Friday August 3, 2007

Bicycle renting stations from around the globe. I appreciate the sentiment, but this would never work in Miami. If you think so, make me a map of where you would put the rental stations. The distances are simply too great, even putting aside the obvious weather issues. Riding a bike is great exercise, and a really good way to get to know your neighborhood, but as transportation it just stinks. On the other hand, bike + public buses seems promising. But for that you need your own bike, because by nature the bike rental stations will be sparser then bus stops.

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  1. Billermo    Fri Aug 3, 03:54 PM #  

    but as transportation it just stinks

    grove to downtown = 6 miles
    grove to deep kendall = 9miles
    grove to southbeach = 8 miles
    downtown to north bay village = 10 miles

    an hour on a bike can get you really far. what stinks? (besides a sweaty self)



  2. alesh    Fri Aug 3, 04:19 PM #  

    Billermo~

    Hey, when was the last time you spent an hour on a bike? For me it was this morning. That was at 6 am, not 9 am, and I was in no shape for anything other then relaxing for a half an hour and drinking water. Also, if you’re proposing those four locations as the bike rental spots, don’t forget to budget time/energy/sweat for walking to the rental spot from the house and from the dropoff point to your destination. Not even the 1% of people who might consider bike transit if you try selling them on it will do it this way.

    Also, according to Google Maps, CG to the beach is 12 miles.



  3. Billermo    Fri Aug 3, 04:45 PM #  

    ive been predominantly carless since spring 2006, exclusively carless this entire summer. on a road bike, the first three routes i proposed ive done regularly in under an hour. grove to wynwood in 20minutes.

    i never suggested anything about rental spots, i agree with you. the system wouldnt work. owning a bike is much more convinient. im jus sayin riding your bike evrywhere doesnt stink.

    also, according to google maps. i wouldnt put my bike on I95.



  4. Alex    Fri Aug 3, 05:04 PM #  

    You wouldn’t – and you can’t. No bikes allowed on the highway.

    Alesh, an hour on a bike is nothing. As you ride more you get in better shape. I used a bike almost exclusively for two years in Cuba (granted, I was much younger then) and after a while distance didn’t matter so much. You even sweat less. My next-door neighboor does 20 miles every day. I know people who go to work on a bike regularly.

    I use my bike strictly for recreational purposes, because my conmute would be too long and of course there are no showers, etc. But back when I was in school I used the bike often (Surfside to South Beach). I use it now to go to Bal Harbour, Surfside, Target at the design district, even Publix. Would it be more practical and faster to drive? Of course. But bikes as conmuting vehicles in Miami given more bike lanes and more bike racks are not an impossibility.



  5. Andy    Fri Aug 3, 06:08 PM #  

    I agree with Alex.

    If you take a look at the at the area of Miami proper, it’s not any bigger than Paris. It would make sense, from that standpoint, for the city to institute a similar plan. Look at the list that Billermo put up, three of those places aren’t within the city. But even the farthest is only about a 45-minute bike ride away at cruising speed for someone who rides regularly.

    I also have to disagree with your point that bikes stink as transportation. Bikes are actually one of the most efficient methods of transportation when you factor in the amount of energy they require. (They only reason people don’t think so is because on the bike you’re putting in the energy, while the engine does all the work in a car.)



  6. Andy    Fri Aug 3, 06:17 PM #  

    Actually, I screwed up the conversion from square km to square miles. Miami is about twice as big as Paris. I still think the bike rental idea would be feasible in Miami.



  7. local biker    Sat Aug 4, 08:17 AM #  

    Wouldn’t it be a tourist thing only? I mean, you could probably buy your own bike for what a week would cost, right?
    But, seems like it would be feasible for the Beach.
    However, to get from the Beach to the Grove, you have to go through downtown Miami – I don’t think the tourist board wants folks looking that closely at what’s there.



  8. I am here    Sun Aug 5, 08:50 AM #  

    I am currently in Barcelona getting my critical miami fix and thought you might like to know that the bicycle rental concept is brilliant.

    I did rent a car because I am here with my wife and two children, but car parking is impossible. so I bought an expensive space in a municiple garage which is too many blocks from our apartment, so I drop the family at the apartment, drive to the garage and hop on a bicycle and ride it back our apartment which has several pick up and drop off stations in the neighboorhood.

    First Miami would have to enlighten itself to the fact bicycle riders are people too.

    Barcelona has a wonderful network of bike only lanes, making it very safe for novice riders.

    This could work on Miami Beach, so you could ride from 21st street down to South Point, Lincoln Road and Alton Road, but sadly we have too may assholes driving Hummers.

    Enlightenment first, a bike friendly city second.



  9. Renee    Mon Aug 6, 02:18 PM #  

    My bicycle is my only form of transport as I do not see well enough to drive. Here in Miami you risk your life pedaling anywhere. There aren’t any bike lanes except for small stretches of the Venetian causeway or under the metrorail tracks if you want to pedal down the US 1 route. There is also Lincoln rd, where you have to navigate carefully among the tourists. Then there is the best area on Key Biscayne where you can ride the whole Island (if you pay the park fee).

    Bikes would be great in Miami if you are keen to becoming a hood ornament on a cheap junker. (my theory is that the drivers of luxury cars don’t want you to mess up their rides)

    I personally would applaud more biking if this area were a little more progressive in the way of safe lanes for bicycles. Renting them will just leave you with a list of hit and run victims.



  10. b.a.c.    Mon Aug 6, 02:41 PM #  

    In Vienna they have rental station scattered around the city. I spent an entire day sightseeing Vienna with my GF (a total of almost 9 hours on bike). Sure it was a little tough but that’s what stopping at parks, bars, restaurants are for. And honestly there were stations to return the bikes everywhere. It sure beat riding the trams and buses.

    The only way I think this would work is if you had stations localized within city boundaries (Miami Beach, Groove, Downtown etc). As for me, my Vienna experience was fantastic./



  11. Dave    Tue Aug 7, 08:47 AM #  

    I think bike stations at metrorail parking lots would make a lot of sense. You could tour Coconut Grove, Downtown/Brickell, Dadeland etc. by taking metrorail to the local spot and then bicycling around. Of course, it would me mostly used in the 5 winter months when it is dry and cool, but the relief of road congestion in those areas is heaviest then, so well worth while. I think progressive advertisers like Red Bull and Apple might even cover all the costs. I have biked all my life coming from a european country that was crazy for bike racing. I have used bikes as regular transport in Miami since my student days and I can tell you it is a practical form of transport.



  12. Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal    Thu Aug 9, 11:27 AM #  

    I’m working on your Map Alesh…