Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bikesharing: try it.

My dad is 67 years old. He hasn't owned a bike for at least 37 years (that's as long as I've known him). That's him in the photo, on his first Capital Bikeshare ride, a few months back.

I got this note from him today:

On Monday I needed to mail a package. The Cleveland Park Post office had a long line, so I walked down the block to the Capital Bikeshare station at Newark St and Connecticut Ave. I took out a bike, put my package on the rack, and rode downtown, docking the bike at the 18th and M St NW station. The Post Office at 1800 M St NW is only a few hundred feet from the Bikeshare station, and there was no line. Package sent: check.
I got back on a bike and rode down to the station at 21st and Eye Streets, just around the corner from my barber. Haircut: check.
I got back on a bike and rode to the station at 25th St and Pennsylvania Ave NW. I bought lunch at Trader Joe’s, then walked one and a half blocks to my office to eat and do a little work. Check. Check.
I walked back to 25th and Pennsylvania Ave, took out another bike and rode to 19th and L Streets. I bought a few things at Staples, which is across the street from the Bikeshare station on the corner.
Back on the bike, I rode to the Dupont Circle station. I took Metrorail up to Tenleytown to complete my last errand, and I took the train home to Cleveland Park. I didn't know there was a Capital Bikeshare station in Tenleytown--I could have ridden back to Cleveland Park--I wish I'd known... [Ahem, Dad, I think you can see the station from the top of the escalator. -David] Anyway, it was a fabulous day!
Here's a map showing his errands:

View Dad's errands, Jan 3, 2011 in a larger map

I'm excited that my dad is excited about bikesharing. I think we should all be excited about bikesharing.

I know bikesharing doesn't replace personally-owned bicycles, but it can complement them.

And if you're not already a convert to The Way of The Bicycle, bikesharing might just move you down that road, so to speak--a sort of gateway drug, in a good way.


Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing. My mom grew up in DC and I've always loved that city. I'm glad Bikeshare is there now.

Niklas Hallberg said...

Thanks for the story. I'm rooting for bikeshares to work around the US. I am going to try to schedule a vacation to DC partly to use the bikeshare.

Anonymous said...

My mom visited DC in the fall. We convinced her, after much effort, to try bikeshare with us. She was very nervous about riding in the street with traffic but after a few rides she didn't want to get around by any other mode (walking, metro, taxi). She loved the simplicity of the bikes: three internal gears, always-on lights, and adjustable seats; the ease and quickness of getting around the city; and, the convenient locations of the stations.

After returning home she promptly decided that she would buy a bike for the first time in 25 years. She plans to buy a new three-speed Linus when Spring comes to Michigan.

oboe said...

Having a CaBi membership in DC is like having a $75 per year "cab pass". Whenever I would've been hailing a cab a year or two ago, now I just grab a bike.

BW said...

Capital Bikeshare was my gateway drug. I commute on my own bike now, but I still use Bikeshare for other errands. It's nice to not have to worry about locking up. And I'd gladly pay $75 a year as a charitable contribution for such a worthy cause.