I'm no liberal tree hugger who rides a bike a work as some sort of statement about the environment or corporate profits or anything like that. I just hate the metro, need to lose weight and may or may not enjoy checking out coeds jogging in the morning (the fatties run at night - true facts, bro). However, I don't own a bike - I rent one. I use the Capital Bike Share program for $75 a year. I am a fan, but I'm quickly losing faith.
This morning I went to my normal bike station in Arlington and was surprised to see only two bikes left. That was odd. I was telling this girl just how odd it was as I pushed her down and snatched the last bike. Her friend tried to chase me and stop me by ringing the bell on the bike she had grabbed - like that would work. Hilarious.
Things weren't so funny when I got to my destination at 14th and G and found this:
In the picture you can see there's a Bike Share truck and employee on site. I asked him if he was going to free up some spots and he told me, "no, I'm just here to see what bikes need fixing." So not only was this Capital Bike Share employee not alleviating the problem of there being no slots to return bikes, he was blocking an entire lane on 14th street during rush hour. He was literally doing nothing but f*cking up everyone's commute - way to go Capital Bike Share.
That picture was actually taken after I had finally found a single open rack spot more than five blocks away. I had walked back by with the intent of taking this photograph thinking I'd likely find open spots and feel like a fool. Nope, still completely full as were the racks from 15th Street to 7th and from Constitution all the way to K Street. Me and about 50 other Bike Share morons were racing from station to station all over the Metro Center area only to find them all full.
It's not like the Bike Share people don't know there's a problem with their being no open slots in an area. There's an app that shows you the inventory at each station. That's how I knew all of them were full from the White house to the Building Museum. I still rode over to them hoping the app was wrong - it wasn't. Luckily for me I was early and had time to ride around all over the place waiting for something to open up. Finally at 15th and K a spot made itself available, but it took heading off two other guys on red bikes and crossing mid block with a fair amount of traffic to dodge to get it.
It was after all that I snapped the picture above. Off camera were a few more Bike Share riders disappointed by the situation. I had spent 35 minutes searching for an open spot and it seemed as if I was lucky to get what I got (it took me only 15 minutes to get to downtown from where I picked up the bike). These other people had to head to the other side of the White House to find an open dock. That's two metro stops from Metro Center and that sucks.
Want to know what that same rack looked like at noon? Here you go:
Still completely full and there were still people riding around looking for open spots. So not only did Capital Bike Share suck early this morning, they continued to suck until at least lunch.
This is bullshit. I know it sucks that everyone rides the bikes downhill to this general area in the city and never rides them out, but Capital Bike Share knows this and either needs to remedy the problem or let riders know that we've created a problem they don't feel like fixing so we can either stop doing business with them or ride the bikes back to higher ground.
Shame on you Capital Bike Share... Shame on YOU (Imagine I said that very dramatically as if they had caused cancer in children in exchange for bigger profits).