Citi Bike is FINALLY underway, and everyone has an opinion. Let's take a look around Twitter, shall we? [Update: Check out a review from Jake Dobkin at the bottom.]

Update: Our own Jake Dobkin has concluded his inaugural ride on Citi Bike—he got his fob, finally!

I took the bike from Cadman Plaza, through Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Bridge Park to DUMBO, and then back up to Clark Street in the Heights. My observations:

1. With a key, the checkout process is very easy: you just insert the key, and it shows you an orange light. After five or ten seconds, the light turns green, and then you can remove the bike. That requires a strong tug with both hands.

2. You'll want to adjust the seat. It has a quick release, and different heights marked on the stem. I'm 5'10 and set it to height #6, and that was fine.

3. You feel dorky riding this bike. It's heavy and steers a little slow, and the cruiser handlebars, combined with the single dropped tube make it feel like you're riding a 5th grade girl's bike. You need to embrace this, because a lot of people are going to be looking at you, since the bikes are a novel sight on the street. I nodded back at people when they pointed at me. Some were laughing.

4. The Nexus 3 gears are a little awkward. I have a Nexus 7 on my regular bike, and it's a bit balky- you can't shift when you have pressure on the pedals (which makes switching on an uphill a little tricky.) Over time, the shifter on the bars also needs to be adjusted- hopefully they'll keep the bikes well tuned.

5. Hills will be a challenge. When I took it up from DUMBO to the Heights, it was difficult. I would consider doing a bridge only if you're in top shape and a masochist.

6. Returning the bike is really easy: you just pull up to an empty slot at a station, shove the front part in, and wait until the light turns green. You can tug it if you're worried it hasn't stuck. I checked in and out of three stations and by the second time, I could get in or out in just a few seconds.

Despite my little gripes above, I would heartily recommend joining this program to all of my friends and acquaintances. It's going to be a life-changer. The ease of getting in and out means you really don't have to think about it: if you pass a station and there's a bike, you just grab one and go. On flat ground, like most of Manhattan, this will make getting 10 or 20 blocks a no-brainer: I'd pick Citibike over walking every time. The bike might be heavy and look weird, but it works fine, and you never have to worry about filling the tires. And the rack means you can even carry stuff. I'll be bringing a helmet with me everywhere from now on.

If this program fails (and I don't think it will), the fault is not with Citibike: it's with us. New York might just not be worthy of transportation this cool.