9.16.2019

DC Jump Bike... a dance with the dark side... a bit of a fiasco...

eBikes...
I am not a fan of eBikes
actually...

it is very similar to guns
I have no issue with guns
my issue is with people with guns
the problem is people

I have no issue with eBikes
it is people with eBikes



on Friday headed as I pedaled into work a I was headed down 5th street as a steady clip...
as I rolled through a four way stop with no cars approaching I saw a JUMP bike on the sidewalk to my right

I anticipated it pulling out in front of me... but I passed before it could obstruct me... but I was confident that it would over take me soon enough

so rolling down 5th Street in the bike lane it happened...
the eBike passed me in the bike lane... on my right... no audible... no alert with that obnoxious bell... all in the door zone


the eBike pass and we shared words
not pleasant words but words

some words made sense
other words did not

we went back and forth...
in short...  I had my gripes about the eBike
but really...
my gripe was about the pass on my right

it disproved the eBike's rider that he "rides a bike just like mine" as he claimed
because passing on the right in the door zone is not how a bicyclist would or at least should pass
yet he passed me that way just the same
had a door opened... although I was out of the door zone... I would have been wrapped up in the carnage

DOOR ZONE!
DUTCH REACH?
GTS- Google That Shit!

that morning incident passed with some irony

as I had already decided that later that day I would be trying the JUMP bike
I was going to meet a friend for a JUMP bike date to catch a live concert at REACH at the Kennedy Center

Thievery Corporation would be playing as the headliner... but other action there as well

so... I had decided to lighten my stance on eBikes and get a taste of the experience

we had our plans...

we were to get JUMP bikes in our neighborhoods on the opposite side of town and meet on the National Mall near the Washington Monument
finishing the final miles to the Kennedy Center on the bike path along the river with the full moon over head
well... at least that was the plan


rushed home from work... walked the dog...  showered... changed
went to the Smart Phone... pulled up the UBER App... did a search for JUMP BIKES
only one bike in my immediate vicinity
it was a few blocks away

a glance at the map and I started marching
at the bright colored JUMP bike I went through the process of checking out the bike

even as a NOOB it was quite user friendly
the interface was unfamiliar to me
the data it offered was foreign to me
but it looked like GREEN LIGHT GO

so... with my bag in the basket I was on the bike
I was gliding along with a smile on my face
pedaling hard and feeling the surge of the electronic assist
then maybe a mile into my ride the assist disappeared

the 11 mile radius claim was a tad off

in a bit of a rush I continued my trajectory
rather than stopping and checking the APP for the location of a bike to trade for I rode towards Columbia Heights thinking I could just find a bike there
sure enough... on 14th just a block up from Lyman's Tavern I saw my bike

I locked up my bike and tried to swap
the other bike was either reserved or out of power
so I glanced at the map for the next closest bike

just two blocks away... so back to my feet... back to marching

by this time I had already broken a sweat
the sole purpose of the JUMP eBike rather than my own personal bike was to arrive in street clothes ready for the night
no need to change... no need to wipe the sweat off my body

I had broken more than a sweat... my britches were drenched

on a different JUMP bike I returned to my route and headed down 16th Street towards the Washington Monument

at this stage of the game I got a better feel for the bike
the JUMP bike is like a fast BIKESHARE bike
the trajectory is like a fast pedestrian
it lacks some of the mobility of a standard bike

I experimented with an effortless pedal and the assist given to that
rather than a vigorous pedal along with an assist

things were different...  less desire to split lanes... less desire to play Superman and try to race the train... instead it was about a fluid flow...  running red lights only if completely clear... not trying to play FROGGER in the same fashion on this bike as I would my own

at our rendezvous point I saw my date
she looked beautiful dressed for the night
but no bike

apparently the APP failed her... she could not check out a bike and ended up taking an UBER

still miles from our final destination we decided to "ride double"
she got on the seat and I stood on the pedals

in a friendly... far from aggressive pace we meandered on the JUMP bike with its electronic assist past the Washington Monument... then the various war memorials... and then the Lincoln Memorial before getting onto the path that runs along side the river

once at the new ramp entrance to the Kennedy Center I learned about the various zones
in short... there are places where the JUMP bike can not be locked and left
the National Mall and other National Park land appear to be NO JUMP BIKE LOCK ZONES... but as a newbie it took me a few minutes to realize that the map on the application showed BLUE AND RED ZONES to mark where the bikes could be locked without a 25 dollar fee

DONE

at the Kennedy Center... JUMP BIKE LOCKED without an additional 25 dollar fee..
but I was sweaty
well... I had brought a t-shirt and another shirt
so I changed and we went into the show

the show was fantastic
Thievery Corp Killed It!
the venue was beautiful
the full moon and the cooler weather played well into making for an wonderful night


but once the night was over... there was the issue of getting home
we walked some of the way until we were at a point where it made sense for me to travel north and her to travel east
she took to the subway and I started marching towards the nearest JUMP bike

well...

this time the application failed me
the app was stuck on RESERVE and would not let me Scan to Check Out the bike
I tried a number of bikes... always click on Check Out
and it always tried to Reserve

EPIC FAILURE!

I called an UBER

so...
riding my own bike would have involved less hassle... less money... and less sweat

OWNING and RIDING your own bike is the most sensible approach

I can see how BikeShare and JUMP bikes can be a great additive to a person's own bicycle
but it would be so costly to use JUMP bikes on a regular basis
not time efficent
and too costly

it was a good evening

but I do not think that I am giving up my bike for an eBike


No comments: