Why Divvy Really, Really Matters

Background Reading

Summary

The Divvy station once located near Addison and Pine Grove has been moved to Waveland and Pine Grove. It was the subject of a lawsuit from residents who didn't want it, although city officials said the suit did not play a role in the change. DNAinfo/Erica Demarest

The Divvy station once located near Addison and Pine Grove has been moved to Waveland and Pine Grove. It was the subject of a lawsuit from residents who didn’t want it, although city officials said the suit did not play a role in the change.
DNAinfo/Erica Demarest

There are several things that make Divvy ideal for a modern city:

  • It is relatively inexpensive to use. Even a yearly pass is under $100 current rates. A 24-hour pass is just the ticket for someone who wants to enjoy the city scenes on a bicycle but does not want to bring one for the purpose. It beats a general rental shop because there are so very many of them. And you can start and stop your daily use at any station.
  • It is the most secure form of bike transportation. For a Divvy theft to occur someone has to leave the bike unattended outside a docking station. Otherwise as ‘Hal the Bike Locking Specialist‘ notes you cannot steal the seat or the wheels when properly inserted into a station stanchion.
  • It is the ‘greenest’ of all cycling options. The guys who write about ‘automobile parking‘ and its drawbacks seem always to fail to compare it to the problem of ‘bicycle parking‘. Bicycle parking is ugly, trust me on this one. It is largely a problem that only something as expensive and limited as the underground bike parking system in Japan can remedy. But then you have to walk from this location to your destination. Divvy provides the option of parking your bike in a place convenient to your destination. And that means not having lots of ugly personal bikes piled in a heap or locked illegally to fences. It beats the Bicycle Apple idea hands down.
  • It means that bikes are safer. If you are one of those folks who simply hates the idea of having bicycles licensed in the manner of automobiles, you should love Divvy. Why? Because it means that as with cars which get checked for assurances that they are in ‘proper working order‘ you get to ride around (or know that others are as well) on a bike in working order with properly inflated tires and a good selection of front and rear lights.
  • It is a family friendly transportation option. Because the bikes are cheap and ubiquitous it means that on holidays you and your family can ride in style on bikes that you do not have to strap to the rear of your car to drive into the city to then use for touring around the city after having paid for the privilege of safe and secure parking. If you can take Mass Transit into the city you can ride thereafter for $7 all day. That is a ‘no brainer‘.
  • It is easy to ride. Most private bikes have gears that are shifted using a rather outmoded and ‘easily-injured‘ rear derailleur system. Divvy bikes use a quite modern and virtually indestructible internal gear system. There are usually only 3 gears on such systems. But in a city like Chicago which is essentially ‘flat‘ this is ideal. You get to ‘tool around‘ without having to worry about which gear you should be in. Most folks do not shift because having 27 or even 30 options is to their mind insane. And it really is. If you were a seasoned professional racer in the Tour de France that many options makes sense. But an elderly parent or a young teen gets back with fewer choices and can instead concentrate on braking and sight seeing. You are never more than a shift away from the perfect gear.
  • It could bring savings as a commuter. Finally if you want to really make this a ‘sweet deal‘, then allow folks to deduct from their taxes the cost of operating a Divvy bike. Another ‘no-brainer‘. It could in fact become a portion of your monthly commuter train ticket and serve as that last mile option for suburban commuters.
  • Divvys are already electrified. That set of lights front and rear that the Divvy has are powered by a hub generator. These devices are awesome in that they can be used to re-charge cell phones and camera batteries. They can even power GPS units. Imagine what you could do if you had the ability to run a GPS unit from the Divvy hub generator and thus track your visit to every location in the city?
  • Divvvs are already on the internet. Using that cell phone which you have been recharging from your Divvy hub generator you can use your cell phone to find each and every Divvy station in the city. That same application could be used to develop touring routes through the city to see the various places you want to visit. Your phone or your GPS unit could announce turn-by-turn routes based on the Divvy station information that leads you to a series of sights that you wish to see or places you want to visit or even restaurants and coffee shop you want to frequent. Sweet!
  • Divvys are already electric motor ready. Using a device already design and only needing buyers you could turn that Divvy into a motorized scooter capable of whisking you from point-to-point faster than you could ever hope to travel under your own power.
  • U-Locks and Heavy Chains Are Not Needed. I mentioned before that Divvys have great locking to their stations. What that means is that you can save yourself the money required to buy two heavy and bulky U-Locks or a chain that is motorcycle-worthy and weighs as much as a biker chick.
  • Divvys are ready for nasty weather. All Divvy bikes have fender skirts and fenders. This makes them ready for allowing you to ride in nasty weather where the streets are splashing up all sort of nasty stuff. But you can ride the bike with a long coat on and never worry about getting it entangled in your spokes.