Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Reasons to Love New York 2015

Because This Guy Is Riding His Citi Bike Across the Country


Clockwise from top left: Washington, D.C.; Greenwood, Delaware; Texas-Oklahoma border; Ridgely, Maryland; Margate City, New Jersey; San Jon, New Mexico  

One night this past August, Jeffrey Tanenhaus, a corporate-event planner, checked out a Citi Bike from a dock near Gramercy Park and began a journey to cross the country on the blue, one-piece, aluminum-frame utility bike. “Riding a Citi Bike in New York was always the highlight of my day,” he says from Albuquerque. “Both my job and the lease on my apartment were ending, and I couldn’t stomach the thought of getting ‘just another job.’ I was out of options in New York, and I thought of the great American road trip: What if I scaled up and used a Citi Bike?”

How did you choose this particular bike? I can usually tell within ten seconds if a bike is good or not. It’s like dating. The brakes are a good indicator, as is the ease of pedaling. A good bike is like cutting through warm butter, while a bad bike is like cutting through stale bread. When I saw this bike, I could tell right away it had only been on the street for a few hours.

Did you have a route in mind? I didn’t expect to get very far — down the Jersey Shore at the most — because these bikes aren’t meant to travel long distances. I tried to stay on as much flat ground as possible. I found these paths called Rails-to-Trails, which are old railroad tracks that have been ripped up and turned into biking and hiking trails. I just kept discovering more and more vehicle-less flat trails. I go about 40 miles per day. Right now, I’m traveling the Bike Route 66, which, like the highway, ends in Santa Monica.

What will happen to the bike? I would like to get it back to New York and return it to the ecosystem from where it came, but I can’t bring it on a train, so I’ll have to take it apart, box it up, and then rebuild it. But I first want to make it to the last part, to California.I checked out my bike on the last day of my annual membership account. I was charged $1,200, the maximum amount, which I thought was fair.

Current Issue
Subscribe to New York

Give a Gift