This Guy Rode A Citi Bike 2,700 Miles From New York To California
There's a man riding a Citi Bike across America right now, and he's made it over to 2,700 miles from New York to California. Jeffrey Tanenhaus describes himself as "an ordinary New Yorker with an extraordinary passion for traveling, writing and Citi Biking." According to him, he hated his job in corporate event planning, which—like most people—he only worked to pay rent. His favorite part of the whole thing was commuting to work via Citi Bike. Citi Bike if you're unfamiliar is the bikeshare program in New York. It's sponsored by Citi Bank and operated by Motivate. So, he quit, put his belongings in a storage unit, let his lease expire and left the United States. When he returned, he decided to just not pay rent. He looked after people's pets when they were out of town, crashed with friends or rented cheap Airbnbs. Something of an urban nomad, he used a Citi Bike to get from his gym, post office, temporary crash pad, storage unit and meetings about an app he developed. Then, he decided to bike across the country on one of his beloved Citi Bikes.
On August 7, Jeffrey left New York City. His journey was less of a straight line and more of a meandering ride along trails and Route 66. He kept a detailed map and log of his stops, how many miles he rode each day—generally around 30 to 40 miles—and what the weather was like. One Day 128, he made it from Parker, Ariz. into Blythe, Calif. As of yesterday, he was headed towards Joshua Tree. That's over 2,700 miles.
It hasn't all been roses for Tanenhaus, who rode through inclement weather and got punched by a driver in Oklahoma, which landed him in the hospital. (His assailant later wound up getting arrested for attacking some other people with a baseball bat and an axe.)
He hitchhiked with a couple carting an empty horse trailer for 100 miles to Albuquerque after intense winds in the Southwest prevented him from getting anywhere. There, he stashed his stuff with a friend and flew back to New York to spend Thanksgiving with loved ones, then it was back to Albuquerque to keep pushing forward. He also coughed up the $1,200 for not returning his Citi Bike on time, so he said he "had to keep going." He does ultimately intend to return it, however.
Setbacks aside, Tanenhaus has no regrets.
"It's been the most amazing thing that I've done in my life," he told NBC New York. "On a bike, it's been incredibly rewarding and I've had to go slow so I've been able to go to places travelers wouldn't normally stop."
Tanenhaus told New York Magazine that he didn't intend to get very far because Citi Bikes aren't really meant for long treks. However, by staying on flat ground and using paths called Rails-to-Trails—old tracks turned into biking and hiking trails—he said he was able to keep going.