cabs or c. futile cars, here are five very important coups to consider in reflecting on the 6,000 bikes now permeating city sidewalks from 59th street to Brooklyn as told by Carlye Wisel.
1. The Golden Ticket. Or: the one shiny, Midas-hued helmet that’s making us love the idea of not cracking our heads open on the pavement while joyriding uptown. Who needs a candy button-inspired bag dreamt up by modern-day Proenza Wonkas when you can toss all your tiny leather goods and otiose Chapsticks into a golden orb that doubles as brain protection? Helmet hair is like electricity’s natural dry shampoo, after all. (And a really good excuse to stock up on the travel-sized hair goops at Sephora.)
2. Market Investments. After coughing up a hundred dollars for a year’s worth of biking (and a key to the city!), the cold hard cash value of tutt-tutting to early evening drinks by way of one foot in front of the other is undeniable. Do you have any idea how many President faces that’ll save you over the course of twelve (okay, six semi-warm) months?! So many. Or, at least, enough to splurge on something fantastically whimsical and ironically bike-deficient. Less time swiping our dollar bills away to experience the sticky Coachella-ian heat of the underground chariot means more money for making next season’s why-did-I-buy-that decisions. Win-win-win-win-win. Win.
3. Footloose and Fitness Free. Gone are the days of setting alarms and praying to the Gods of Indoor Party Jam Fun Time Spinning Sign-Ups, only to to be shut out of exercise classes the second the virtual gate is pulled open for online registration. It takes a mental triathlon to even succeed in scheduling cardio fitness in this shiny little bastard of a town we call home, but dragging our own asses from place to place means calf muscles to die for, butts like Whole Foods’ organic plums, and a nifty heart-racing way to trek back home by biking off tomorrow’s hangover today. We’re not positive if drunk biking is a thing we must consider — is tipsy cycling drunk cycling? — but if everyone in Paris has Bordeaux for blood and can survive on the city-ordained quasi-death traps, we’ll consider ourselves self-excused from spinning to a Rihanna song in a dark box.
4. Rebel Rebel. Wheelies down Kenmare Street? You bet. Come one, come all to our circus of tire tricks and rental bike madness. Skateboarding is for crustpunks, 4x4s are for God’s children, and American bank-sponsored, 45-pound bright blue machinery are our ball-busting weapons of choice. If half the fun of extreme sport pastimes are the accessories — often a surf gear enthusiast, never a surfer — this is our chance to experience full athletic immersion in a real world setting, amidst the omnipresent risk of a concrete jungle’s two-wheel hazards. It might be time to take a double dose of adderall to squeeze the terrors of being doored on Bowery out of our brains, but rolling up on a neon azul chariot in front of friends who assumed wearing Charlotte Olympia heels was the closest we’d ever get to hiking are about to get a load of grit and glory.
5. Going All In. We’re bidding adieu to the fear of being pantsed by Mother Nature or air supplies a la Marilyn Monroe atop a manhole, only in our case, instead of silken white briefs, it’s spotting our high-high-waisted granny-inspired briefs popping out beneath a layered, fringe skirt. So what if trotting around town with metal between our legs inadvertently gives the goods up on a two-wheeled platter? Who cares! If bikinis are waterproof underwear and bralettes are now considered tops, we’re letting it all hang out in the downstairs business-covering department. Or, as our new-found sporty selves like to say: clear eyes, full hip-hugging underwear, can’t lose. And hey — breeze in our hair and an accidental peek through our dress bottoms is still better than upper thigh sweat on a taxicab seat. Besides, wafts of summer air make us feel lovely–though it should be noted: if new found quadriceps strength allows us to finally keep our legs crossed under the dinner table, we’ll consider that a bonus, too.
Above image via BusinessWeek