Chicago bike sharing will be known as Divvy, be Chicago flag blue

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I activated my fob and used Cyclefinder to find bikes near me last evening. My hubby and I went for a short joyride in the neighborhood yesterday, and then I rode one in to work today. The bikes are like tanks: Very stable, smooth, comfortable. I just ride right over bumps and potholes that I would avoid with my thinner-tire bike. The one minor thing is that undocking is a little tricky. It's hard to tell when the bike is actually released, even when the green light goes on, and it's a little hard to get it out of its stall. Redocking is very easy. Lots of people asked questions en route, including other bike riders, pedestrians, and even a CTA bus driver (who asked me "Is that one of those motor bikes?").

Sigh.  I will step forward as the first dummy who lost his Divvy key before even using it once (I think I'm actually taking a bullet for a certain small person in my household, but that's ok).  Replacement fee is quite reasonable, just hoping I don't need to visit this page again.

https://divvybikes.com/user-agreement#section_three

Michelle Stenzel said:

The bikes are like tanks: Very stable, smooth, comfortable. I just ride right over bumps and potholes that I would avoid with my thinner-tire bike. The one minor thing is that undocking is a little tricky. It's hard to tell when the bike is actually released, even when the green light goes on, and it's a little hard to get it out of its stall.

They are great bikes to have on hand during iffy weather. I own a bike with fenders, but the Bixi bikes have mud guards and skirt guards and the works.

Pro tip on undocking: lift the seat up and it'll pop out.


Sarah D. 1-3.3 said:

Like any carsharing or bikesharing situation, you contact Divvy about your accident/breakdown, and they adjust the rates based on the circumstances. Molehills. 

Yup! I haven't tried this (now that I think about it, I should have on at least one occasion), but I've heard multiple stories of people who were "dockblocked" (can't find an empty dock), brought the bike home, called it in, and had an entire overnight stay with the bike credited. If there's a mechanical problem, bring it back to a dock and report it. If it takes a while to get to a dock, call in immediately and customer service will stop the clock. "Molehills" :)

As mentioned by others, the crash rate is vanishingly low with bike share bikes. If something happens, call immediately and they'll work something out.

When I took my first Divvy ride (preview event, which was punctuated by a t-storm with heavy rain), I immediately appreciated the effectiveness of the fenders. No splattering from the tires. That's a beautiful thing.

I saw a lot of Divvys on the streets yesterday.  They had installed a new Divvy station at Michigan and East Lake Shore Drive, pretty much blocking the pedestrian area from the north side of ELSD to Michigan btw.

Lots of Divvys cruising around Streeterville.  These are not experienced riders.  Lots of slow swervers splitting lanes.  I saw one nearly hit a bus.  I saw another group of riders on the sidewalks.  Divvy seems to be putting a lot of clueless riders on the streets. 

I'm going to make a point to Divvy today! I was in Denver last weekend and used their B-Cycle bikes, they worked great.

Also, Re: the noobs on Divvy bikes - this is the final element of the evil plan to put everyone on a bike a la Agenda 21 :)

Hi Juan,

NYC just launched CitiBike a little over a month ago. You may find this article interesting: 

http://www.streetsblog.org/2013/07/03/the-citi-bike-story-no-ones-t...

I have seen a lot of Divvy bikes in Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and on the east end of Wicker Park.  Most of the riders I have seen seem to be riding just like the rest of us.  Of course, that is good news and bad news since some of the rest of us are a little scary on bikes! :-)

Was driving down Roosevelt (yes, in a car) this morning, and saw a Divvy station on the south side of the street at Clinton.  It seemed to be about 1/2 full, so I suppose that people are using that station.

My dissent has been officially monitored.

But really, you don't have to pull up someone's blog from another city to try to disprove a negative opinion.  I'm just telling a story about how I saw Divvys being used in a touristy area.  I realize tour job is PR but don't get em all bunched up when the negative inevitable happens.  We share our impressions on this forum.

Thanks anyhow giving me safety data on a one month old program.


Elliot Greenberger (Divvy) said:

Hi Juan,

NYC just launched CitiBike a little over a month ago. You may find this article interesting: 

http://www.streetsblog.org/2013/07/03/the-citi-bike-story-no-ones-t...

FWIW, Capital Bikeshare ("CaBi") has been up and running for about 2.5 years now (30X longer than Citibike) and has carried 4+ million riders, many of whom have been tourists and/or infrequent bicyclists. There are some here who will tell you that CaBi riders are worse than riders on their own bikes, but this has not been borne out in the statistics. Injury rates per million rides are much lower for CaBi riders than for cyclists as a whole: as of May, about 70 bikes had been totaled, so 99.99825% of trips ended happily. Equally notable, zero head injuries or fatalities have resulted, even though most users do NOT wear helmets.

To reiterate from my infamously snarky comment above, bike sharing has worked fine for billions of rides by millions of people in hundreds of cities around the world. It's not going to fail here.

No one is saying it is going to fail here.  But we certainly have to watch out for the drum beats of those that oppose.  At least one dive bar in Bucktown, for example, is actively screaming about the Divvy rack taking out a number of "free" parking spaces in front of the bar.   Now it would seem to me that we don't want to encourage parking (free or otherwise) in front of bars, but this is the kind of thing that can throw more sticks into the wheels.

Oh, and the "zero head injury" claim for capital bike share.... it depends on how you define the term.  

payton said:

FWIW, Capital Bikeshare ("CaBi") has been up and running for about 2.5 years now (30X longer than Citibike) and has carried 4+ million riders, many of whom have been tourists and/or infrequent bicyclists. There are some here who will tell you that CaBi riders are worse than riders on their own bikes, but this has not been borne out in the statistics. Injury rates per million rides are much lower for CaBi riders than for cyclists as a whole: as of May, about 70 bikes had been totaled, so 99.99825% of trips ended happily. Equally notable, zero head injuries or fatalities have resulted, even though most users do NOT wear helmets.

To reiterate from my infamously snarky comment above, bike sharing has worked fine for billions of rides by millions of people in hundreds of cities around the world. It's not going to fail here.

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