Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bikeshare Day 1

I received my key for Capital Bikeshare a few weeks ago but have been holding out on activating it until I had set plans to ride. The one year membership begins the day you activate your key. Well, today I ended up working until 5:50 but wanted to have time to run after work. So before leaving, I signed into Capital Bikeshare's site, activated my key, and grabbed the helmet I have stashed under my desk for just such an occasion. I walked across the street and stuck my key in, watching the light change from orange to green, and struggled a little bit to pull the bike out of it's locked stand.

Bike Station, Van Ness

I rode .7 miles south on the sidewalk and it was efficient but it was quite an adjustment from Lucy. As expected, it was like riding a beach cruiser but a little weirder. The seat is really low to the ground, which is good for riding in skirts, and the handlebars are really high so you are basically sitting upright. The wheels are small and really thick so it feels pretty heavy to ride. There are three gears so you can't get going too fast. All these features make the bike safer and easier for the average person to ride, and they make it possible to do so in a suit or a skirt. But it did feel kind of hard to balance in the front because of the handlebar height and their distance from the front wheel. This might just be me, used to a road bike, but I'll adjust. I don't think I'll adjust, however, to the lack of speed and, therefore, can't imagine being comfortable riding on the street, especially during rush hour. But, come to think of it, I rarely see these bikes ridden on sidewalks. I hope it's not too illegal but, like a true girl scout, I'll put [my] safety first.

Power suit, power bike

I was surprisingly glad to be rained on as I rode home. I wondered how silly I looked riding so upright in my sunflower skirt and flip flops, with a turquoise helmet that's better suited for a twelve year old on my head. I locked the bike by the library and crossed the street to my apartment, amazed to be home within five minutes of leaving work.

Cleveland Park Library

I could definitely get used to this.

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