Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Day 98: Bike Cities

In the past two+ years that I've been at CPCA, I've gradually become a rather regular bike commuter.  Oddly enough, one of the reasons for this transition was that my old bike got stolen a couple of years ago, and when I got a replacement, I found it to be much more comfortable and easy to ride, so I've grown far more confident in my own ability to navigate the shared streets (and sidewalk bike paths) of downtown Sacramento.

Mr. E and I have also been much more proactive about using our bikes to get around downtown and midtown, which often is easier than driving, not to mention safer if we both plan to have a couple of glasses of wine.  The only exceptions tend to be weather-related, as I hate being sweaty and clammy when arriving at our destination!

So far, Sacramento has not yet joined the many larger cities around the country - and the world - to implement a city-wide bike-share system.  Frankly, I'm not sure that Sacto quite yet has the residential concentration in the gridded area or sufficient visionary leadership to get a bike-share off the ground, but I'm hopeful that we may see some positive changes in this realm over the next 5-10 years.

We didn't take advantage of the Montreal bike-share system, known as Bixi (a hybrid of BIcycle and taXI), mostly due to the nasty hot and humid weather.  We did see several of the stations around our hotel and the Old Port:

And during my run on Tuesday morning before we departed, I noticed some folks performing maintenance or checks of some kind on a set of Bixi bikes, along with a truck towing a trailer loaded with Bixis, most likely as a means of shifting bikes from one station to another.

In Chicago, we lucked out with unexpectedly gorgeous weather with temps in the 70s and minimal humidity, so we decided to try out the Divvy bikes for our return to downtown from lunch yesterday afternoon and to explore some of the lakefront path between Millennium Park and the Planetarium this morning.  We had seen numerous Divvy stations on our way from the train to Mr. E's parents' condo and had admired the powder blue bikes, which were new to us:

Overall, we found the system quite easy to use, although our attempts to return the bikes at the Planetarium station were unsuccessful, as only one of the two available docks was working, and the entire central rental machine wouldn't accept our card or even give us the 15-minute free time extension to get to a nearby station.  Ah well... technology doesn't always work as we'd like it to...

Regardless, we enjoyed our time on the bikes, and having Divvy is a great option to get around some of the gridded city, as long as the weather cooperates!


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