A Triathlete’s First Commuting Experience with LimeBike

Gooooood morning Reno, and welcome back to the work week. It was a bit rainy over the weekend, but hopefully you found some fun activities to keep you busy. I spent most of my weekend in the garage – hanging, cleaning, drilling, rearranging, sorting, and organizing. Ah, how I miss working with my hands…

In the past month or so, Reno has become the most recent recipient of a bike share program known as LimeBike. The idea is simple – LimeBike leaves a ton of their brightly colored bikes scattered all over Reno (primarily downtown, in parks, pedestrian traffic areas, etc.), and for the awesome price of $1 per 30 minutes, you can use their bike to your heart’s content. It’s perfect for cruising along the river, getting to the Aces baseball game, or traversing the river path over to your car mechanic.

It’s convenient, super easy to use, affordable, and a clean and motivating way to create transportation options.

I’ve been watching the LimeBike phenom take over the Biggest Little City from our perch next to the river, and finally found the opportunity to try it out for myself. I downloaded the app, which I used to track down the nearest bike via GPS, which was about 100 feet outside of our building, and headed out. The bikes have foam core tires (flat proof) and a large basket for carrying various packs, lunch boxes, etc. They did a nice job anticipating bike commuter’s needs!

The bikes remain locked until it syncs with the app on your phone and can then bill you for your rental time. I attempted to use the camera functionality to read the QR code that is imprinted on the bike, and while that did not work, I quickly punched in the numeric code (as a backup to the scan), my bike unlocked with a satisfying click and a pleasant, musical diddy, and I was ready to roll.

LimeBike storage area near the baseball stadium.

My 5.42 mile ride was actually about what I expected, fairly pleasant, and although the bike is about as heavy as a tank (certainly compared to my racing bikes), it was very stable, if lacking somewhat in the suspension arena. A few times I got a major jolt as I smashed through some bumps and ruts in the sidewalk. There were moments where I very noticeably wished I had some beefier gears, but for the most part, the level of effort felt appropriate, and braking was sharp for a bike that weighed 40 or 50 pounds.

Crossing the Truckee.

I reached my destination, unloaded my stuff, locked the bike by pushing down on the large, red handle (along with guidance from the app), and walked twelve feet to the mechanic. Not a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon!

At the end of the day, it was easy, affordable, and something right up my alley – human powered movement. I do wish that the LimeBike app natively supported turn-by-turn navigation in-app (instead of using Google Maps), but it has a nice cell phone holster if you need to figure out where you’re going while biking.

All done!

I am definitely looking forward to seeing how LimeBike evolves in Reno over the next few months! If you’re interested in LimeBiking in your city, you can go to their website and “vote” to bring them to your metropolis!

Happy cycling! :-)

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