OK so yes, it might rain on Saturday, but think of it this way, you’re going to be busy all next week with travel and cooking and hosting and trying to keep the dinner table conversation civil despite the Great Orange Turkey looming over everything, and by then you’re going to WISH you were riding a bicycle in the rain. So THIS weekend, get out there while you have the chance! Plenty of good options. Saturday is, of course, Cranksgiving, which is a fun scavenger hunt AND a way to help feed hungry people. (fyi, the Brrrewery Tour was moved to Dec 2.) The BicycleSPACE rides usually run even during less than perfect weather. The rained-out tweed ride was rescheduled for this Sunday, and there’s also a fun-sounding long ride that day through the Virginia countryside led by the Washington Women Outdoors. And next week, Proteus Bicycles is doing a Thanksgiving Day morning ride so you can work off the mashed potatoes before you even eat them!
Before we move on: There’s been lots of discussion of the dockless bikeshares currently littering/gracing the District of Columbia. At this point, there are five companies involved in this pilot: Mobike, Ofo, Spin, Limebike, and Jump. Bikescolding and concerntrolling aside, one legit question I’ve seen over these weeks is sustainability. Dude, these bikes are getting TRASHED. How long can these companies keep it up? A few thoughts:
- The bikeshare companies are LOADED. Mobike and Ofo are Chinese companies, each worth a couple of billion dollars. US-based Limebike just raised $62 million and is valued at over $200 million.
- The bicycles they’re putting on the street are produced at a MASSIVE scale in China and can be incredibly inexpensive. Check out Alibaba.com. You can order 100 bikeshare bikes straight from the factory for $6,000.
- Potentially, one dockless bikeshare company’s entire 400-bike pilot fleet would cost it only like ~$40,000.
- Or, you know, the price of a single new Uber. And they don’t even need to pay the driver!
- Basically, even if they’re losing money as fast as possible, these companies will STILL easily have the financials to stay in DC for a very long time, no matter how many of their bikes get chucked into the C&O Canal.
- From this angle, the more important concerns going forward may be safety and waste. Bikes that fall apart as you ride them would be… bad. And the companies need to be responsible to collect and reuse/recycle their damaged vehicles.
- In any case, it’s important to remember this is a DDOT pilot program and they want feedback! Send it their way.
OK, onward! Scroll to the “Looking ahead” section at the end for events beyond this week. If you like this newsletter, feel free to forward it along to friends and tell them to sign up or follow on Twitter and on Facebook. Stay safe, ride fast, ride on.