25 August 2010

Nice Ride

(Photo: Courtesy of NiceRidemn.org)

I finally did it.

I finally went for my first post-prego bike ride, and it was on a Nice Ride bicycle.

Here in Minneapolis, during my maternity leave, a new bicycle share system was launched. So far as I can tell, it is amazing.

* Nice Ride *

The bicycles are comfortable, the seats are big and easily adjusted up and down, the frames are step through, making them more functional for more people, they have three speeds, a bell, integrated headlights, and a nice basket/bungee set up on the front for carrying purses, briefcases, shopping bags, what have you. Oh yes, they also have skirt/coat guards (!).

My ride from a meeting in Downtown Minneapolis to my office at the University of Minnesota really was a nice ride. I was stopped in the left turn lane awaiting the light change, and a man in a car next to me asked how I like it. Seriously, if these bright green, can't miss 'em, bicycles just might be our answer to world peace. OK, maybe not, but everyone sure is interested in them!

Now, I have only one request for improvement: a conscious effort to educate Nice Ride users on the unlawfulness of sidewalk riding. Tall order.

I can't wait for this thing to expand! The first 30 minutes are free (for annual members). It is a way to keep the bicycles in circulation, because most people will try to make short trips, within the 30 minute window, rather than hogging the same bicycle for hours on end.

Can you tell how I feel about all of this? I'm totally sold. It will be interesting to see how things go on campus once all of the students return for fall semester. Good thing those clever Nice Ride folks went with bicycles that are sturdy, easy to use, but also difficult to rip off, and OBVIOUSLY not anyone's personal bicycle.