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Old 09-17-10, 05:24 PM
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DC doesn't suck for bikes, but neither is it paradise, and I still feel that SmartBike was a political resumé-padder instead of a genuine addition to cycling in the city.

Visiting from out of town and want to hop on a SmartBike? Either choose your hotel wisely or spend most of your transit time getting to a station. Want to use one to commute to work? Why bother, since you're already living downtown?

Keep one in my bedroom? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of bike sharing programs?
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Old 09-17-10, 05:36 PM
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$50 dollars/year. That doesn't defeat the purpose of a bike share program, it defeats your complaint that the bikes are stored too far away from your starting point or from your destination. Carry a good lock and ride from point a to point b.

I was impressed with the numbers of riders on the SmartBikes, but Bike and Roll, catering to tourists seems to be doing better business. At $5/day capital bikeshare bikes should do well with tourists as well as locals. There will be many more capital bikeshare locations than there are SmartBike locations. We might see more locations in the future.

I could know more about this program, but I just take pictures and conjecture about what I see. Call them or check website to find out what it's all about.
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Old 09-17-10, 05:56 PM
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Already checked, already have been keeping tabs on SmartBike because I'm still skeptical that it'll even work. They say they'll add a lot more, but cross-compatibility with Arlington's bike program would be great to have since it's simply not that far away.

These are screenshots from last year of how the availability of Velib and SmartBike compare:




They say they want a bike share program like Paris has. They have a long ways to go. If you're in Paris and you don't see a Velib rack on your block, just walk down the street and turn the corner like I did to take this shot.
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Old 09-20-10, 09:21 AM
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It's a little disappointing to see all those bikes still in the racks in Paris! I'd like to see more gaps that would mean they are actually being fully utilized on a regular basis.
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Old 09-20-10, 05:44 PM
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People in wheelchairs blocked 15th and New York Ave for several hours today. www.adapt.org


Landis and Bahati again.


Bikes for hire


New mural on the MBT (Note DC flag motif tattoo)






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Old 09-20-10, 06:54 PM
  #431  
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Originally Posted by Consularrider
It's a little disappointing to see all those bikes still in the racks in Paris! I'd like to see more gaps that would mean they are actually being fully utilized on a regular basis.
During rush hour, or in the tourist-heavy spots, you'll see a lot more of them being ridden. Whether in a rack or under a rider's butt, they're a regular sight.
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Old 09-20-10, 07:03 PM
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"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for all of Paris is a moveable feast."
Ernest Hemingway (1950)

"As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans."
Ernest Hemingway, 'A Moveable Feast'


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Old 09-21-10, 01:32 PM
  #433  
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The riders I've spotted on Capitol Bikeshare bikes before today appeared to be ringers, professional riders. Today I saw six regular people on them. I wouldn't typically see that many SmartBikes in a week. So the new bikes seem pretty popular. I also saw a SmartBike today. I guess they are still being rented, or she just never returned hers. Maybe they're being sold off, as rental goods often are after a number of years of service.

I had it wrong about the $50/year unlimited use deal. You can't take one home and keep it in your bedroom. According to this Capitol Bikeshare member, the $50/year membership fee allows unlimited trips of 30 minutes or less for no additional charge.

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Old 09-21-10, 03:08 PM
  #434  
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She makes that bike look good!
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Old 09-21-10, 08:35 PM
  #435  
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15
I had it wrong about the $50/year unlimited use deal. You can't take one home and keep it in your bedroom. According to this Capitol Bikeshare member, the $50/year membership fee allows unlimited trips of 30 minutes or less for no additional charge.
You really thought you could keep one at home all the time?

The point of bike sharing is that you use it only when you need it and don't hoard it in your house where it sits idle. When you're done, someone else has to have a chance to use it -- but if it's being kept at home, nobody else can ride it.

30 minutes at a time? What that means is that you need to be able to pick it up where your journey begins -- and then park it in a rack at your destination. You're not going to ride for ten minutes to get somewhere, hurry up with whatever you wanted to do (get a carryout lunch, maybe?), then ride back. Unfortunately, if the racks are hard to find, and they're not close to where you are OR where you're going, you're not going to bother hunting one down.

I'm continuing to harp on this because I think it's a hugely wasted opportunity. I live on Capitol Hill. There are ZERO Capital Bikeshare stations within a reasonable distance of me -- and by "reasonable" I mean "close enough that I wouldn't have to take the Metro or a cab or ride my bike to get to one that's already close to my destination anyway."
https://www.capitalbikeshare.com/station_map

SmartBike hasn't listed any new stations since last year. Most of my neighborhood isn't even ON the map as it's displayed on their page.
https://www.smartbikedc.com/smartbike_locations.asp

I don't know how many other people in my building ride bikes, whether for commuting or recreation. But, it seems like it's a bunch; every once in a while, I see another resident with a bike that I didn't know was a rider. There are bikes locked up on people's porches or fences on every block in my neighborhood, never mind the ones that are kept indoors. I can't walk a block down the street without seeing at least one cyclist riding to get somewhere.

There is definitely a market here. Why it's not being exploited -- in a city known for exploitation -- is beyond me.
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Old 09-21-10, 09:37 PM
  #436  
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15
Would you like some oysters with that whine?

I'm sorry that Capitol Bikeshare displeases you.
My beef with it is that it's one of three things:

1) It's another line on somebody's "look at what I did for the public good" resumé. It's just enough for some people to proclaim that they accomplished something, even if it's not truly useful.

2) It's a half-assed attempt started by people who don't care to see that it reaches its potential.

3) It's the result of a lot of effort by some good-hearted people who -- sadly -- have no real clue how much harder they really needed to work.

If it grows to a usable scale in ten years, then that's good. I don't have that much faith, though. DC has a habit of letting projects slide.
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Old 09-22-10, 03:13 PM
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This guy uses Capitol Bikeshare as the primary mode of transportation for his commute to and from work. Do you spend more than $50/year on the vehicle you ride to work? I do.


This guy usually rides his own bike to work, but it needs a new tire. He is riding a Capitol Bikeshare bike to a bike shop during his lunch break, instead of taking a taxi.


Union Station/Columbus Circle/Mass Ave




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Old 09-23-10, 02:15 PM
  #438  
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It is indeed the largest bike share program in the US. It's a foothold. Now we start kicking francophone ass.

"We are staking our claim," said Fenty. "And we are going after Montréal and anywhere else in the country -- in the world! -- that may have a little bit more bicycles than we."

Fenty has been a great mayor for cyclists, if a bit confused on the location of Montreal.

21st and NH. Her first day, but she plans to use bikeshare as her primary mode of commuting to work. She has a bike but it's broken. She mentioned another bike that was stolen.


This gentleman has a message, but it's hard to understand. I've spoken to him before. I thought he was indigent, but he was on foot then. Before he started riding a Cannondale Scalpel and before he strapped ~$600 worth of iPod nanos to his head. I think he's shooting video with the nanos.


Cigar smoker. I saw him mounting his bike near JR Cigars at 1730 L St, before heading off in a cloud of smoke.

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Old 09-23-10, 02:39 PM
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I like the backlit smoke and the techno rabble is interesting, but I'd like to see more pictures of attractive women on bikes!

Just my thought for the day...
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Old 09-23-10, 03:20 PM
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You've made that very clear.

Women often react badly to strangers taking their pictures, and I'm about as strange as they come.

I've become a bit shy about pointing the camera at women and a lot of the ones I do shoot are scowling at me.

I encountered a couple of hot chicks on bikes today and gave chase, but they were too fast! Getting dropped by girls. Sigh. Getting old sucks.

I'll try harder to get the girls to smile and I'll post pictures of that if I get it in the frame, and somewhat in focus.

I didn't think about it until now, but the SW corner of 18th and L NW that you can see in the background of the cigar smoker picture is a hangout for messengers, if you can see past the brunette in the gray dress and her redhead friend, not that you'd want to.

I once saw a coworker, a moped rider, riding on the sidewalk, filming a woman's backside as she walked ahead of him. I don't want to be that guy.

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Old 09-23-10, 05:42 PM
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I cropped the pudgy white male pedestrians out of the last picture so the fit females would be more noticeable. I've gotten sloppy and sometimes forget to hone in on the subject matter.
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Old 09-23-10, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by qmsdc15
I cropped the pudgy white male pedestrians out of the last picture so the fit females would be more noticeable. I've gotten sloppy and sometimes forget to hone in on the subject matter.
Hey, the picture works MUCH better composition-wise and there's the plus of the chic babes in the background. You work with a P&S camera, right? Tough to make those dance.

And, no I don't want you or me to be that guy. Can't help but share the appreciation for the subject but there is a line, somewhere.

Have you pictured your rig in this thread? Your work rig not the personal rides.
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Old 09-23-10, 06:59 PM
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Yes, a point and shoot, but that's what I do. Point and shoot. I don't have time to change lenses. A real camera would be too big to pull out of my chest harness on the fly. Many of these pictures are taken from the saddle of my bike.

My favorite recent picture of my new truck. I post pictures of my work bike in the utility forum.


Stuck in traffic. It looks like I'm in the slow lane here, but the image is reversed!

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Old 09-23-10, 10:06 PM
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I moved to DC a few months ago and have been commuting to GWU from Anacostia. I finally recorded a typical commute (for the record, I'm not the guy in the picture above with the Ipods stuck to his head).

https://www.vimeo.com/15241639#
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Old 09-24-10, 02:51 PM
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Cool video, convert! I guess they don't teach Driver's Ed in high schools anymore...

K Street


9th Street. She smiled which caused me to flinch. So I got a "...smile... and somewhat in focus." as promised
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Old 09-24-10, 07:49 PM
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Wish I had a camera for the rider I saw on my block a few days ago. Shimano IGH, either a dynohub or front drum brake, and with drop bars and Hubbub bar end adapter for the IGH's twist shifter. There gets to be a point where someone's bike shows how much they've gotten into the equipment side of things, and a bike like this one is definitely in the "I've done my research" category.
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Old 09-25-10, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeFor
The way I see it: She mods the Dahon within inches of its original life to make it into a sharply dialed-in urban assault tool and then rides it in a dress and flip-flops.
Sort of like ordering a triple cheeseburger with extra mayo and a diet coke...
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Old 09-27-10, 01:48 PM
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Of course the Diet Coke is so you can splurge on the other. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!
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Old 09-27-10, 03:51 PM
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Rainy day grocery run. 15th and P
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Old 09-27-10, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Consularrider
Of course the Diet Coke is so you can splurge on the other. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!
Caffeine increases metabolism, so that's negative calories! Get the fries!
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