Original photo via Trammell Hudson's flickr

Remember all of those scaremongering but totally accurate articles about how many germs are in the common gym? If you wipe down your machine before using it there, why wouldn't you do the same with the Citi Bike handles? With the program now fully operational, people all over New York are picking up bikes from stations, using them, doing GOD KNOWS WHAT WITH THEM, and then dropping them off for someone else to pick up. Sharing is great, but also this type of swapping system is the perfect way to spread germs and die of a staph infection. So we have some solutions for the germaphobes out there:

Bike condom

According to TreeHugger (who are opposed to bike condoms because bacteria is good for you or whatever) these are popular amongst the bike-sharing set in Barcelona. Just slip the protective layer on to the handles and toss them in the trash when you're done. The DIY version of this is to use plastic bags.

Why didn't Citi Bike install Purell stations at their bike racks? Just carry your own travel size bottle with you (which you are probably already doing if you got this far into a article about germs).

You probably won't catch anything from someone else's sweat fluids traveling through layers of your clothing, but maybe it would be nice to wipe down the seat anyway, for your own mental health. Carry around some antibacterial wipes with you and everything will be okay. (The aforementioned DIY plastic bag solution would also work for the seat.)

On the plus side, at least you aren't on the subway inhaling human skin and sitting on someone's shit.