How The Lion King’s Scar Gets to Work

London native Stephen Carlile is a quadruple threat: he sings, he dances, he acts, and he Citi Bikes to work! You probably don’t recognize him without his costume on– Stephen plays Scar in Broadway’s iconic hit musical The Lion King. Every morning he bikes from his Hell’s Kitchen apartment, docks by a coffee shop near the Minskoff Theatre, and picks up a couple coffees for the show’s makeup artist and for himself. Read more about why Stephen ditched taxis for Citi Bike and his favorite places to ride below.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I moved to New York from London a year ago to play Scar in The Lion King.

Where do you live?

We live in Hell’s Kitchen with our rescue dog. My wife is a Director, she travels between New York and London. We love this neighborhood. There’s a wonderful community spirit, and lots of great restaurants.

When did you start using Citi Bike? Why did you join?

I joined ten months ago. When I first moved to the city I was plunged in to this very busy lifestyle – I was constantly getting in and out of taxis. I spent my time looking at my watch and feeling stressed about the traffic. I hate feeling out of control about whether I’m going to be late. So I decided to join Citi Bike.

How have you incorporated using Citi Bike into your lifestyle?

I cycle every day, to and from work. I can go from my dressing room to my apartment in six minutes. After a long two-show day that makes a huge difference.

Do you ride with friends or family?

I’ve taken my Mum cycling on the Hudson River Bikeway. My wife and I love zipping up and down along the river too.

Winter is coming. Are you going to keep riding?

I’m making sure that I have all my thermal and reflective gear ready for the colder months. I’m determined to keep riding. It’s so easy to spend the majority of your time indoors during the Winter. Cycling means that you still get some fresh air in your lungs – it certainly wakes you up!

Where are some of your favorite places to ride?

The Hudson River Bikeway is so beautiful and is fantastic if you’re not that confident about riding amongst the New York traffic. It makes travelling up and downtown so quick.

Can you describe why you enjoy using Citi Bike?

I’ve been really impressed with how well maintained the bikes are. There are docking stations everywhere and the app makes it really convenient.

What are the other benefits you have noticed while using Citi Bike?

Cycling has opened up New York for me. As a newcomer it has helped me to truly feel part of the city. When you’re in the subway, or in a car you are sealed off from your surroundings – you travel in a bubble. On a bike you are exposed to your environment – to it’s sights, sounds and smells. You become much more aware of details, like the changing seasons.

I ride down streets and along routes that I would never take otherwise. I was on my Citi Bike the other day and I was sure I could smell horses – lo and behold I’d discovered the stables where the horses of Central Park sleep. I love finding those hidden corners.

Air quality is a huge issue, both in my hometown of London and in New York. I feel good that I’m doing my bit by choosing a mode of transport that isn’t contributing to the problem.