Be Your Own “Rebalancing” Problem Solver

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Background Reading

By Julie Sherman
Apr 27, 2017

In a July 2017 article for Streetsblog Chicago Julie Sherman bemoans the problem of untimely “rebalancing” for Divvy stations. It means that either bikes are unavailable for use by women traveling solo (so they are forced to find another alternative) or that the station dock positions are full when effectively means that women have to find an empty dock further from their destination and walk the rest of the way to their destination.

The second of these two is very problematic in my mind because it signals the possibility that the rider is getting charged late docking fees on top of being unable to get home safely (adding insult to injury).


Folding bikes are for me an option that warrants consideration. The Brompton folding bike is sold here in Chicago at shops like Cosmic Bikes.


The author is “spot-on” when she notes the following:

I have an annual Divvy bike-share membership and have had one for several years. I like the flexibility of being able to usually find and grab a bike as I make my way from point A to B, and then point F to G, without worrying that my own bike is sitting out vulnerable to the elements, vandalism, and theft.

One avenue of attack is ownership of your own Divvy-alternative. What the Brompton offers is a folding bike of modest weight and size that allows a lone female to carry her bike out of the house to the front door. She takes off on her way to work, grocery shopping or wherever and carries her bike indoors at her destination. She repeats this process at each stop until returning safely to her home base.

Being a lone female at night or during the day should not mean that you are without safe transportation options. A Brompton can be carried (or even rolled) on a commuter train, into a grocery store, stashed under a table at a restaurant or even your desk at work! You have your transportation mode at your side wherever you go.

The smart commuter takes her bicycle with her at all times.

You can keep it out of the weather, or away from thieves all day long. If you have a job that means moving from building-to-building for meetings this is your answer to always have easy access to your transportation.

Solo female making her way on a Brompton folder with ample carrying capacity.

These bikes can even be purchased in a configuration that provides full-time illumination from a front hub generator (including a tail light) which means never having to fiddle with batteries. You get light wherever you want or need it and you do not have to buy batteries!

As the article above indicates these bikes come in several configurations which means a curb weight ranging from 20-28 pounds! My wife tells me this is equivalent to a couple of full cat litter containers.

But even elderly people of either gender can manipulate a folded Brompton.

Carry your Brompton up stairs easily.

Here is a link to an article aimed at females. Enjoy!