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Hibernation is for bears, not B-cycles.

February 17, 2011

Warm and sunny in the state capital and not a B-cycle to be had.

Ah, warm weather.

Since the spring-like temps hit Denver  last Friday,  I’ve  been logging spring-like bike and pedestrian miles, and I haven’t had to freeze at a bus stop or beg for a ride even once.

I know it won’t stay for long, I can’t help but feel really, really happy about it.

During one of my euphoric, sunshiny walks, I noticed a curious site: A bike rack completely empty of bikes. It was one of Denver B-cycle’s bike-share racks. According to their homepage, Denver’s B-cycles are in hibernation until March.

I’m a big fan of B-cycle, but is winter hibernation really necessary?

Here’s why I don’t think it is:

  • Denver has a high-plains desert climate, which allows for much winter riding and has mercy on bikes stored outdoors.
  • Chicago B-cycles don’t seem to be hibernating–and I can offer firsthand testimony that Chicago winters are more brutal than Denver winters.
  • Denver B-cycle is “presented by Kaiser Permanente,” a company that posted $42.1 billion in operating revenue in 2009.

Seriously, KP?

You could decrease the number of bikes in rotation during winter months, but none at all just feels plain mean, especially during weeklong stints of 60-degree temperatures. I know you claim you’re busy testing new bike station features, but I’ll bet you could afford to keep at least a few bikes available.

Come on, Kai-Perm, old buddy, old pal. Give us our B-cycles back!


3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2011 3:51 am

    Yeah, if they want these things to be considered transportation, they can’t just vanish in November… also, shutting them down at 11pm seems a little silly. They’ve got great lights, and would you rather people were driving, or riding at the end of the night?

    • avaerewyck permalink
      March 2, 2011 8:42 am

      Agreed, Zane! Though I wouldn’t condone drunk cycling, it certainly seems to be less potentially disastrous than drunk driving, doesn’t it?

  2. claytoniss permalink
    March 11, 2011 9:01 am

    I agree that they should not hibernate, but given this is the FIRST MAJOR bike sharing system to launch in the country, they are improving a better experience for walkup users and annual members.
    I bet they will be around year round as long as people ride them and stay off the sidewalk.

    I’m also sure they have their reasons not keeping the system past 11 pm. Those bikes aren’t cheap. When there is more of a culture shift I wouldn’t see why this wouldn’t be open 24 hrs.

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