Five years ago, who would think of going to Downtown Los Angeles to bike? Are you out of your mind?
Leisure biking in downtown LA was unheard of up until a couple of years ago.
I’d always just think of it as a means to deliver food or a very small parcel.
Hard to navigate traffic, not to mention the one-way streets. Honestly, in all my seventeen years of working in downtown, I could not remember which street goes this way or that way – still.
Then there are big buses, more cars and NO BIKE LANES.
Thanks to the City of LA and Metro and its plans on Bringing Back Broadway, Metro has taken the intiative of dedicating bike lanes around downtown, or at least starting to, encouraging more and more people brave the lanes of downtown LA.
Being given the opportunity to try out their Metro bikes (read: free tickets – finally!), together with couple of my co-workers, we decided to cycle around LA (or more like go around a few blocks) during our lunch break.
Tickets were for free for first 30 minutes. Then $1.25 every minute after.
Because we didn’t want to get too sweaty after biking, good, cool weather was what we hoped for.
And luckily, our wish was granted.
Now, we had to make sure that each one of us would be guaranteed a bike. A very helpful app, Metro Bike Share which tells you the location of where the bikes are and even how many are available for use. Cool, huh?
Just a pair of cons we’ve noticed: 1. Be sure to be armed with a credit card (or two!). The machine would not accept mine. It keeps saying “card read error” no matter which way it was slid in.
2. One machine for an entire fleet of bikes. Luckily, we were the only ones there using the machine. And with the sun shining on the screen makes it harder to read the screen, thus taking up precious time of our lunch break!
1. Machine was touch screen. Just like using an ATM or a smartphone. No problemo.
2. Bikes were sturdy. No worries about those bumps on the road! An adult could easily carry and steer it with ease.
3. It comes with bells and trinkets! On the inner part of the right handlebar. With your hand on the right handlebar, give it a rev and you ring the bell. Haha!
It also has the speed adjustment. Didn’t try it but my other co-worker did. Just don’t try to fiddle with it with a bus behind you. You could get stuck with the big bus trying to eat you from behind. Ha! The bike also comes with a basket. Not those natural, weavy kind. But the metal kind with a closure.
One thing was for sure, biking around downtown was surprisingly — fun!
P.S. Don’t be surprised if the next day your card gets charged $26 and $1. Just temporary charges. In another three days, they will be gone. Granted, of course you have and entered the “free” code.