Paul Andrews

Daily Roundup: Bike sharing, Sea Otter, Robb on Why Ride?

In Bicycling, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking on April 17, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Bike sharing in Denver? From Bicycle Retailer: “Will 65 kiosks housing 1,000 bikes alter this sprawling Western city’s attitude toward bicycles and commuting?” Bike sharing clearly is a popular idea, the main challenge being “shrinkage” (theft). Even when the bikes are painted yellow, as in Portland, or used in densely urban areas, as in Paris, they tend to just go away. Trek is putting up the bikes for this experiment, and at 35 to 40 pounds they’re clearly not sexy items. It will be interesting to see how they fare.

One thing that could aid in promoting bike sharing, which basically involves paying a fee to take a bike from a rack, then returning the bike to a rack at the rider’s destination, is transponder technology. Transponders are satellite or other wireless-enabled devices that provide tracking capability for their hosts. The tech may not be quite there for bikes (in terms of power source, robustness and protection against disabling or removal), but is improving all the time. If there were a way to monitor independently the movements of shared bikes, the shrinkage rate might diminish. At the very least, abandoned bikes could be recovered.

Some good sources for Sea Otter coverage. MTBR.com has its own queue, Cyclelicious has the wonderfully named Yokota Fritz on the case (altho she was a bit, ahem, on the fritz last night), Velo News is out and about and of course the site’s own news team is all over. And there’s this from the Monterey County Herald.

Don’t forget the Sea Otter hash at Twitter, #seaotter. I’m twittering as well from @BikeIntel.

Why ride? Robb at Mountain Biking by 109 says it all. Wish you were here at Sea Otter bro!

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