Thursday, April 19, 2018

18 Observations After Trying St. Louis' Bike Share for the First Time

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 6:52 AM

click to enlarge DANNY WICENTOWSKI
Chris Ward, DJ for KDHX's loudQUIETloud program, which airs Monday nights at 11 p.m., recently took one of the city's brand spankin' new ride-sharing bikes for a ride, noting his observations along the way.

An RFT reader, he allowed us to publish these thoughts, which you can read in their only lightly edited glory below:

  • "Who even am I now" crossed my mind the first ten minutes, and again as I was eating my yogurt in the park.
  • It plays a little song when you unlock it and it makes me very happy.
  • I don't know if the mood towards them will change, but on the first sunny day everyone wanted to stop and ask questions and I haven't seen people this social and happy since Pokemon Go came out. It was quite nice.
  • It's fun to ring your little bell at people. It is almost impossible for people not to smile or laugh when you ring that thing. I felt like a little French gentleman.
  • A frantic, caught-off-guard elderly security guard at Citygarden hoofed it over to me to say, "Please walk your bike through here. These things...I wasn't expecting these things, I just...OK, just please walk it through here."
  • I couldn't get the QR scan to work, but the number unlock works just fine.
  • A guy taking a selfie on his bike yelled at me, "HEY MAN! YOU KNOW YOU CAN ADJUST THE SEAT?" and excitedly showed me how to do that. Then said "I'm 'working from home today' HA HA HA HA" and rode off.
  • I realized I have NO idea where to ride my bike downtown; it's already dangerous as it is to walk downtown with so much traffic and construction and bad crosswalks that say "walk" when cars are turning into you on green. I was in the road sometimes, sometimes on the sidewalk. I chose to just yell "There are no rules, look out, everyone!!!" every minute or so.
  • Sure, you CAN leave them anywhere but it seems better etiquette to leave them in places where other bikes are, or where bus stops and train exits are instead.

  • The app tells you how many calories and how much carbon you saved per session.
  • The GPS isn't always accurate...a few bikes were not where they said they were at all. I basically just had to keep my eyes open until I saw a bunch of them.
  • There are apparently Treasure Hunt events, which sounds fun.
  • There are going to be lots of fun "brand opportunities" with these for companies and events.
  • If I ever encounter Jamie Allman on the street, I will ring my bell and yell “OI! You’re a shit broadcaster, and you’ll never be as good as me!” and ride off laughing. [Editor's note: Ward's disdain for Allman is all-consuming, and pre-dates Allman's stated interest in shoving things up kids' asses. For a full explanation, watch this insane video of Ward taking twenty minutes at the top of his KDHX show to gloat about Allman's downfall while wearing a suit.]
  • They're single-speed bikes, so they aren't great for really long distances but good for a little exercise.
  • It's hard for me to look around now without thinking of weird places I could leave my bike.
  • When convention season hits downtown, it's going to be worse than usual.
  • Seems like a good thing for the city as long as we don't ruin it ourselves. Which ... when have PEOPLE ever ruined a good thing?

    [Editor's note: We edited this story after it was published to reflect the fact that these are single-speed bikes, not fixed gear ones, which one commenter noted would be "a hilarious, blood soaked disaster." We regret the error.]

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