Divvy Usage In Blizzards Is Immaterial

Background Reading

Summary

Divvy bikes sit covered in snow near Franklin and Lake on Monday. | Al Podgorski/Sun-Times Media

Divvy bikes sit covered in snow near Franklin and Lake on Monday. | Al Podgorski/Sun-Times Media

The writer meant to make this sound heroic, but it is not:

“Insane” is the adjective most people use to describe people who ride bicycles during blizzard conditions (and the author of this post has heard it many times). But if recent data provided to the Sun-Times from Chicago’s bike sharing program Divvy is any indication, Sunday’s storm was no big deal for dozens of city cyclists.

This is about as sincere as a ‘backhand compliment‘ can get. Please, please stop trying to write ‘fluff pieces‘ about a situation which is tragic and only getting worse.

You cannot run any kind of business anywhere in the world with ‘dozens‘ of customers. And to make this a really sad story, you have to ask yourself what percentage of those ‘dozens of users‘ have annual memberships.

If you find out that most of them do then that is even more tragic. The annual memberships are ‘lost leaders‘ in terms of this service. You really and truly need thousands upon thousands of riders using the service on a daily basis and the majority of them with one-day passes.

This kind of title is intended to lift the spirits of the pro-cycling community who care about BikeShare. But at least here in Chicago and no doubt in New York these bikes as vehicles are considered ‘jokes‘. The ChainLink Forum is replete with contemptuous remarks about their gearing and the quality of ridership they attract.

In sexist terms this would have been what a 1950s frat boy termed a girls bike. So despite all the hoopla, all we really need to do is wait until the second or third year of the service rolls around and then read about the ‘reality‘ of the situation.