Somedays, It Just Doesn’t Pay to Get Out of Bed!
Many New Yorkers ask us the same question. Often, the dialogue goes something like this:
“Have you been to Governor’s Island?”
“No, not yet but we plan to.”
“You really need to go. It’s beautiful.”
So we went. And it was beautiful. Little did I know that Murphy, with his law, was standing behind one of the giant London Plane trees on the island just waiting to pounce on me.
Governor’s Island sits in New York Harbor at the mouth of the East River. It was the first place the Dutch landed in settling the area. It’s been an important part of the defense of the harbor since those days.
In the constant build and rebuild of New York City, much of the debris from buildings torn down, subway construction, or Hurricane Sandy cleanup is taken out to Governor’s Island and used for landfill to enlarge the island. Parks have been built on top of the landfill. New York City does an incredible job of providing green space for the public to enjoy.
Free ferry service to Governor’s Island is provided hourly by the City. It runs from 10 am until 6 pm. We took the ferry out early to enjoy the day. We were really happy to find Citi Bike (bike rental) there. It sounded like fun to be able to get bikes to ride around the island. I got my bike key, plugged it in, got my bike and took off. It was going to be a great day!
We ended up on the south end of the island on the manmade hills. We parked the bikes and began roaming all over the paths of the man-made hills. Climbing to the top of both hills to get fantastic shots of the skyline, Lady Liberty, and the ever-present boat traffic in the harbor. The views were amazing! We wandered the paths, took photographs and even met 2 ladies, one from Staten Island and one from Puerto Rico who were enjoying the island also.
Getting late, we headed back to the bike rack to get our rides to return to the ferry. I was hoping my bike was still there. The seat was just the right height, the bell dinger was smooth and loud and the brakes didn’t grind. I was hoping. It was a good bike. I reached into my pocket to get my bike key when I discovered I didn’t have my keys. Last time I had them was at the bike rack on the other end of the island. I had left my keys in the rack! Murphy!
After screaming and kicking and lecturing myself on lack of discipline, attention, etc. We decided to send Jerry back to the peer on her bike to see if someone had turned my keys into the office. I began the trek toward the ferry.
Half an hour later, as I was nearing the peer, Jerry returned. She had found my keys still in the Citi Bike rack. That’s great! We turned her bike in, waited 40 minutes for the next ferry, got on and headed home. Nice day. Gotcha Murphy!
When we got back to the apartment I got a notification from Citi Bike, “Looks like you’ve had that Citi Bike out for awhile.” WHAT?
Apparently, my bike didn’t lock in when I rechecked it. The rental was still running…on overtime charges! The ferry was closed and wouldn’t open until 10 am tomorrow morning. The charges were going to run overnight until I got the bike docked…if it was still there! Murphy!
The next morning I got up early, walked over to the 1 and caught the subway down to South Ferry, got back on the 10 am boat to Governor’s Island. Using Jerry’s bike key, I got a bike and rode out to the end of the island to the bike dock. There it was. Not docked, but sitting there pretty as could be. I re-docked, the lights went green, amber, and red. My cell phone pinged. A Citi Bike notification stated. Ride Complete. Take that, Murphy.
Sighing relief, I headed back to the ferry, waited for 45 minutes, left the island, finally making it back to Hell’s Kitchen. Exhausted, I logged onto the Citi Bike web site to verify the check in. The message screamed at me from the screen:
Last Ride: 21 hours 44 minutes. Total Charges: $108.15. Murphy! Damn, don’t you ever lighten up?
HAPPY ENDING! I called Citi Bike to plead my case for mercy. I told them what had happened. The representative listened to my story and said, “Hold on for a minute and let me check your account.” A few minutes later he returned and said he could see where I had attempted to dock after a 20 minute ride, but didn’t get it completed. He would give me credit for the docking and waive the $108.15. He advised me to double check the docking when I use Citi Bike in the future. Don’t worry, I will! What a day…and a night…and a next morning!
OK, Murphy. You can go home now!