Photo: A Citi Bike Dock Is Not Your Bike Rack
We’ve spotted plenty of Citi Bikes in places they shouldn’t be—on the subway, at a comedy show, hovering in the sky—but this is the first time we’ve seen a regular bike wedged into a Citi Bike dock. “Found a regular bike locked into one of the CitiBike racks on 16th and 5th, taking up space,” says tipster Christian Arichabala. It’s one thing to trash a docking station or smash it in protest, but this is just rude.
We strongly advise you leave Citi Bike stations for Citi Bikes, and count your lucky stars you’re tall enough to even ride one.
This is brilliant on several levels! The most immediate response I have to this use of a BikeShare dock is that it demonstrates that even the usually whiney Urban Cyclist can have as little disregard for the proper use of infrastructure as any truck driver unloading a case or two of PBR to the local bar during Rush Hour. Bravo! Why take a self-righteous attitude and plot to take snapshots of illegally parked motorists when you can be similarly obnoxious yourself.
Seriously, this thing was thought through in fine fashion. In one smooth gesture you have a conventional upright bicycle using a structure that cannot be easily carted away and that locks the rear wheel and its quick release hub inside a relatively confined area, making theft very difficult. Anyone taking an angle grinder to the wheel or the stanchion is certain to draw unwanted attention.
That does leave the front wheel open for removal. But a strategically placed U-lock there (capturing that wheel and the frame’s down tube) and voila you have a design that the city could copy and make universal. It is certainly a good deal clear than the standard inverted-U bike rack that I have seen. There is little change of the bike falling over and for my peace of mind it leaves a very orderly and visually clean look to a mass of some dozen or more bicycles parked on the street. In fact if the city had it’s think cap on it could find a clean and easy way to make these stanchions easily activated for the purposes of intended use by riders with person bikes. You could swipe your card (just as if you were renting a bikeShare vehicle) but in this case you would be locking your bike between a front and a rear stanchion and paying perhaps the same $7 per day fee as a Divvy bike requires. Only this time you get to lock your bike in a very secure convenient place.
See I told you this was a brilliant idea and the fellow should be given a reward design idea fee and a years worth of ‘free parking‘.