The Chainlink

Not So Epic Story of "Do the Divvy" Ride by Kathy Schubert

I listed my Do the Divvy ride on The Chainlink and Chicago Cycling Club as an invitation to meet in my yard for coffee and bagels, walk a block to sign out a Divvy bike, and ride 13.5 miles.  We learned quite a few things from this experience.
  1. Don't lose your debit card if you have taken a bike out for just a 24 hour period.  You need it to claim the bike and then to get a new code every 30 minutes when you check it in.  One of our riders lost hers and had to abandon the Divvy bike, close out her account and meet us on her own bike later.
  2. We learned that she is the unofficial recorder of the brown signs that name honorary streets and she plans to lead a ride with explanations of the names of the people on the signs...of which there are hundreds.
  3. It's hard to pull out the Divvy bike from the stand.  If you grab the seat and forget everything else in your hand and lift up you can do it.  
  4. It's hard to push in the Divvy bike into the stand.  Just get really angry and pretend you're mad at the bike and you can do it.
  5. Forget about not having anything but 3 very easy gears.  You can climb hills, but where are there any hills in Chicago?  If you want to go faster, you just have to pedal furiously.
  6. It's hard to attach a water bottle to the bike since it's actually not allowed to attach anything to the bike except on the handlebars.   I devised a bag with a plastic file box and a tall square box from fertilizer to hold the bottle.  It's not permanently attached, but I can reach in while riding and extract the bottle. 
  7. Unless you're stronger than I, you can't attach an 18 lb. dog in a bag to the basket.  So Suzy Schnauzer stayed at home this time.
  8. It's hard to remember when 30 minutes will be up.  I tried the timer on my Iphone, but going over the potholes caused the timer to turn off too many times.  What I'm going to try next is a little 30 minute kitchen timer like they use at ATI my therapy place.  
  9. It's easier to use a Divvy if it's for a repetitive distance.  Then you know where you have to check in.  I pre-rode our 13.5 mile ride 3 times before I was sure we wouldn't incur overages.   And we checked our bikes in six times.
10.  There's a marvelous street peddler at the Divvy station at Christiana and Lawrence.  I purchased a piece of Jackfruit from him.   Here's a photo of the whole Jackfruit.  He sold me a piece for $5.00 plus strawberries for $1.00, a bunch of 8 bananas for $1.00  and 6 large peaches for $2.00. 


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Comment by Sherry on November 8, 2016 at 1:52pm
You could just wear a watch and look at the time? You have to remember when you started, though, or look at your ticket. I never wear a watch anymore except when I'm riding bike-share. It's so true about getting the bikes in and out, ha ha! Really have to yank and slam them. They are built tough, though! Nice story.
Comment by Anne Alt on August 29, 2016 at 9:23am

Lifting up on the seat makes it easier to pull the Divvy bike out of the dock or slide it back in.

I figured out a way to carry a water bottle with the right configuration of stuff inside a bag in the front basket.  

If you carry the smart phone on your body, it usually eliminates the problem of jarring potholes turning your timer off.

Using one of the apps that interfaces with the Divvy system makes it a lot easier to figure out the closest station with available bikes or docks.

I learned from lots of experience.

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