I loved the bike share idea when I first heard about it and I applaud VanCity on their effort.
In my very humble opinion, however, there was one HUGE fault - THE BIKE!! The bikes just aren't commuter -friendly bikes. If the intent was to get people that normally don't ride bikes to change the way they travel around this city, those cruiser bikes were not the way to go. Those bikes are designed for a mellow flat ride around the seawall. If you want people to leave their cars at home and use a bike for transportation, you need a bike with gears and hand brakes!! There's just no way around it.
In the end I passed on my VanCity bike the same day I got it!
Good effort, VanCity! Perhaps some consultation with the bike community in advance would have been helpful.
I looked longingly at the beautiful red Vancity bikes on Pancake Breakfast Day but couldn't take one right away... so if there's a bike looking for a new home I can provide a safe happy place for a couple of weeks before passing it on.
Biking to work from East Van to Gastown was much easier than I expected. And much flatter. I think though that my "new to Vancouver biking" newbie brain has to be trained in the ways of the major bike paths or the signs have to be improved.
This morning, instead of working from home as I had promised, I ducked out to ride around my neighbourhood for a half hour before the deluge predicted by Claire Martin. A half an hour turned into an hour and a half, and took the route that I decided will be the route to work.
This morning, Roland, Karen and I went to the launch of Vancity Bike Share, to wait in line and eat pancakes served by Libby Davies, Gregor Robertson, and Shane Simpson, all BC MLA and pick up my shiny red, Vancity logo-emblazoned one-speed cruiser plus non-branded red bike lock and non-branded red helmet. And a Vancity logo-emblazoned red t-shirt. Pretty good score for writing a 98-word blog post. After three weeks of going who-knows-where with the bike, I'll be handing it off, likely to Karen. Photos forthcoming from me, but Roland already has a set on Flickr. This will be my first ever bike ride home from work, so I'll have to dig deep for my signals and etiquette, having lived in the Lower Mainland for 10 years but having ridden a bike two times at most in that timespan.