View Full Version : Bikeshare = Magical Appearing/Disappearing "Second Bike"

11-01-2010, 08:44 PM
At first I was skeptical of Capital Bikeshare's usefulness to me, since I usually ride everywhere anyways. Like many of you, I like riding my own bike, kind of prefer my own setup, etc, so I really wasn't sure how - of if - this would be any use to me.

But the new stations started appearing everywhere, and the blogosphere buzz picked up a little bit, so I took another look. For $50 a year, I figured "what the heck?" and ordered a membership. This past week I've tried it out for the first few times, logging five short trips. A few reactions:

--This is GREAT! I really underestimated how bikeshare _could fit_ into my normal routine. I really didn't figure out the power and flexibility it offers, picking up a bike in one place and dropping it off at another. Some examples:
--Commuting on days where I only want to ride one-way - because of weather, plans after work, waking up late, etc. etc.
--Going somewhere where I don't want to lock up (fear of theft, no facilities, etc), or where I don't want to ride home (meeting friends, traveling in a group afterwards, etc). I can just go somewhere and not have to worry about the return trip. It's amazing.
--When my plans change at the last minute, and I need flexibility. Just go a few blocks, and there's a bikeshare rack.
--Making movements that are an annoying metro ride -- situations where it's a little too short to metro, or a bad/uncertain transfer, or a little too long to walk, or "maybe a bus would work but I don't know the schedule." Like Judiciary Square to Logan Circle, or Eastern Market to Union Station -- bikeshare is perfect for this.
--Accessing places without a metro stop, like Logan Circle, Georgetown, H St.
--I wouldn't want to ride more than 30 minutes anyways. The bikes aren't geared high enough for anything longer than 2-3 miles. For longer distances, I'd want my road bike.
--Could the next round of bikes have one higher gear? Without a high gear, I get nervous riding on busy/fast roads since I can't keep up.
--Riding the bikes is more like being a fast pedestrian than a slow car. I sometimes forget a helmet, but end up riding slowly and sometimes on sidewalks.
--This works well because my life is oriented around DC (and Arlington some). If I lived in Fairfax or PG county, it wouldn't be so great.
--The bikes are a little goofy looking, but who cares?
--Fifty bucks a year is a great deal. That's like a buck a week to have access to an entirely new, separate transportation network.

Bikeshare is like a magical "second bike" that appears whenever and where you want it, and disappears whenever you want it so you can walk away. They just need a 4th gear! Go out and try it!