Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Capital Bikeshare launching in about a month

According to Capital Bikeshare representatives at the Arlington County Fair, Capital Bikeshare will be launching in about a month.  The station map shows 14 bikeshare stations in Crystal City, and a whole lot of stations in DC.  Subsequent rollout may put more bikeshare stations in Arlington.

The bikes are designed for casual, comfortable riding.  They have built-in front and rear lights, a basket, full fenders for wet-weather riding, and a full chain protector so you won't get any grease on your legs or clothes.  The tires look thick enough to make getting a flat unimaginable even if you ride over broken glass.  The gearing is a three-speed internal cog.  No one will have difficulty pedaling these bikes.  On the other hand, they are probably twice as heavy as a high-performance road bike.

The Capital Bikeshare rate structure is oriented toward short trips.  The $50, one-year (limited time) membership offer allows you to take as many 30-minutes or less bikeshares as you want during the year.  The one-day ($5) and one-month ($25) memberships similarly offer unlimited 30-minute or less bikeshares.  Additional share time incurs sizable fees.  Take the bike for two hours and you'll have an additional $10.50 usage fee.  So Capital Bikeshare is not a good choice for casual bike-sightseeing.  Use Capital Bikeshare to make trips faster than walking, more stylish than taking the metro, and better exercise than sitting on a bus.

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