So, I live right outside of the city…Alsip to be exact. I’m 5 blocks outside of the city limit. Yes…I know, it brings me much shame too! It’s a situation I’m working on.
However, I work in the West Loop. I drive to work daily. I have biked to work however. I’m a huge bicyclist. It’s 24 miles one way. Certainly not a daily commute, but if I know my day will consist of being in the office (I travel around the city frequently for work), and straight home without any accoutrement, I will take that ride when the weather permits. I love biking. I’ve ridden 33 miles so far this month, and did 54 miles last month. I’ll easily get into the hundreds as the weather becomes more consistent.
Now, on my way to work, sometimes I will stop in the Beverly/Morgan Park Starbucks on 103rd and Longwood. It’s on my way to work, and is a quick stop with actual parking (on the street) at that time of day. Last Thursday, while busting a right turn on 103rd and Western, I saw a small army of Lime bikes and OFO bikes in front of the Walgreens there.
Now, I became familiar with Lime Bikes while in Washington D.C. for the March For Our Lives. I was unfamiliar with the concept of dockless bike share programs. However, it wasn’t the Lime Bikes that caught my attention, but the Lime Scooters! I thought they were awesome looking, and I love scooters. I’ve never gone all in and bought one, but they look like a great way to get around, and a pleasant change for those days when my a** is crazily saddle sore, as it is right now.
Yes, I know, I need to buy biking shorts.
I was determined to try out one of the Lime Scooters, but then my phone died during the rally. I was sad.
So I was very surprised to see Lime Bikes there in Beverly. Upon further investigation, the Lime Bikes will be, at least for now, only on the south side of the city, along with fellow dockless share companies OFO and Pace.
So, turns out, these three companies are in response to the lack of Divvy stations on the south side of the city (not including Hyde Park, which I always think of as an enclave more so than a neighborhood). And yes, I know that Hyde Park is a neighborhood, and a really cool one, but it does have Divvy, and also one of the most prestigious universities in the country.
I love the concept. I’ve been a Divvy member for over a year now. I like it, but being a bike owner, it’s $10 a month I’d love to keep in my pocket, but I keep my membership because moments do pop up, 2 or 3 times a month usually, where riding a Divvy would just be easier than breaking out my own bike. Never faster, but sometimes more expedient. Since the addition of the single ride option, the pricing options are more diverse, but…I really like the idea of $1 to unlock and $0.15 a minute. Certainly not suited for all day rides, but for short rides from point a to point b, without the need of a membership, it’s a cool option. Also, a 30 minute ride, which is the limit for Divvy at $3.99, would put you at $5.50 with Lime, but you also don’t need to search for a dock.
I find the addition of these three companies interesting. I can’t wait to try them both out. The Lime Bike is also E-assisted, which was noted in the Chicago Sun-Times article by Neil Steinberg…he says it takes some getting used to.
I’m so glad that the aldermen on the southside have decided to be proactive in taking care of their people. I like the fact that Chicago has consistently been trying to craft itself into more of a “Bike City”, and while biking on the southside is, in my humble opinion, completely different than biking on the north side due to the lack of bike lanes and etiquette from drivers, it’s such an amazing mode of transportation, and so healthy, the city should be trying to bring this “right” to all corners of the city, and all populations. Kudos to all involved in making this happen.
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