The ‘LimeBike’ Bicycles Scattered Around Contra Costa County

February 13, 2018 8:00 am · 87 comments

You’ve probably wondered what the ‘LimeBike’ bicycles are doing scattered around Contra Costa County (mostly in Walnut Creek).

LimeBike is a bicycle-sharing program. They have GPS, and can be unlocked and paid for through their app.

When you’re done using it, you can just leave it where you want.

Unfortunately they don’t come with helmets.

QUESTION: Do you ever see yourself using a ‘LimeBike’, and do you think this will work in an area where most people use cars to get around?

{ 87 comments… read them below or add one }

Concord Res February 13, 2018 at 8:09 AM

I have seen them dumped behind buildings looks like they tried to strip off parts. Wife reported it to the police.

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Carissa February 13, 2018 at 8:11 AM

I think it’s a great idea! If I had one of these at my work I’d use it to go out for lunch rather than drive.

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WC resident February 13, 2018 at 6:18 PM

See http://www.limebike.com/programs which tells you how to get the Limebike people to drop one or more bikes off at or near where you work.

Anonymous February 13, 2018 at 8:12 AM

They’re a private company and not being subsidized by the government and I’ll get some occasional use out of ’em so I think the LimeBikes are great. As for will they “work” or not, I don’t know. If they don’t turn a profit then they’ll disappear. If they do there will be more of ’em.

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Triple J February 13, 2018 at 8:21 AM

I don’t own a smart phone. But I own three bikes.
And I don’t leave them parked on the sidewalks in front of people’s homes.

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Reality says... February 13, 2018 at 8:23 AM

Saw a homeless guy walking with one of these bikes on the IH trail by Black Bear Dinner on Saturday. Let’s see how good their loss recovery solutions are.

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WC resident February 13, 2018 at 12:45 PM

Was he holding the rear tire up in the air while he walked it? The bikes have a clamp “boot style” lock over the rear tire. You can’t walk a Lime bike around. Maybe the thieves will start carrying a child’s training wheel. You bolt that on the back on the left side only and tilt the bike towards you so you can walk it along.

Mom February 13, 2018 at 8:30 AM

Great idea, until jerks dump them all over the place, making them someone else’s problem.

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Dawg February 13, 2018 at 8:32 AM

No, I don’t see myself using them. I haven’t ridden a bike in many, many years. Bicycles are becoming a hazard because so many bicyclists are either ignorant of the vehicle code covering bicycles, or they are so arrogant, they don’t think the law applies to them. When a bicyclist collides with a car, it’s the bicyclists that will lose, even if he or she was in the right.

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drocnoc February 13, 2018 at 8:59 AM

most cyclists i know, which is many, understand the rules and laws of sharing the road with motorists. don’t generalize, it’s just as easy to say that it’s car drivers that don’t know the laws of sharing the road –
especially distracted drivers who are illegally using their phones and not courteously using their signals.

JazzMan February 13, 2018 at 9:25 AM

drocnoc 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽

Pyrrhus February 13, 2018 at 9:28 AM

There are both idiot bicyclists and idiot drivers. Trust me, I’ve lived in The City and have seen some things that will make you shake your head. I will say that suburban bicyclists seem to be way more cautious as I’ve noticed drivers seem very angry that a bicyclists uses the bicycle lane instead of the sidewalk. And heaven forbid a bicyclist tries to make a left turn instead of using the corsswalk, you’d think the person murdered the driver’s mother.

This is coming from someone that hasn’t ridden a bicycle in 20 years.

Jane February 13, 2018 at 8:32 AM

Coming to a homeless camp near you soon.

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Oracle February 13, 2018 at 8:41 AM

Agree. That could be an issue…

whatever February 13, 2018 at 1:25 PM

Already seen them in the bum camp under 242 @ 680. They’ll all end up there stripped for parts. What did they think would happen if you leave something not nailed down?

NoMoreFreeRide February 13, 2018 at 8:36 AM

All headed toward Monument

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Chevelle girl February 13, 2018 at 8:37 AM

They have them in front of Black Bear Diner and they had helmets in the baskets to use.

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ZChicken Little February 13, 2018 at 11:49 AM

I don’t think I would touch one of those helmets with a 10-foot pole.

WC resident February 13, 2018 at 1:25 PM

I think someone must have ridden one to Black Bear Diner and left their personal helmet in the bike while eating. None of the dozen bikes I’ve spotted parked and available for use had helmets. None of the people I’ve seen riding them had lime colored helmets.

http://www.limebike.com/help mentions a 1,000 helmet giveaway in the Seattle area. There’s no indication of any plans to provide helmets with the bikes.

Spark Baldman February 13, 2018 at 8:37 AM

How much does it cost?

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Anonymous February 13, 2018 at 8:58 AM

$1 for 30 mins.

Kendall February 13, 2018 at 10:10 AM

Not a bad price.

Oracle February 13, 2018 at 8:40 AM

Perhaps a good idea. I wouldn’t use one personally because cars are much more efficient but I guess if someone needed it would be ok. I agree with Mom though, people will start to dump them etc.

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Palermo February 13, 2018 at 8:42 AM

They will all have vanished in a month

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The Mamba February 13, 2018 at 8:42 AM

I work in SF and think anything like this is great, but I’m not so sure there’s as much demand out here in the East Bay, where everyone drives everywhere anyway.

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Ellen Teapot February 13, 2018 at 8:44 AM

I’ve used them a couple times to run errands across town. They’re good bikes, very easy to ride – if you’re going somewhere along a trail or park they’re a great option. Too bad there aren’t more bike lanes on the street.

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AlwaysBePositive February 13, 2018 at 8:47 AM

Excellent! There will be hiccups initially, hopefully this becomes a part of our daily lives.

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. February 13, 2018 at 8:49 AM

Love them, but think they need more bike paths throughout the area. I get nervous with my kids riding near the busy streets (Ygnacio and Oak Grove).

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Summer February 13, 2018 at 8:50 AM

I saw a bunch of them along Shadelands Dr and wondered how you activate them.

Once you take them, do you have to return them to the same spot? I saw someone riding one down Oak Grove a few miles away.

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Anonymous February 13, 2018 at 8:59 AM

There’s a smartphone app. You can just leave them anywhere when you’re done and someone else will take it from there.

Reality says... February 13, 2018 at 9:05 AM
Mr White February 13, 2018 at 8:55 AM

My gas taxes are subsidizing this? Did I get to vote on this?
No thanks, hippies, keep your bikes.

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Charlie February 14, 2018 at 7:40 AM

No. Your gas taxes aren’t funding this.

KJ February 13, 2018 at 9:12 AM

I don’t have a smart phone, so sadly I probably would not be able to use one. However, I love to ride my bike (it makes me feel good; energized; relaxed; healthy); so, if I had a smart phone and was somewhere without my bike, I would definitely use one of these. It is good for people to have a cheap and faster way to get around town rather than always having to drive their car and being stuck in traffic with no place to park.

Summer — you park them wherever you end up. They do not have to be returned or locked in a specific spot. That’s the advantage of this bike.

Dedicated/protected bike lanes would definitely get more people riding bikes.

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WC February 13, 2018 at 9:20 AM

They should be ticketed for illegal dumping.

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JazzMan February 13, 2018 at 9:26 AM

Great idea. Big help getting to/from work/BART

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It's Me February 13, 2018 at 9:37 AM

Downloaded the app to take a look. WC has a lot. All over town. Concord has a couple alongside Monument Blvd, inside apartment complexes. Coincidence?

On the other hand… the app keeps telling me that I’ve searched for bikes too frequently and I should try later.

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Anonymous February 13, 2018 at 11:15 AM

Yeah, they initially deployed them around Shadelands and the PH and WC BART and they’ve diffused outward from there.

Ricardo February 13, 2018 at 9:39 AM

I have trouble seeing myself in Walnut Creek, with their non-synced signals.

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WC February 13, 2018 at 10:56 AM

Non synced is understatement.

Vandy February 13, 2018 at 9:52 AM

Yes! They work. They are evidence of the welcome shift towards bicycles on Contra Costa County.

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ClayDen February 13, 2018 at 9:58 AM

I don’t like to ride my bike on the street in most places due to distracted and incompetent drivers. My wife and I each lost a friend when they were riding legally, both due to distracted drivers.

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Minkman February 13, 2018 at 12:39 PM

Exactly. Please try to pay better attention when driving.

What's In A Name? February 13, 2018 at 9:59 AM

Seems like you can never plan to actually use one of these bikes. If they’re just scattered here and there, how will you know you will have one at your disposal when you need it? As it stands, this seems like a program that will replace stolen shopping carts with stolen bikes.

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Charlie February 14, 2018 at 7:43 AM

You have to download the app to see where they are. All of the bikes have a GPS tracking. The app shows a map where they are located. Check out the LimeBike website.

TIFOKCIS February 13, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Just leave it where you want. Just what these self entitled CA-D pukes needs is another ‘do whatever you want’ to add to their list of running red lights, driving while texting, driving reckless “because I am late”, cannot empty the bar at the gym, dump your nasty beverage out of your car and leave the stick mess for someone else to track around and in their car.

Another Liberal Hippy mess paid for by everyone else.

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AlwaysBePositive February 13, 2018 at 12:18 PM

Limebike is a privately held company. Are you the guy that stands out on their porch yelling at kids to ‘get off my lawn’? Relax.

TIFOKCIS February 14, 2018 at 8:31 AM

Damn right, its my lawn. I’ll come over and tear your lawn up anytime.

Ian February 13, 2018 at 10:16 AM

The kids in the apartments around 4 corners are loving them. As long as this isn’t subsidized, I’m all for it. If the company did their business model right, it could be interesting. It will all depend on loss recovery and maintenance.

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Kentucky Derby February 13, 2018 at 10:24 AM

I prefer to drive or walk, but I think they’re a good idea for others.

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chuckie the troll February 13, 2018 at 11:03 AM

I had a nightmare last night and I wasn’t riding a Limegreen bike. So no, I can never see myself riding one.

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Mariner February 13, 2018 at 11:07 AM

This will never be a moneymaker around here, probably not anywhere.
Nope I wouldn’t ride one.

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Silva February 13, 2018 at 11:26 AM

I saw something like this started a while back in West Oakland, but the bikes are blue.

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Jojo Potato February 13, 2018 at 11:43 AM

Yes, there are several companies. Dallas has got three companies, green, red and yellow. And Seattle maybe more. Watch for all colors in a creek near you.

Carol February 13, 2018 at 11:34 AM

I saw them at the Shadeland’s in W.C. That is a perfect location for them because of all the office buildings in the area. I can imagine some folks might like to take one out at lunch time to eat or for some exercise or both. Great for those riding Bart to W.C. or Concord for work. Nice inventive idea; hope it doesn’t get ruined by abusers or homeless folks.

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Jojo Potato February 13, 2018 at 11:37 AM

Well, come and get it! There’s one parked right on Walnut Blvd (WC) at the end of my driveway. I’m tempted to grab it, but there’s nothing there that is really worth taking. Part of the design. The rear 8 speed hub is nice ($200) but then the rim would need replacing to get rid of the slow airless tires. The front and rear “roller” brakes were obviously chosen because of no maintenance because they are not that great. All together whole thing weighs a ton.

Kind of a fun diffusion experiment though. You know like when you dump dye into water and watch the color spread through the water.

But ORACLE thinks cars are most efficient so I guess we are all doomed. Sorry O but bicycles, even crappy ones like these are probably the most efficient form of transportation, ever, except maybe a friends car. LOL

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WC resident February 13, 2018 at 1:12 PM

Thank you for doing the cost breakdown. I was thinking of doing a similar breakdown with a focus on what parts can be re-used. There’s a local homeless person who has a large collection of parts in storage totes. Normally he acquires higher end bikes, strips them down, and builds new ones that he sells on craigslist. Next time I see him I was going to ask if any Lime bike parts are useful to his business model.

I don’t mind that a bike weighs a ton as I ride them for exercise. The more weight on the bike (and less weight in my love handles) the better.

Jojo Potato February 13, 2018 at 12:07 PM

Thinking more about ORACLE’s comment I think she is right in one sense. If you need to leave your suburban house and go somewhere close, then hopping in the car and zipping over there (no traffic, plenty of parking) totally works. Isn’t that why we all are here? But the world isn’t like that anymore. When I was a teenager we only calculated travel times based on how long to get to the freeway. From there, well, it was free sailing!

I was thinking about efficiency for a bike as miles per energy cost and ignoring time and capacity limitations and all the other things that actually matter. Appologies to ORACLE. .

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jessie February 13, 2018 at 12:49 PM

wastin MY time

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WC resident February 13, 2018 at 1:03 PM

I too have seen the bikes scattered around and was planning on complaining to the city of WC as the bikes are being left on or next to city sidewalks.

January 30 – Ygnacio canal at Wiget Lane.
February 1 – Ygnacio canel at Meander Drive.
February 4 – Ygnacio canal at Walnut Blvd.
February 8 – Three bikes in the back parking lot of a building at Shadelands right next to the bridge over CC canal to the CC canal trail.
February 11 – Six bikes spotted. One bike next to the CC Canal immediate west of 680 freeway. It was parked in front of the Crossfit gym. The gym was closed at the time and so I assume the Lime people had dumped the bike there. Two bikes on the Ygnacio canal at Cherry lane. Two bikes in north end parking lot of Heather Farm park so that it’s near the CC canal trail. One bike on the Ygnacio canal at Arbolado Drive.

I have seen several people riding the bikes and so they are being used. I’ve never seen one in the same place twice meaning people either are renting them, stealing them, or Lime takes the bike away after a day or so if it’s not rented.

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HRJ February 13, 2018 at 1:05 PM

Thanks to this article, I just went and downloaded the app. It may be more useful if the coverage expands a bit, but I love the idea!

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debdvo February 13, 2018 at 1:17 PM

as per a commenter on site:

1) What is Walnut Creek’s investment? $0. Nothing.
2) Are there any sort of preferred areas to leave the bikes? No, but hopefully they will be in fairly well-trafficked areas.
3) Can someone reserve a bike? No. (I see this as an issue if someone rides it to lunch a few miles away.)
4) What happens if someone puts it in their garage for only themselves to use? “That can happen, but hopefully won’t.”
5) What happens if a bike is left in a hazardous way or dumped somewhere? Lime Bike has 4 people servicing WC to pick up any bikes left unused after 24 hours and redistributed. GPS alerts Lime Bike to all bike locations and usage.
6) Can someone pick a bike up and put it in their truck? No. An alarm would go off and call the police and Lime Bike with location of bike.

To summarize, Lime Bike expects some loss, but hoping the upside and usage (and cars off the road) more than makes up for it.

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Sam February 13, 2018 at 1:18 PM

Get the sheep ready!!

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Horse February 13, 2018 at 2:00 PM

How could this possibly be profitable?

Procedure says: “Park bike at a designated bike rack when ride complete.”
Yeah, right.

I’ve seen those things dumped in neighborhoods, creeks, ditches, and everywhere in between.

Hopefully, they went with the lowest bidder.

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rkt88edmo February 14, 2018 at 7:08 AM

If you go to lunch and spend more than 30 mins (to get from office park, eat and get back) and they can do $2 for 250 days then these bikes pay off in year one and become profitable after that. And I could see them averaging more half hour rentals than that across the fleet.

Gargoyle February 13, 2018 at 5:10 PM

Invent a collapsible bike helmet, go on Shark Tank, get stinking rich, never have to ride a bike again.

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Eudamonia February 13, 2018 at 9:01 PM

If I never had to ride a bike again, I would cry. Riding a bike is a choice for me. Pure joy.

Ittybittykitty February 13, 2018 at 6:15 PM

Love it , but all the tweekers will steal them

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FromClayton February 13, 2018 at 6:55 PM

Well it works in Amsterdam and other places like that. So it muuuuuuust work here. Those stupid bikes are on every other sidewalk in my neighborhood. I wish they could have painted them in urban camo so I didn’t have to see them everywhere and get all old guy angry at a bike.

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Voice of reason February 16, 2018 at 12:01 AM

I like the urban camo idea!!!

Pedalin' Pinhead February 13, 2018 at 7:07 PM

I probably will never use one because to me a bicycle is a highly personal piece of equipment like shoes or a toothbrush, but I am ecstatic that venture capital is taking some big gambles to explore new transportation paradigms. Even without the environmental issues, our transportation systems will evolve, and bicycles will surely be a huge part of the future. It is wonderful that entrepreneurs are taking some imaginative approaches to getting more people on bikes. Not everyone is interested in or in a position to keep and maintain a bicycle. By creating an opportunity to be a “casual” cyclist , I am hopeful that many more people will ride some, instead of not at all.

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Valarie February 13, 2018 at 9:50 PM

They are SUPPOSE to be dropped back off at a lime bike station according to the app and not left scattered.

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Mika February 13, 2018 at 10:08 PM

I saw this type of bike rental system in Beiijing. Heavily used there. I’m sure no one would even think of stealing one there! I’ve seen these lime green bikes dumped at random spots not near anything. I guess if you want to use one you have to find one?

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Brian February 13, 2018 at 11:24 PM

Interesting .
Lets say I find one and decide to ride it to lunch. Can someone else then just scan it and take it ? I need it to be there when I am done eating so i can make the return trip ….

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Esther February 13, 2018 at 11:43 PM

I live by Shadelands and I see kids from the nearby schools riding them around…one time I saw 3 kids on one bike heading towards Monument. Seems like it’s more of a headache than it’s worth. I have a feeling these will all disappear…

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KAD February 14, 2018 at 12:00 AM

This is a great idea. I hope it works and takes off. I used to love riding a bike when I was younger. Too old for it now but just flying down the street is so much fun on a bike. It is just a great feeling. In my old neighborhood in Pleasant Hill, I would get the dog and we would take off around a few blocks. It was not a busy area so I did not have to worry about either of us getting hit.

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rkt88edmo February 14, 2018 at 7:10 AM

I love bicycles and think that bikes do a lot for keeping communities healthy and accessible. Lowering the barriers to anyone hopping on a bike for errands and short trips is a great idea.

I hope bikeshare catches on here in Contra Costa and is successful.

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D.V. Guy February 14, 2018 at 7:14 AM

I saw 3 LITTLE kids riding them on Clayton/Detroit with no helmet!!! when these kids fall off and get hurt who will be on the hook… Lime Bike?? I can’t see why not but they must have an out?? what could it be??

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TIFOKCIS February 14, 2018 at 8:34 AM

Two Lime Bike riders riding side by side blocking traffic on Shadelands yesterday. Just the type Lime Bike attracts.

All about them.

Ride in tandem ‘people’.

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Rico February 14, 2018 at 12:36 PM

Can’t wait for the lawyers to get a hold of this one. What a stupid idea.

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Kirkwood February 14, 2018 at 2:22 PM

Bicycles will always be a recreational toy in any but second and third world countries. People who can afford it will always choose a form of transportation that requires little personal effort. Bikes in some areas might eventually become viable when they become self powered.

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Kenji February 15, 2018 at 9:14 AM

I don’t think Denmark or the Netherlands are second- or third-world countries…

Jojo Potato February 14, 2018 at 2:40 PM

@Kirkwood I’m not sure where you get your ideas but they don’t match mine. I ride my bike as a first choice because it takes some effort and gets me their quick and easy in the right environment. I’m always better to go in the morning after a bike ride. Then I have to meet up with a bunch of your friends that have been stuck in traffic and spewing fumes. Sorry that doesn’t work for you.

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WC resident February 14, 2018 at 5:00 PM

@Kirkwood. Bicycles are very common in many European towns and cities. In Europe, the villages and towns had defensive walls around them. While the walls are no longer necessary the towns tend to stay within the walls. They don’t have suburban sprawl. When taking the train across France for example it’s miles and miles of countryside and farms. Then boom, you are in a densely constructed town or city. The result is that a bicycle is very practical as it’s not that far from one end of town to another. They also don’t bother with bike locks. It’s common to see hundreds of bikes left on the sidewalk as people go into shops and restaurants. Bicycles are not that common in the second and third world as people tend to walk and the terrain is often times too rough for bicycles.

Closer to home is Davis where bicycles are very popular. Davis is similar to European towns in that it’s mostly contained within a couple of square miles surround by countryside.

Other than some specific zones in the this area I’m skeptical that Limebike or a bike-centric model can be successful here. The people who need bicycles live and shop on the Monument corridor. I don’t see any Limebikes in that area. Instead, they are putting them in suburban Walnut Creek where everyone has a garage and the odds are high they have bicycles. Downtown WC is compact enough that most people that work there walk to eat. Another downside is that other than the IHT, there are also no safe bikeways in the downtown WC area. There are also few places where you can park a bicycle.

Shadelands seems like a perfect spot as you can bike over to the shopping centers at Oak Grove and Ygnacio or Oak Grove and Treat to get lunch. A Limebike operation within Shadelands should work well, particularly if they add more bicycle accessible paths within Shadelands and to/from the shopping centers. Most of the office buildings in Shadelands have bike racks near the front door.

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Richie gh February 14, 2018 at 5:23 PM

Just wait unitil a rider gets hurt on one and decides to sue the company.

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Reality says... February 15, 2018 at 9:16 AM
Voice of reason February 16, 2018 at 12:22 AM

I love the idea. I think it’s fun. But you should see what happens to Lime bikes in LA. A town down there has a bunch of pictures of lime bike angst. I can post some. It’s pretty funny and kind of sad at the same time.

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