Thursday, April 28, 2011

BikeShare/SharedBites


I have two new loves that I thought I'd share with you (all three of you), since it suddenly occurred to me that there may be people in the world who don't actually already know about these things.

First up: Capital Bikeshare.

This is quite possibly the most brilliant invention, ever. You pay a yearly (or daily) fee, and in return, get a key, which unlocks a bike that you can take and ride to wherever you like, then return to a Bikeshare location.

I had seen the rack of sturdy red bikes about two blocks from my apartment, but it looked complicated and scary, so I cleverly avoided trying it out for several months. But my commute these days includes about a one mile walk (or bus ride) home most nights, and while I like walking, it is sometimes just too slow if I'm getting out of work late. And I'm far too impatient to stand around and wait for the bus.

So, I gathered up my courage one day, and watched the BikeShare video, learned how it worked, and then gathered up even more courage and tried it.

Voila! (Or Viola?) It's simple!! You can pay on the spot for a day pass ($5.00) by credit card. (I paid the yearly $75 fee. The day AFTER a groupon expired for $37. Sigh.) You get 30 minutes to get to your next location before you incur more fees. So this is not the bike to take if you want to go for a 2-hour ride somewhere (although really, that would only cost another $3, so it wouldn't kill you either). You can use the bike as often as you like in a day, but only the first 30 minutes (each time you take it out) are included in the day rate.


But the yearly fee isn't bad, and it's for a good cause: Making the streets safe for the non-car bound!

You get the cutest little key for your keyring!


The bikes are heavy duty but fun to ride. Three speeds, with a handy basket in the front. I generally ride on the sidewalk because they're not exactly nimble and I do still value my life.

So far, only once have I wanted to use one and found them all gone. It was 7:45 a.m., and I just wanted a quick ride to Metro, but apparently so did everyone else. The other problem can be getting to the other end and finding there are no open docks. But Bikeshare promises that every 15-20 minutes they have someone shuffling the bikes around by truck. I've never seen it but I trust them.

But the best part is, whenever I find myself someplace in the city where I think, I could really use a bike, I turn around and, like magic, there they are!

For instance, my hair place is at 1522 U Street, which is about a 15 minute walk from the Metro or my bus stop. Not bad, but since I'm usually late to begin with, I inevitably end up jumping in a cab. No more!

View How Convenient Is This? in a larger map

If you're city doesn't already have this, I'm really sorry! The town I work in, one stop north of D.C., doesn't have it, which kind of sucks since if it did I could definitely ride all the way to work. So I feel for you. But it's the greatest idea ever, and I have NO idea why everyone does not use this.

Next: SharedBites.

I honestly thought blogging had jumped the shark. (I think jumping the shark has jumped the shark.) Who knew that there were still people out there churning these things out every few days??!

But I happened to stumble across this blog belonging to a D.C. Tri-chicka who I used to swim next to 16 lanes away from at Monday night Catholic University swim practice. (Not to put too fine a point on it, she was in the fast lane. You already know which lane I was in.)

Turns out? She has hidden talents. Not only did she marry the captain of D.C. Tri, she is a wildly brilliant blogger and baker. She has a baking blog (baking blogs are the running blog of the '10s). Someone should create the Baking Blog Family (is that thing still on?? Hi Mark!)

If you like baking, which I do, or you just like reading about baking (check!), you really must check this thing out.

Ms. Katie has a way with words and photos that make you just want to get all barefoot and preggers and in the kitchen.

I made her vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for my boy's gluten-free sister, for Easter (only it turns out that, ha, vegan, does NOT mean gluten-free! Live and learn!), and they were phenomenal. PHENOMENAL! I ate them all and then joined Weight Watchers the next night. No, seriously, I did.)

I can't believe I didn't take any pictures. Trust me, these were fantastic. And so healthy! Like eating a bowl of oatmeal! With sugar, oil, and chocolate chips. Yum.



Need I say more?



Check her out. And tell her I sent you!





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16 comments:

Susan said...

For Pete's sake, woman... welcome back!

Pamela said...

Of course you need to say more - that's what blogging is for.

The bike thing looks great but what about the riding on the sidewalk? Is that legal there?

As for vegan goodies - the very best chocolate cake in the world is Vegan Chocolate cake. http://www.instructables.com/id/The-BEST-chococlate-cake-ever...that-happens-to-be/

I don't know how it works but it is the most moist, delicious cake in the world. Frosting optional.

Kelly said...

I'm so jealous of people who live in real cities. Our city would NEVER have something as cool as that.

Diane said...

Up from the grave she arose!
(that's a quote from a Baptist Easter Hymn) Now that you've resurrected yourself I put you on my blogroll.

Juls said...

You BLOGGED!!!

Dori said...

They have a bike program like that in Paris. I did not take advantage of it because a) I value my life and b) the video is in French. It's nice to hear from you. Glad to see you still have your sense of humor.

Thomas said...

That bike program sounds EXACTLY like the one they have in Dublin. I guess our guys did copy it from your guys rather than the other way round.

I've already got a wife that can't stop baking. The main reason why I have to run 70 miles per week is that it's the only way to control my weight.

Petraruns said...

THANK GOD there's a blog again. You jumped the shark girl, not blogging (though I have had the same thought I have to admit).


Love those bikes - we've used them in London and Paris. And now you have them in DC, eh? Might have to come and try them out sometime?

And I'm going to check out that blog.

Love you! have missed you! great to see you! when are you coming to London?

Lesser is More said...

Well hello there! Good info on the bikeshare system - I was curious how it worked and was glad to see it expand into Arlington (maybe Bethesda is next????). Rebecca and I were in Paris this fall and their bike system is great and insanely popular. Glad to see it is taking off so successfully here.

Forward Foot Strides said...

I was just going to say what Lesser is More said - Paris has had something like this for a long time and I think it's a fabulous idea!

Katie said...

Aww, thanks, Jeanne! And I'm so happy to have found your blog! Now I just need to sell Travis on the collapsible helmet for when he cruises around on a CaBi. ;) Keep up the good writing.

That Bald Chick said...

A bike share would be SO nice in our area! I will be checking out your friends site, as well.

Dave and Kym said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave and Kym said...

If only WE lived in an area where we could get from point A to point B in 30 minutes! What a brilliant idea!

www.the-runningdiaries.blogspot.com

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Jenny said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences here on your blog.