Thursday, April 26, 2018

Bike Rental Launches, Monster Cookie, Bike More Challenge - Newsbits

Wheeling season is here, and there's a lot of activity cranking up just now. Some of the big pieces are new bike rental programs. There's also the Monster Cookie this weekend, and next month is Bike Month with a rodeo at North and the Bike More Challenge statewide.

Eugene Bike Rental Program PeaceHealthRides - via Twitter
Eugene's bike share program - like with "ride share" it's a kind of rental and hire, not a sharing program, so it may be that "ride rental" is a better descriptor - launched this past week, and that will be interesting to watch.

You may remember how they snuck into the ConnectOregon program and ruffled some feathers, which resulted in some rule changes on project eligibility, but nonetheless secured funding for 300 bikes.

They've also got a significant title sponsor in the Peacehealth system.

Adoption by students at the University will determine a great proportion of its success.

It will be interesting to see how people actually use it.

Docking Station at the Hult Center on 6th Ave
A reader sent in an image of the docking stations* on the north side of the Hult Center. While the Hult is a lovely auditorium, it is the product of old-school urban renewal sandwiched between two very zoomy stroads, the 6th/7th Ave one-way couplet. Neither 6th nor 7th has bike lanes, so this docking station is not positioned for any direct east-west travel. The designated bikeways are on 5th and 8th. It's also in an awkward island between the road and a taxi waiting area for the hotel and auditorium. (* Update and correction: The bike provider, Social Bicycles, actually uses a "dockless" system, so it is not correct to call this a docking station.)

6th/7th are busy - the dock at 6th and Willamette
Willamette Street, the main north-south axis of downtown, and a direct connection to Amtrak, has lots of sharrows, and is blocked to car traffic between 6th and 7th, forming a sidewalk and partial plaza between the Hult and its hotel. It is a logical place for a docking station - but only connects for north-south travel.

Even in that plaza between 6th and 7th on Willamette, and again for any east-west travel, the sidewalk is constrained and it will be interesting to see how comfortable users are in the roadway. It may be there are conflicts with people on foot. It may be there is an increase in "urban deer," unpredictable movements by those on bike.

A long and critical piece in Eugene Weekly
At the same time as the bike rental launch, Eugene Weekly published their annual bike issue, and at its center was a stinging critique of stasis and even decline in Eugene transportation.

Will the rental program and an influx of new users prompt more systematic change?

Salem's Bike Rental Program

By contrast, Salem's rental program, Capitol City Cycleshare, is a whole order of magnitude smaller, and they recently announced another delay.

They were supposed to launch about now, hoping to coincide with the Monster Cookie (see below!), but now say
our Board has voted to pursue a launch goal date of June 23rd. This will be just in time for the World Beat Festival beginning June 30th! Our Board also voted in our planned pricing structure, which is much more cost-effective than previously proposed:

Pay as you go Membership: No initial cost but $1.50 per 30 minutes, up to $30 per ride.

Annual Membership: $25 billed annually.
- Fare for each trip: Trips under 1.5 hours are free, then $1.50 per 30 minutes thereafter, up to $30 per 24hr ride

Student Annual Membership: $15 billed annually.
- Fare for each trip: Trips under 1.5 hours are free, then $1.50 per 30 minutes.
Dockless bike rental is overtaking a docked model, and another question, which both Eugene and Salem will face, is whether they've already committed to an obsolete and inflexible model. (Update - See note above!)

(Monmouth also recently launched a bike rental program with about 100 bikes. They are using a dockless model.) 

Without adequate bike lanes downtown in Salem, it's so hard to see how this is going to work out. I worry a lot about too much sidewalk riding and about underuse. Fingers crossed!

Monster Cookie

The first big ride of the season is here on Sunday the 29th. Unfortunately, the warmth we've had the last few days looks to disappear tomorrow, and the weekend's weather is uncertain.

Monster Cookie, 2011

Prepping for the Monster Cookie, 2015
(Councilor Hoy on left in helmet, via SBC)
If you bike regularly, you'll already know about the Salem Bicycle Club's Monster Cookie ride. (Even City Councilors do it!)

It's a metric century - 62 miles - through the rolling hills of French Prairie out to Champoeg and back. Some people only do half of it, from Salem to Champoeg, and get picked up at Champoeg.You could do the second half, from Champoeg to Salem, also. This year they'll also use the Winter-Maple Bikeway through town.

Day-of-ride registration ($35) opens at 8am on the Capitol Mall Fountain. Unless you ride regularly and want to commit regardless of the weather, that's the way to do it. The last minute decision is ok!

And always remember Governor Geer, who rode his bike out to Champoeg on May 1st, 1900, to set in motion the establishment of the historical marker and then the park!

Bike More Challenge

The challenge runs the whole month of May and can register here.
The Bike More Challenge is a fun, free competition to encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to experience first hand joys and benefits of riding a bike. There are lots of fantastic prizes to tempt your team, which we'll announce as the Challenge approaches. Show off your #bikemore pride with these awesome merch items!

Businesses compete against each other to see who can get the most staff to ride a bike and log their trips between May 1-31. We use a simple points model to allow workplaces to compete with each other across their size category (see the points system below). The points system has been carefully selected to ensure a fair and exciting competition, and to strongly encourage workplaces to engage new riders if they want to climb the leaderboard and secure victory!

It’s not just about who can ride the most miles, but also who can encourage the most people to give bicycling a try. Of course, if you log more miles and more trips you'll earn more points (and have a shot at some special individual prizes), but the fastest way to earn more points is to encourage more people to get on a bike and ride!
Bike Rodeo

Salem Environmental Education is holding a bike rodeo on May 5th at North High. They've been looking for volunteers
to help run their bike rodeo for high school students at North Salem on Saturday, May 5th. Specifically, they are seeking folks to assist with the cycling skills training stations. Please contact Jon Yoder at if you are available and interested.


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Edit: Corrected misunderstanding on the Eugene configuration, that the SoBi bike is a "dockless" model.)

Falcon Embroidery said...

christania’s “Bike Rental Copenhagen” bikes are rolling across the city. The system, less than a year old, is funded by christania’s municipal government. It is currently only in one of christania’s 22 administrative districts. Although a 2nd generation system, there are 12 “Houses” in this district, each with around 40 bikes. The yearly subscription cost is the equivalent of $2 US, and allows the use of a bike for up to four hours at a time. In less than a year, there have been 6,000 subscriptions sold. There are larger 3rd generation systems in the world, which do not have a subscription to bike ratio as big as that.

Anonymous said...

In a Facebook post dated June 18th, Capitol City Cycleshare says:

"Hello Cycleshare Advocates! We continue to make progress with the program, but unfortunately the cycleshare launch will not occur by the previously set goal of June 23rd. The legal contracts are still under negotiations preventing us from rolling out the bikes this month. We will keep you posted as we learn more from the players involved. Thank you for your understanding."

Anonymous said...

Re: "dockless":

At Bike Portland-

"Portland was one of the first big cities to use “smart bikes” which have all the technology for reserving and locking on-board and don’t require cumbersome kiosks. Though not the same as dockless, the current type of bike share bike that’s sweeping the country, they’re close enough to have allowed Biketown to remain competitive. 'I think going with a smart bike model, which has now been rebranded as dockless,' McBeth said at the meeting, 'Turned out to be a really good move on our part. It’s allowed us to be flexible.'"