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Thread: Proposed Capital Bikeshare Locations opposed by Bluemont Civic Association - vote

  1. #91
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    COST

    Obviously, on CaBi, I don't have to worry about bike maintenance costs, other than the annual membership fee (which has the shared system costs built in). I don't have to replace tires, tubes, cables, brakes, brake pads, chains, cassettes or derailleurs. I don't have to change seat pads or brake levers.

    If I choose to ride in the rain, it's almost always on CaBi. It's a hassle with a personal bike, because I have to wipe down and clean/lubricate the chain immediately afterward. On CaBi, I don't have to do anything different with the bike, other than wiping off the seat before I ride. The CaBi bike is going to be out in the rain anyway, whether I'm riding it or not. So my trips in the rain won't add extra water damage to the bike. (The bikes have long fenders and the drive train is mostly covered up. But maybe riding might cause some extra water to get into some areas of the bike. I don't know, but I do know those bikes are covered up and sealed much more than most bikes are.)

    Sometimes I go over the 30-min. limit, but not too often. As long as I don't do this too frequently, I don't mind. I figure that it's a way of paying a little extra into the system. CaBi is a good deal for me, and for most members, so $10-15 a year in over-limit fees is OK with me.

    CaBi saves a lot of money by saving on Metro or driving/taxi expenses, without the extra bike maintenance costs of riding a personal bike all the time. I've read some of the threads here about how much some people spend on bike maintenance every year. I have very few of those costs. I only ride the tri bike a few months of the year at most, and just for some of the long rides and tempo sessions during those months. Even then, I still use CaBi for commuting, for errands, for recovery rides and for lazy tourist-type rides.


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    If I'm training for a race or event, I should probably spend more time on the race bike. But I've realized that I'm not a professional athlete and I'm not going to be winning any races or age group awards, so I'm not too concerned about dialing in my fitness specifically on the race bike. Perhaps if I sign up for a longer race again in the future, I will temporarily switch to doing more riding on the race bike. But I would also be tempted to add those extra hours on the race bike indoors, on a bike trainer. It's easier to do tempo and speed workouts indoors, because you can just ride, without having to worry about traffic, intersections, other hazards and traffic lights. It's more efficient and apart from the bike handling skills, it's actually better for your fitness, to train indoors. It's also safer, because there are more risks if you are doing fast rides outdoors. I would still ride outside a lot, but it would be my usual mix of CaBi and the mountain bike (which is a little faster than CaBi, but not that much faster).

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    I recognize that not everyone can do this. If you don't live near and work near an area with bike stations, this won't work. Fortunately, I do live and work near bike stations. Many people in Arlington and DC do as well. More and more people find CaBi to be convenient, as the system continues to be expanded. Likewise in Alexandria and Montgomery County (and maybe one day in Prince George's and Fairfax counties, and Falls Church city).

    I had both of my bikes before CaBi started. When I read about it, I wasn't sure why I would need to sign up. But I thought about it and decided to sign up within a week after the system first started. Now it has become a big part of my cycling routine.

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  3. #92
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    Thanks, Potomac. I guess if you do the numbers, the cost factor makes sense. That's not immediately obvious since you pay to use CaBi but not to ride your own bike. Maybe it's something for CaBi to use with marketing.

  4. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
    That's not immediately obvious since you pay to use CaBi but not to ride your own bike.
    But it's a one-time fee, so it doesn't really cost anything to ride once you've paid it. I just renewed (early) to get the $75 annual rate and am now paid through November of 2016. Any rides I take for the next 18 months at this point are essentially free (unless I go over the 30 mins). Riding my own bikes also feels free, but I'm incurring future costs through depreciation and maintenance that I don't incur on CaBi.

    Fuel costs (food) may be slightly higher on CaBi, since it's a heavier bike and requires more energy to move over the same distance.

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  6. #94
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    But moving all that extra weight of the CaBi bikes increases the workout, despite the slow speeds. (Someone riding on a stationary bike or trainer can be burning a lot of calories without moving forward at all.) Meaning that long-term health costs are likely to go down slightly. Or a lot.

    While most of the regulars here are likely to be riding a lot, no matter what bike they have, CaBi can get formerly inactive people moving, on active transportation. If they keep up with it, even on a moderate program, their long-term healthcare costs can decrease significantly. Good for them and good for everyone else (because all medical costs are ultimately shared, through public and private insurance programs or ER subsidization).

    Some back-of-the-envelope calculations: It's estimated that junk food diets and sedentary lifestyles cost the U.S. $190-200 billion (with a "b") a year in avoidable healthcare costs (because those lead to much greater rates of diabetes, early-onset heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.). Plus it's now thought that Alzheimer's is really best described as diabetes type 3, which means that it too is affected by junk food diets and sedentary living. Alzheimer's costs the U.S. $200-250 billion a year. So the total tab for junk food diets and sedentary living could be anywhere from $400-450 billion a year. Of the 318 million people in the U.S., about 245 million (more or less) are adults (18 and over). Divide the estimated extra health costs by the number of adults and you end up with as much as $1,800+ per adult per year. Perhaps not all of those costs are truly avoidable, but a big percentage of it is. That's a lot of money.

    Bikeshare by itself won't transform the culture overnight, but it can play a useful role, in normalizing the idea that adults can and should be active, and that it's possible to fit such activity into a busy weekly schedule, while saving money in the short term as well.
    Last edited by PotomacCyclist; 04-28-2015 at 10:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    But it's a one-time fee, so it doesn't really cost anything to ride once you've paid it. I just renewed (early) to get the $75 annual rate and am now paid through November of 2016. Any rides I take for the next 18 months at this point are essentially free (unless I go over the 30 mins). Riding my own bikes also feels free, but I'm incurring future costs through depreciation and maintenance that I don't incur on CaBi.
    Yeah, that makes even more sense. I was thinking about the hourly rate rather than membership rate.

  8. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by PotomacCyclist View Post
    Bikeshare by itself won't transform the culture overnight, but it can play a useful role, in normalizing the idea that adults can and should be active, and that it's possible to fit such activity into a busy weekly schedule, while saving money in the short term as well.
    You don't have to sell me on bikeshare, i was just intrigued that you ride it so often despite owning two bikes.

  9. #97
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    I also forgot to mention the comfort factor, which is separate from the convenience element but related. I can ride around and get a lot of exercise on CaBi, whether I'm commuting or doing some other type of ride, but I don't feel like I'm contorted into an unnatural position as I am on the tri bike. Even on the MTB, it takes a few minutes before I get used to the more rickety feeling of not having the stability of the CaBi bike.

    I wouldn't say that the wide seats are good for really long rides, but for shorter rides, the upright position is comfortable. (I have done a few multi-hour rides on CaBi, during off-peak hours. I dock and undock the bike to avoid per-ride fees. I never do this during rush hour. I think I've ridden as long as 3 hours on CaBi.)

  10. #98
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    I'll add that I always wear a helmet on the tri or mountain bike. I wear a helmet most of the time on CaBi too, but not always on some short trips. Those tend to be in low-traffic areas or at low-traffic times of the day.

  11. #99
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    I too tend to use CaBi instead of my own bicycles whenever my destinations are in CaBi territory. I would tell you why, but PotomacCyclist already hit all of my reasons and then some

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