Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Divvy Diary: Free bike!


     There is only one Thai dish, as far as I’m concerned: beef and broccoli.
     And only one Thai restaurant makes it properly, Star of Siam on Illinois.
     Which explains why last week I found myself biking past a dozen lesser restaurants, ramming my Divvy bike home, yet again, into a dock at State and Kinzie. Since sometimes the mechanism is broken, already closed, or the little green light doesn’t come on, I habitually give the handlebars a hard yank to be sure it’s securely locked in.
     As I do this, vibration caused the bike to my right to roll back on its own and clatter to the sidewalk.
     Obviously, whoever returned it is not a thorough person, such as myself, and did not ensure the bike was properly docked. I gaze at the fallen bike, sprawled on the sidewalk. I must have a larcenous soul. Because my first thought was “Free bike!” I could ride this Divvy anywhere, parking where I please. It was an off-grid Divvy. No need to lock it because it wasn’t mine in the first place.
     I contemplate this.
     A bike toppling out of its dock is something new. But otherwise, eight months into my second year as a Divvy rider, the system has become routine. I rode all winter, again. While Winter Year One had an “Ooh, it’s February and I’m riding a bike downtown” vibe, this winter it was ordinary, just what you do to get to the County Building, Millennium Park or the Clinton L station to grab the Pink Line west...

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18 comments:

  1. There's another reason for the unlocked bike: Divvy told the person to leave the bike in the unlocked dock. This happened to me twice this winter after the first big snows: the only open docks wouldn't accept/lock the bike and there were no available docks at the next divvy station. Both times I called customer service and they told me to go back to the first station and just leave the bike there.

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  2. If I worked downtown, I'd sign up in a minute, just to bike to lunch. But I'm afraid we won't see any divvies West of the Dan Ryan any time soon. Thanks, Neil, for reminding us of what we're missing.

    John

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  3. What's with this bike bull? Using bikes in winter? It's amazing you all didn't catch pneumonia
    or get run over by cars or crash on ice/ snow. Get in the damn car and stop trying to prove something. Some of those messenger bikers are jerks too and do dangerous things.

    I said today, oh no, not another bike story-sounds like a hassle to me.

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  4. or take a long walk if you must- you can afford a cab, use it- or drive to work

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  5. I'd be panicky if had to work downtown or worry about taking trains, busses. Chicago is only for leisure for me. Ahhh, love those far suburbs.

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    1. love the convience of the car and not worried about traffic in city or parking or freezing

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  6. "Get in the damn car..." "you can afford a cab..."

    Yes, because all drivers are gracious, law-abiding heroes and all cab drivers are prudent, with safety as their primary concern.

    Neil, I'm surprised that one of your calculations was not that you were doing a favor for the person who'd left the bike insufficiently docked. If they weren't in the same situation as A-n-A mentions above, weren't they still liable to be charged for the extra time until that bike was properly accounted for?

    I like Star of Siam AND beef with broccoli a lot. But there are MANY swell Thai places in town --who knows HOW many -- and lots of swell dishes to try. For me, the quality of the Tom Yum soup is a crucial factor. Sadly, SoS is one of the numerous spots that only serves a giant bowl for two, not an individual portion. : (

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    1. at least in a car or cab you might not be freezing and what's with all that thai food stuff? who knows what they put in there

      stick with Italian, American, French, mex. or Chinese, stay away from Indian too, I don't trust that

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    2. Yeah, it really makes one wonder how the population of India got to be a billion and a quarter, or thereabouts, eating untrustworthy stuff like that...

      I gotta say, Anonymous, you're putting in quite a performance today, filling in for the variety of similar opinions that might have been expressed about this column had the S-T not dumped its comments!

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    3. by not allowing women much rights with birth control or say so or not having it available due to dire poverty, that's how they got that high, read some history books about what it was like in INdia nad how it still is, the Brits were actually doing some good things there, not all bad, they needed development and don't just look at pc revisionist history

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    4. Jackash, wish you'd change your handle, I'm afraid I'm going to accidentally type jackass one day

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  7. I can't blame Divvy co. for not putting them in certains spots. THe poor and homeless and minorities aren't always sweet, people who had bad luck. Mark Brown is too much of a bleeding heart with his oh no the 3rd rate housing place is closing, when some of the ones that got money spent it on coke. Could you imagine what gangbangers would do with those bikes??

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    1. and don't be holier than thou folks, some of you agree but won't say it in the name of pc, let's face facts

      and minorities aren't in jail only cause they got picked on and the police were naughty

      before you assume I live in a suburb with decent a-a families that work and stay together, I hated the south for what they did with jim crow, and I voted for the President, and am happy when minorities get higher education, but some can only blame selves, so don't get on you're you are racist highhorse, be moderate, not super lib or conserve.

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  8. I quite like Thai food Jakash, but am inclined to patronize Thai restaurants as much for the ambience and the service. The Thais have a peace-inducing decorative sense, and the waitresses I find unusually gracious..

    Tom Evans

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    1. yes, terrible what goes on with young girls in Thailand, gov't does nothing about it either

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    2. It was my intention to say something complimentary about Thai people, who I have always found place a high premium on courtesy. Finding something bad in that is a bit of a reach. And not a little creepy.

      TE

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  9. and look at the bad additives they found in Chinese food that has been shipped to amer. stores, I don't mean the restaurant kind

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  10. what a fiasco that was with starbucks, overpaid ceo with bad ideas trying to brownnose groups, no pun intended , thinking it's good for business and why would starbucks go into bad neighborhoods, that would be unaffordable for those in that area and they'd prob get robbed

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