Posted on December 2, 2014
This past weekend marked my first full year of membership to Capital Bikeshare, DC’s bicycle sharing program, and I thought it would be fun to reflect a little on a year spent riding around on those distinctive red bikes.
In the spring of 2013, I was starting to feel more comfortable biking around town and decided to try commuting into work via bicycle. I have a gorgeous little Dutch-style bike from Public Bikes, and I loved the idea of building more exercise into my routine while cutting out some of the stresses of taking the metro or the bus (we don’t have a car). There aren’t great north/south bike lanes on my side of town, but I quickly figured out that I could travel on the bike path through Rock Creek Park, DC’s greenbelt, and avoid riding through traffic almost entirely. Summer and fall of last year as a bike commuter were so amazing! I was spending so much less money on transportation, riding through the park was gorgeous, and the one down-side of the ride, a steep hill alongside traffic just before I got home, was nerve-wracking but had left me with killer legs.
Then, in late fall, Daylight Savings Time ended and I realized that I couldn’t safely bike home in the dark through poorly lit Rock Creek Park. Riding through the city felt too dangerous, especially in the after-work rush with scant bike lanes and poor visibility. I was pretty devastated at the thought of being stuck on public transportation all winter, and I kept wishing I could just ride in to work in the the mornings and magically transport my bike back to my apartment in the evening. And then it hit me: Capital Bikeshare! In the mornings, when there was daylight, I could pick up a bike at the kiosk on my block, drop it off right outside my office, and then take the bus or metro home in the evenings when it was dark.
The weekend after Thanksgiving, I signed up. A one-year membership to Bikeshare is $75. A few days later you get a handy little key-fob in the mail, and you have unlimited 30-minute rides for a whole year. So, if you’re wondering what I’ve thought of using Bikeshare, I’d have to say, it’s been great and I just signed up for year two! Here are a few thoughts:
I was also mulling over the finances of using Bikeshare as opposed to bus and metro commuting, and thought the cost breakdown was pretty interesting, too.
So overall I have to say that I’ve loved using Bikeshare and I’m excited to see how many rides I can get in over the next year. It almost feels like a challenge to beat this year’s total!
Have you ever rented a bike or used a bikesharing program? We’ve had a few experiences with both over the last year:
Posted on November 20, 2014
Posted on August 26, 2014
Summer in the Midwest is gorgeous, so on our visit to Madison, we decided to skip the car rentals and get around town using B-Cycle, Madison’s bikesharing program. I regularly use Capital Bikeshare in DC as part of my daily commute, so I was pretty excited to try a similar program while exploring another city, especially since most of the wedding events and restaurants we wanted to try were within a few miles of our downtown hotel.
Madison was sunny and breezy during our stay, perfect weather to ride down the bike and bus only State Street and explore the University of Wisconsin campus. We made our way out to the Arboretum to admire the lily-pads and tall grasses waving alongside Lake Wingra. Later we rode the bike trails along Lake Monona back into downtown and all the other bicycle commuters made us feel like locals. After a quick freshening up, we hopped on bikes again to ride out to a restaurant on the other side of the isthmus for dinner, stopping to drop off our bikes and watch the sunset on Lake Mendota.
Though Madison doesn’t have quite as many bike stations as DC, but we never found it much of a problem to make it between stations within the 30 minute check-out period. The B-Cycle bikes are a little sturdier and less rickety than the ones I ride in DC, which is great, but the best part of the experience was the amazing bike culture in Madison. Most of the city had amazing bike lanes, and when we did have to share the road, drivers were so attentive, patient, and considerate. The whole city was a cyclist’s dream and I only hope that someday DC will be as safe and stress-free place to bike.
Posted on July 15, 2014
Last fall, I spent an amazing day biking around the Monterey peninsula while the Mister was stuck in class. It’s a foggy, otherworldly ride past twisted cypress and huge waves crashing along the rocky coast, and I was happy to have a chance to explore it again, this time with my guy by my side. Here are some shots from our ride, starting in Cannery Row and making our way 11 miles out to the Lone Cypress and back again.
Posted on June 19, 2014
Posted on May 19, 2014
Life often gets in the way of special days. Some days, anniversaries give way to demands from work, and some years we set aside birthdays to be present for milestones in the lives of people we love. And that’s alright. We make other time to celebrate each other.
This year our anniversary got sidelined by demands from my job, so at the last minute we used an invitation to a baby shower in New Jersey for the following weekend as an excuse to plan a last minute getaway. A historic hotel in Asbury Park had an open room that overlooked the sea, and before we knew it, we had rented beach cruisers and set off south along the boardwalk.
It was cool and breezy, and we spent lazy hours biking down the boardwalks of town after town along the Jersey shore, the beaches still quiet in the days before the summer season. Sometimes we stopped for coffee or food, or to warm our toes in the sand and collect sand dollars, all the while enjoying the crashing waves and each others company.