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Even as New Yorkers are discovering bike share, which began this week, other trailblazing cities seem to be looking on with a bit of exasperation.

They are coming to terms with a well-worn truth: Nothing matters until it happens in New York. (At least in the eyes of New Yorkers.) And New Yorkers excel at claiming permanent ownership in hindsight.

For other American cities, the frustration is understandable. Overnight, New York’s system became the largest in the country, eclipsing popular programs in Washington and Boston by installing 6,000 bikes across more than 300 stations.