Monday, June 17, 2013
I was in New York and got to try out the shared bikes, just a few days after the program started. I really liked them, for a lot of reasons. The main reason? My brother lives in a nice place but the nearest subway is the Classon G, and you never want to depend on the G if you can help it. But there’s a bike sharing rack right at the stop, two blocks from the apartment, so I was able to grab a bike, ride it a few minutes into Williamsburg, catch the L and be in Manhattan in one stop. It’s faster and obviously more fun and probably safer that riding the train.
The bikes are nothing special, they have three speeds on an internal hub (all of which are too slow), but they seem sturdy enough. There are inch marks on the seat post, so once you figure out the height you ride best at you can easily adjust the seat in a sentence. The brakes are tight, barely any play in the handles at all, I wonder how long that will remain true. All the cables and the chain are enclosed.
You can only take them for 30 minutes at a time, but you can drop a bike and immediately pick up another one if you haven’t gotten where you’re going in half an hour. The annual deal ($95, and you get 45-minute rides) is such a good deal compared to the daily or weekly deal, I’d consider it if I thought I would spend more than seven days a year in the city (which I might).
One thing though, I was trying to return a bike on Grand Street (on the block where I used to live). There was just one open spot on the rack, because the rack was out of order thanks to whoever poured glue all over the kiosk (pictured below). Who would be vandalizing these? An angry driver? Someone who doesn’t like citibank (I sure don’t). Someone who used to put their garbage out right there? I don’t know, but whatever the treason, I’m against it.