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  1. #1
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    City bike shares better than having your own bike

    My daughter's analysis (DePaul student living in Chicago Lincoln Park area) is that the Chicago Divvy Bike program is way more convenient for her than having her own bike. She does have her own bike (cheap SS) which she still rides to/from work. But when she wants to meet up with friends or go to events or places around town, she says having to figure out what to do with her own bike is a big hassle. Friends meet up and take public trans to some place else. With the bike share program she grabs a bike and drops it off near her destination. No worries about where her bike stays and how to get back to it.

    I hadn't thought about it that way.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    A great idea that has been around a while elsewhere.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    My daughter's analysis (DePaul student living in Chicago Lincoln Park area) is that the Chicago Divvy Bike program is way more convenient for her than having her own bike. She does have her own bike (cheap SS) which she still rides to/from work. But when she wants to meet up with friends or go to events or places around town, she says having to figure out what to do with her own bike is a big hassle. Friends meet up and take public trans to some place else. With the bike share program she grabs a bike and drops it off near her destination. No worries about where her bike stays and how to get back to it.

    I hadn't thought about it that way.
    Of course, she takes her Garmin with her. I mean, I have heard it is impossible to bike if one doesn't have their Garmin and a direct contact to Strava!!

    Great for your daughter and friends to use the "system" to their advantage.

  4. #4
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    My daughter's analysis (DePaul student living in Chicago Lincoln Park area) is that the Chicago Divvy Bike program is way more convenient for her than having her own bike. She does have her own bike (cheap SS) which she still rides to/from work. But when she wants to meet up with friends or go to events or places around town, she says having to figure out what to do with her own bike is a big hassle. Friends meet up and take public trans to some place else. With the bike share program she grabs a bike and drops it off near her destination. No worries about where her bike stays and how to get back to it.
    I can relate to that. Since I started riding all over town a few weeks ago, I often find myself with no place to park my bike when I ride to a new destination. A surprisingly small number of restaurants and other venues provide bike racks, and those in a popular location tends to be full. A bike share program would (at least partially) address this problem.
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  5. #5
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Of course, she takes her Garmin with her. I mean, I have heard it is impossible to bike if one doesn't have their Garmin and a direct contact to Strava!!

    Great for your daughter and friends to use the "system" to their advantage.
    She claims there is an app (windows 8 phone --so probably just googlemaps) that maps routes only over streets that have bike lanes. Pretty cool.
    Last edited by dbg; 09-04-13 at 03:11 PM.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  6. #6
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Reminds me of that video making the rounds a couple of months ago (it's a hoot). Check it out, starting at 2:00:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/th...xrs=share_copy
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
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  7. #7
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
    Reminds me of that video making the rounds a couple of months ago (it's a hoot). Check it out, starting at 2:00:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/th...xrs=share_copy


    Jon's show is always a hoot. It's the one show I miss by not having cable and I should check into his show on the internet more often. I loved that interview at the end.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    It works well for what it is. But to me it like getting shoes where one size fits all. It is like renting a car for a place that only rents smart cars. Fine if you only need a smart car. So while your title drew me in I am glad you explained it in your post. I was about to disagree. For those of us that spend weeks and months to get just the right saddle and the perfect shifters or will only ride our favorite Tire and wheel combination a rental bike being better than our own bike would be debatable. May not be the case for your daughter.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  9. #9
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    Regarding comparing this to your carefully chosen perfect bike, ...it is a city with a lot of exposure. She has already had one bike stolen. I would never even think about spending time and money to get the perfect bike --just to have it stolen. I think personal, knock-around city bikes are already a big compromise.

    She has the "perfect bike" --at home, in storage for when she wants to do a group ride or a long trip, etc
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbg View Post
    Regarding comparing this to your carefully chosen perfect bike, ...it is a city with a lot of exposure. She has already had one bike stolen. I would never even think about spending time and money to get the perfect bike --just to have it stolen. I think personal, knock-around city bikes are already a big compromise.

    She has the "perfect bike" --at home, in storage for when she wants to do a group ride or a long trip, etc
    Not a problem with that, I was only talking about the title. Better than having your own bike. Piffel, balderdash I say. ( Hyperbole intended) Better than nothing but still a compromise. For your daughter it might be good enough. I would use one as a last resort. There are folders you know, bikes you can take with you rather than leave them on the street. I didn't say I wouldn't ride one if that was all there was. But I have never seen one I would buy for myself even on sale. I am only jerking you chain about the title.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  11. #11
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by daihard View Post
    A surprisingly small number of restaurants and other venues provide bike racks, and those in a popular location tends to be full. A bike share program would (at least partially) address this problem.
    So would putting in more bike racks.
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  12. #12
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    So would putting in more bike racks.
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  13. #13
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Boston shuts down its bike share program ("Hubway") in November. Alas, all bikes are collected and stored until March. With the snow piles we can get around here,
    think last February 8th, it would not be feasible to leave those nice bikes out in the open, in places where snow is plowed.

    So, that is the only disadvantage I see here. Assuming you don't own a car, you are not stuck with,,,, The subway.
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

  14. #14
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    If you like to ride for relaxation and/or exercise you will do well to have your own bike. It helps to have a quality bike well fitted to you. But for getting place to place around a town where you will leave your bike for significant periods of time, a good bike share program is great. I am a charter member of DC's and always choose a bike share rather than my own if I am going somewhere within 30 minutes in town. I even take them to Georgetown (which may exceed the 30 minute free limit in traffic) and check it in and out at a mid-way stop to keep the trip free. Most of the programs are supported by Spotcycle's free smartphone app that shows the locations and dock status (number of bikes and empty slots).
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  15. #15
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
    Boston shuts down its bike share program ("Hubway") in November. Alas, all bikes are collected and stored until March. With the snow piles we can get around here,
    think last February 8th, it would not be feasible to leave those nice bikes out in the open, in places where snow is plowed.

    So, that is the only disadvantage I see here. Assuming you don't own a car, you are not stuck with,,,, The subway.
    That may be necessary in Boston, if the streets get snowed in for weeks or months at a time. In DC the system is open year round but they electronically lock the stations during blizzards. It has worked fine for several years and a lot of trips are logged in cold weather. I am curious whether Chicago follows Boston's lead or DC's.
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  16. #16
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    So would putting in more bike racks.
    Daughter's first bike was stolen from a bike rack.

    But she still does want her own bike. I should have said "Bike shares compliment having your own bike." Her analysis was that she will use the bike share program more often than taking her own bike.

    And it is aided by the fact that a Divvy station is right outside her apartment.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  17. #17
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    I've really enjoyed the share program while in D.C. I'm typically not there for long periods of time or for vacation. So, having someone else provide the means to get a ride in is nice. I just adjust my thinking to the type of ride I'm going to do. I can see your daughter's point. I have a sports car that I like a great deal. Driving it is great fun. However, I tend to rent cars when driving on business trips. That way I don't worry about what will happen to MY car when parked in parts unknown to me. The fact that your daughter found a way to bike, in and of itself, is cool.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  18. #18
    TFO
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    Minneapolis follows the Boston model - bikes stashed away during snowy times. Even on days when I ride in to work and obviously have my bike there, I often grab a bikeshare bike to go to lunch. No worry about locking it up or having to wear the cleated shoes required on my own bike. Also the chain guard allows you to keep your regular clothes without having to clip or band your pantleg
    Doug

  19. #19
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Good news: Seattle will be having a bike share program, too.

    http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2013/...r-spring-2014/
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by daihard View Post
    Good news: Seattle will be having a bike share program, too.

    http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2013/...r-spring-2014/

    Having lived there most of my life, and I still visit family up there, I'm glad to hear they're going to do a bike share program. HOWEVER, there are a lot of places on that map I wouldn't be the least bit interested in riding what I would imagine to be a heavy single speed utilitarian bike.

    I think a lot of tourists are going to find that out the hard way.

  21. #21
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wileyrat View Post
    Having lived there most of my life, and I still visit family up there, I'm glad to hear they're going to do a bike share program. HOWEVER, there are a lot of places on that map I wouldn't be the least bit interested in riding what I would imagine to be a heavy single speed utilitarian bike.
    I would say you should be fine unless you aim at riding from downtown to Cap Hill. Well maybe not on one of those single-speed comfort bikes...
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

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    I've even used a Citibike to go places when I have my own bike parked at my office. Locking/unlocking, plus getting the gear in place just isn't worth it for a 10 minute ride. I just grab a bike from the rack and drop it off and never have to think about it again.

    I don't know what the plans are for NYC bikes over the winter. We sometimes get a lot of snow, and sometimes don't. And then of course last year there was Sandy, which nearly killed the program entirely when the storage area was inundated.

    As for riding in Seattle, these bikes are great for flat areas. I wouldn't want to ride up Cap Hill or Queen Anne on one of them. Even on my Davidson, I never rode up Queen Anne, but I lived up Capital Hill so I did it all the time.

  23. #23
    dck
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    San Francisco just started a bike share program last week. Since I walk about a mile and a half from the train to the office, I think I might give the bike share a try. I have taken one of my own bikes on the train and used it during the commute, I think the bike share would be a lot more convenient. I think bike share programs are great idea for urban areas. They need to be well designed and properly managed however, or you might not find a place to dock your bike at your destination.

  24. #24
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    As for riding in Seattle, these bikes are great for flat areas. I wouldn't want to ride up Cap Hill or Queen Anne on one of them. Even on my Davidson, I never rode up Queen Anne, but I lived up Capital Hill so I did it all the time.
    Yeah, Queen Anne is something else. I used to live on top of Queen Anne when I went to college there. Classes were often cancelled in the winter due to the slippery condition. I can't imagine myself riding up Queen Anne Ave. on my bike, much less on a single-speed.
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  25. #25
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    I'm glad for her, but I am old school Ameerikin (Dang it) I have transfered the steriotypical American love afair with cars to my bike. I would never share my 1969 Datsun Fairlady, (Bought and sold it as a "used" car, in the '70's and wish now I hadn't sold it) and am not interested in sharing my Masi Road bike.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

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