The Citi Bike Boyz Truly Just Love Citi Bikes

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IG: @citibikeboyz / graphic by ONE37pm

“If you're having a bad day, you hop on a bike and it can change your day,” Jerome Peel grins to me as he recounts his past few years running the IG page @citibikeboyz. If you’ve ever ridden a Citi Bike, odds are you remember just how heavy and cumbersome the bikes can be. So when you see Jerome perform some sort of deeply acrobatic stunt on a bike that weighs roughly the same amount as a traditional straight barbell, it leaves an impression. Throughout our conversation, it becomes abundantly clear that the page wasn’t created for views or virality; it’s actually just because Jerome loves Citi Bikes.

Since 2017, Peel and friends have run the account just for the fun of it; Jerome’s "bread and butter" is running the clothing brand Peels; a dedicated profile on Peels is on the way.

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“I had been scooting on Citi Bikes for 10 years, since they first came out, I never had a bike in the city, it was just too hectic. I always wanted a bike, but they're just constantly getting stolen,” Jerome recalls to me as he explains the genesis of the account, which posted its first clip in late 2017. “I love the bikes, I love the program,” he earnestly tells me, cementing that the page was truly birthed out of a love for the bikes and showcasing their fullest potential.

For years before the account launched, Jerome—a skater—would casually perform minor stunts and jumps with the bikes. “It's like a normal bike. Let me see if I can jump it. It started with just curbs and everything. But I did this for 10 years. Me and my friends would leave the bar or whatever, and I would just like hit off a curb—just like a little curb cut—and we'd all just be laughing,” he tells me. 

This was around Thanksgiving five years ago. The inaugural clip on the page is arguably the most reckless jump ever performed by Jerome to this day. “[My friend] said, ‘I'm gonna start the page.’ And I was like, ‘I'll go jump the LES double set if you're gonna start the page.’”

“That's the first clip ever. I woke up Thanksgiving and was just like, 'Fuck it, I'll go for it.' The only thing I was thinking about was like, ‘Fuck, if I fuck up I'm not gonna be able to eat Turkey.’”

Even with all of the tricks he’s performed over the years, nothing can top that truly insane stunt from 2017. “It worked out first try, perfectly,” Jerome recalls to me, seemingly in disbelief.  “Now I look back at that and I’m just like, what was I thinking? You could not pay me to do that. Under any circumstances. It was just some weird shit that I felt that day and I went for it."

And throughout our conversation, Jerome can’t help but continue to sing his praises for the Citi Bike product: “I trust them. Those bikes are built to withstand. Because they're just beat every single day.”

The page has acted as pseudo-PR for the Citi Bike program. “The amount of people I've heard tell me like, ‘I ride city bikes because of you.’ All my close friends, I push bikes on them because I'm always on one. I get all my friends to ride Citi Bikes,” he laughs. 

Citibikeboyz continues to grow every day, and it’s clear that a lot of the page’s success is owed to Jerome’s sincere love of the bikes. Referring to the trick that started it all nearly five years ago, he leaves me: “The fact that it worked out is just a miracle.”

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