- I’ve been on “staycation” for Tuesday and Wednesday this week. I needed some time away from work to enjoy the city. I wish I was better about my weekends, but I’m not the best at planning my time always, and training has taken up a good bit of time! So this staycation I:
- did my first track workout
- got a pedicure
- cycled around town leisurely
- went to the beach! (a Chicago first for me, and something to cross off my summer bucket list!)
- tried Stand-Up Paddleboarding at North Avenue Beach
- went out to lunch & dinner with friends
- tried to buy some beer but had a #beerfail at Binny’s.
2. Mike’s made the news again! This time in preparation for the Chicago Triathlon this weekend, which is also the USAT Paratriathlon Regional Championships. Read his story (and a bit about what I do as his handler at races)!
3. And for my third, I want to share my experiences the Divvy Bike Share that started in Chicago this summer. It’s been great and all, but I want to give you the deets!
Divvy Bike Review
Divvy is Chicago’s bike sharing system with 4,000 bikes and 400 stations across the city that opened this summer. What is a bike share you ask?
A bike sharing system consists of a fleet of specially designed, heavy-duty, very durable bikes that are locked into a network of docking stations located throughout a city. Divvy bikes can be rented from and returned to any station in the system, creating an efficient network with many possible combinations of start and end points.
With thousands of bikes at hundreds of stations, Divvy will be available for use 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The station network will provide twice as many docking points as bicycles, assuring that an available dock to return your bike is always nearby.
But Lauren, why do you need a bike share? You have a bike (or two) already!
Simple answer is that I think this is a great venture that I am happy to support. I am also surprised at how much I’ve used it already! Not only is it a good idea, but I’ve found it cost-effective (saves me money) and preferred over public transit (gets me moving more quickly). I do bike to & from work most days, but sometimes it’s not possible for me to take my bike if I’m going out to dinner after work or had an early appointment somewhere too far to cycle.
If we are to assume that I am using Divvy bikes at times that I otherwise would have taken the CTA (not to mention a cab, or drive & park), then each trip would be about $2 – and I’m rounding the CTA fare down. So you recoup a $75 membership fee in 38 trips over a year.
I’ve used the bike 12 times in the last month. I’ll be on track to easily recoup my membership costs by November if I keep up at this rate (my membership started in early July).
When can I use Divvy?
- Ride to work in the morning, train to an evening appointment.
- Ride to brunch; friend drives me home.
- Ride downtown before going out to the bars; cab it home.
- Ride to your office from the Metra station.
- Convenient for travel around downtown. Goes as far north as Wrigleyville, as far west as Humboldt Park, and as far south as Sox US Cellular Field. And that’s just what’s live. You can see the most updated stations and which ones are planned, on the Divvy Site here.
- Cheaper than public transit.
- Get some exercise!
- Save the earth – reduce vehicle emissions
- I’m not always riding with a helmet. This is a safety concern. But really, this is the only Con and it’s really all in my control.
If everyone rides their bike out of a station, how do they get back?
I’ve been out and about in the River North & Wicker Park neighborhoods and seen the Divvy crews hard at work re-distributing bikes from one station to another based on demand. The goals are to keep the stations stocked with enough bikes that people will be picking up, but also to always have some open docks for people to return bikes to. I’ve seen them moving around on the weekends, evening time, and lunch hours. Does Divvy ever sleep?
But I’m not a strong cyclist!
Try it out. You’re not going to go fast on a Divvy bike, but the purpose of this is to get you from point A to point B more easily/economically/environmentally-friendly than before. I personally am not the strongest cyclist in the world, but I am only using the hardest gear, even up the Chicago Avenue bridge. There are two easier gears for you to use. But you’re only going for ~30 minutes, so you don’t need to be pushing the pedal to the metal.
I’m too tall / too short to ride a bike made for everyone!
Divvy bikes have seat posts that are easy to adjust to your height. My tip is to adjust your seat height and test out the height BEFORE you take the bike out for the 30 minutes… get more time riding and less time adjusting!
I have three 24-hour passes for Divvy Bikes to give away for you to try out the Divvy system!
a Rafflecopter giveaway