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Old 07-31-01, 07:44 PM   #1
LittleBigMan
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Yellow bikes

Decatur, Georgia ("Atlanta"...boy, everything is "Atlanta" these days...) has started it's own "yellow bike" program. Actually, it was not started by the city of Decatur, but a private individual.

The "yellow bike" progam is not unique, but it is interesting, and in my view, helps the cause of biking by making it ever more socially acceptable as a means of personal transport. It works like this: walk up to a "yellow bike," and if the sign on the bike says, "available," get on and ride to wherever you want (how about, San Francisco? )

Anyway, I would try it sometime, except for one thing: although they are adding new bikes all the time, their availability is comparable to Decatur parking spaces. But according to volunteers who keep track of the bikes, none are being stolen.



The bad news: one of the news anchors that commented about the story said (not a direct quote, but the spirit is accurate),

"Just hop on a yellow bike and ride! Or a "Big Wheel," how about that? HAHAHAHAH!"

Have you ever lost your audience without even realizing it?
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Old 07-31-01, 08:33 PM   #2
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Originally posted by Pete Clark
...one of the news anchors that commented about the story said (not a direct quote, but the spirit is accurate),

"Just hop on a yellow bike and ride! Or a "Big Wheel," how about that? HAHAHAHAH!"

Have you ever lost your audience without even realizing it?
Isn't that pathetic.

I never watch TV news anymore unless there's a big storm brewing and I want to see the weather. It's just too embarrassing.
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Old 07-31-01, 11:15 PM   #3
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i think that kind of program is very impressive and i have respect for cities that do so. i have even thought about trying to get a program like that started up where i go to school, but my laziness prevents me.

so much to do, yet so little motivation.
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Old 08-01-01, 09:25 AM   #4
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I've been volunteering with this program, and having a great time.
I love getting the chance to do mechanical work on a variety of bicycles. Even if they all disappear, I've gotten a lot of bike repair experience.

It can be a little frustrating to work on donated bikes that didn't work too well even when they were brand new, but we are usually able to get things working well enough to be safe, especially the brakes. And it makes me appreciate how well my own bike works when I get back on it to go home.

If any of ya'll in the Atlanta area are interested, there are bike reconditioning sessions on Wednesdays from 7-9pm and Saturdays from 10-12pm at 604 Ponce de Leon Place in Decatur. No experience necessary--we are happy to provide on the job training!
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Old 08-01-01, 12:37 PM   #5
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Boise tried this about 4 years ago. Didn't work out too well, most of the bikes disappeared within a few months. I think a lot of it had to do with the bikes are toys mentality, Big Wheel's indeed.
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Old 08-01-01, 12:44 PM   #6
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Originally posted by rslatkin
I've been volunteering with this program, and having a great time.
I love getting the chance to do mechanical work on a variety of bicycles. Even if they all disappear, I've gotten a lot of bike repair experience.

It can be a little frustrating to work on donated bikes that didn't work too well even when they were brand new, but we are usually able to get things working well enough to be safe, especially the brakes. And it makes me appreciate how well my own bike works when I get back on it to go home.

If any of ya'll in the Atlanta area are interested, there are bike reconditioning sessions on Wednesdays from 7-9pm and Saturdays from 10-12pm at 604 Ponce de Leon Place in Decatur. No experience necessary--we are happy to provide on the job training!
That sounds fun! I'd do it.

JonR, Maybe we could get some backing and some $5 bikes.

Jonathan
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Old 08-01-01, 01:49 PM   #7
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Originally posted by jramsey


That sounds fun! I'd do it.

JonR, Maybe we could get some backing and some $5 bikes.

Jonathan
Well, you'd have to be the mechanic. Remember, I'm the one that has to look at the rear derailleur on my second bike, to replace the chain on my first.
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Old 09-15-01, 02:40 PM   #8
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I'm starting a program like this at my college, but so far we only have one bike. Right now it's a communal bike for just my class (about thirty students), but once I get some more bikes, I'd like to include the whole university. I think this type of program has the best chance of working at universities as opposed to whole cities.
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Old 09-16-01, 01:14 AM   #9
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Here in Europe I believe it is Amsterdam , where cycles are left unlocked for others to use , seems to work quite well , dont believe to many cycles are stolen ,
But of course Holland is a country very much in favour of the cyclist.
Oh for that to be so everwhere!
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Old 09-16-01, 07:10 AM   #10
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Well, a long while ago in the mid-eighties, Amsterdam had the "white bikes" plan, launched by a group of activists, the idea was the same as in Georgia.
The plan failed cause people started too steal or sell the "white bikes"
Today, commercial companies use the same idea, but you have to pay for it, Ammsterdam is overcrowed with bicycles, every where you go, you see bikes.
The biggest problem are the stolen bikes, a year ago it was not ilegal and not legal to sell bikes on the street, this sounds a bit weird, but this is typical Dutch policy, its called "gedogen".
This means its actually forbidden, but the police does not charge you.
People who needed money, started to steal bikes and sell them on the street;a person who needed a cheap bike, bought it on the street, and here is the big circle; the whole city is riding on eachothers bicycles!
A friend of mine had eight bikes in one year, all been stolen!
This year its forbidden to sell bikes on the street in Amsterdam, hopefully, the number of stolen bikes goes down.
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Old 09-16-01, 10:28 AM   #11
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In San Luis Obispo, CA the sheriffs department has a program where minimum security inmates recondition old bicycles to give to children in need. They rebuild hundreds a year I guess. There is a guy in LA who does the same thing except he sells them for a few hundred each out of his garage. I think many of the bikes come from estate sales, yard sales, and such. Anyway, my point is, though 'm not sure where all these bikes are found, there must be millions of old bikes that could ride again.
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