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DCLiz
08-30-2015, 09:58 PM
"Man Takes NY Rental Commuter Bike on Cross-Country Trip"
http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/national-international/Man-Plans-to-Ride-Citi-Bike-Across-the-Country-323359341.html

PotomacCyclist
08-31-2015, 12:16 AM
I saw that guy at the Jefferson Memorial a couple weeks ago. It appears that the bike is considered stolen or lost at this point, officially. He's not supposed to be taking a bikeshare bike out for multiday trips, let alone cross-country rides. He should have made a formal arrangement with Citi Bike before doing this.

The way he did it shows that he feels entitled to do what he wants and that standard rules don't apply to him. I don't think this respects the Citi Bike organization or the idea of bikeshare at all, if someone can just take one of the bikes semi-permanently if they feel like it. The whole point is to have the bikes be available for other users within a reasonable time period. Maybe some of the people on the forum don't care about it because they never use bikeshare. While one individual bike may not have a significant effect on a large system like Citi Bike NY, it's the idea that irritates me. Especially on days when I'm searching all around downtown for a bike.

http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?4659-Post-your-ride-pics&p=122312#post122312

http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?4659-Post-your-ride-pics&p=122410#post122410

Tim Kelley
08-31-2015, 08:47 AM
Here's his blog: http://www.countribike.com/

cvcalhoun
08-31-2015, 09:00 AM
I saw that guy at the Jefferson Memorial a couple weeks ago. It appears that the bike is considered stolen or lost at this point, officially. He's not supposed to be taking a bikeshare bike out for multiday trips, let alone cross-country rides. He should have made a formal arrangement with Citi Bike before doing this.

The way he did it shows that he feels entitled to do what he wants and that standard rules don't apply to him. I don't think this respects the Citi Bike organization or the idea of bikeshare at all, if someone can just take one of the bikes semi-permanently if they feel like it. The whole point is to have the bikes be available for other users within a reasonable time period. Maybe some of the people on the forum don't care about it because they never use bikeshare. While one individual bike may not have a significant effect on a large system like Citi Bike NY, it's the idea that irritates me. Especially on days when I'm searching all around downtown for a bike.

http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?4659-Post-your-ride-pics&p=122312#post122312

http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?4659-Post-your-ride-pics&p=122410#post122410
Presumably, the reason the maximum is $1,200 is because that's the cost of replacing the bike, including administrative costs of ordering a new one, plus a penalty for the inconvenience. So I don't know that anyone is hurt by his taking the bike.

But the whole thing is a bit bizarre. If he wanted to publicize Citibikes, you'd think he could have worked something out with them. If he just wanted a heavy bike, he could have gotten one for less than $1,200.

Crickey7
08-31-2015, 09:03 AM
The man was clearly having a personal crisis. If this is the worst that comes out of it, I'm good with that.

PotomacCyclist
08-31-2015, 07:29 PM
Presumably, the reason the maximum is $1,200 is because that's the cost of replacing the bike, including administrative costs of ordering a new one, plus a penalty for the inconvenience. So I don't know that anyone is hurt by his taking the bike.

But the whole thing is a bit bizarre. If he wanted to publicize Citibikes, you'd think he could have worked something out with them. If he just wanted a heavy bike, he could have gotten one for less than $1,200.

If he thinks he's supporting the idea of bikeshare, he is mistaken.

Raymo853
09-01-2015, 08:06 AM
If he thinks he's supporting the idea of bikeshare, he is mistaken.

He is just trying to get famous doing something fashionable with a fake bohemian flair to it. It will get him a little fame, laid a lot when he gets back to NYC.

jrenaut
09-01-2015, 08:21 AM
Isn't taking stolen property across state lines a felony?

PotomacCyclist
09-01-2015, 08:31 AM
It appears that only applies if the goods or money are valued at $5,000 or more. But that's just a number. He has broken the spirit of that law as well as the idea of bikeshare in general. Even worse when he is publicizing his actions. He is promoting the idea that people can just take bikeshare bikes permanently, at any time, as long as they pay the fees. That's not OK with me or to any other regular users. At least it shouldn't be. If this practice ever becomes commonplace, it would have a significant negative effect on the system. It's not a simple matter to get replacement bikes. Look at how long it has taken for Capital Bikeshare to get new bikes for expansion. A year? Two years? Cities can't just snap their fingers and get new bikes overnight.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2314

Crickey7
09-01-2015, 08:53 AM
The hefty charges would seem to be a sufficient deterrent to avoid many copying his actions.

83(b)
09-01-2015, 09:18 AM
Doesn't it seem like a terrible idea to take a bike on a cross country trip when none of the parts are user serviceable? I don't think you can so much as adjust the brakes or change a flat tire on a CaBi/CitiBike without specialized tools.

PotomacCyclist
09-01-2015, 07:15 PM
The hefty charges would seem to be a sufficient deterrent to avoid many copying his actions.

He's still flaunting the basic idea of bikeshare, whether he thinks he is or not, that the bikes are supposed to be available for other users within a short timeframe.

PotomacCyclist
09-01-2015, 07:26 PM
Doesn't it seem like a terrible idea to take a bike on a cross country trip when none of the parts are user serviceable? I don't think you can so much as adjust the brakes or change a flat tire on a CaBi/CitiBike without specialized tools.

I don't think he thought this through too much. You're correct that Bixi/bikeshare bikes are not designed to be user-serviceable. That helps to prevent vandalism.

Apart from the fact that he is directly contradicting the basic spirit and idea of bikeshare, I kind of get irritated when people do these endurance or distance-type stunts without much thought or planning, like the very obese fellow mentioned in a different thread, who is trying to ride across the country despite not being in shape at all and having little idea of what he is doing. (It's good for people to get active, but trying to do a cross-country bike ride as one of your first exercise activities and with almost no preparation is foolish.)

I used to see several of these people on running forums, where people would do weird or excessive things just to get attention, not because they were doing anything interesting or worthy. (One guy had run an ultramarathon, then became sedentary and overweight again. Then suddenly he went on this manic campaign and started posting about it everywhere, even "writing" a self-published book, which borrowed other people's forum posts. He said he HAD to do an ultra in the next 90 days or whatever it was. There was no reason for the 90-day schedule, other than he thought it might sell books. He implied that he had never done an ultramarathon before. He was popping pills left and right because he was putting his body under way too much stress for his current fitness level. Even if he managed to complete his goal, so what? All he did was provide an example of someone abusing drugs to complete a fitness challenge. Doesn't matter if the drugs were legal. Abuse of NSAIDs are a widespread problem, especially among runners.)

Back to the Citi Bike guy, I didn't really think much of it when I saw him at the Tidal Basin. I had read the CaBi article about Montreal, that they had sample bikes in the paint designs of several other bikeshare systems across the continent as part of the Montreal Bixi system. So when I saw the Citi Bike here, I thought it might have been a CaBi promotion of fellow bikeshare systems. Or maybe there was a bike advocacy convention in town and Citi Bike had brought one of their bikes to promote their system in DC. Something like that.

But when I thought about it a little more, it bothered me. I don't think about it that much except when it pops up here on the forum. Do I think his personal quest will destroy Citi Bike or bikeshare in general? No, I've never said that. But I do think it's wrong in multiple ways. If you think of bikeshare as public transportation, would it be OK to remove part of a bus or subway transit system, even though you reimburse the system for the loss? Say you really like a seat on a subway car, so you remove it. Then you pay for it at the station kiosk. Would that be a problem? If so, why? If not, why? Or what about removing a bench at a bus stop? Is it only acceptable if the person who does it is relatively wealthy? Or at least able to pay for the cost of the damage or the stolen items?