Even though as a taxi driver its kinda odd being interested in bike sharing service. When City of Chicago introduced Divvy I wanted to try one out. Its been years I’ve ridden a bicycles beside riding one in gym. I’ve been thinking about buying a bike for years.
One Saturday morning I decided to try Divvy out. Plan was to drive my car to any Divvy station near Lake Shore bike track. I’ve already downloaded the ‘CycleFinder’ app and I spotted a good Divvy station near Montrose Harbor. After parking my car, which by the way wasn’t a problem on Montrose Harbor, I walked up to Divvy station, entered all the info and it gave me 5 digit code to enter at one of those bikes. I walked up to one bike and entered the code, light turned yellow and then red. I got confused. I thought I did something wrong. I walked up to another bike and same thing happened. I went back to the terminal and tried to get another code. Guess what, I’ve to wait two minutes. I called Divvy customer service number. Getting a rep was pretty fast and she said try again. Lucky me, this time it worked.
Finally I got my bike out and I start pedaling. Wow, it felt amazing instantly. Just not only the bike, the breeze I felt on my face, the whole experience of riding. I really missed bicycle riding.
Divvy bikes are pretty good. I don’t have much experience of trying out different bikes but Divvy seems pretty comfortable. Seats are very good. It has 3 gears and works pretty well. Breaks works great as well.
I took the bike trail next to Lake Shore drive. I’ve already looked at the ‘CycleFinder’ app and knew where will I stop to change the bike. I was loving the experience AND it’s good exercise. I reached to Belmont Divvy Station and changed the bike. Changing bike was an ok experience but it definitely can be faster with your annual membership key fob.
I didn’t ride too much on my first day. It was a round trip from Belmont to Montrose Harbor. By this time I was in love with the whole experience and was back next day. This time my goal was to ride farther. As usual I went to Montrose Harbor and experience the same problem one more time. I had trouble getting the bike out. It kept going red when I entered the code. Well, Finally it worked and I got the bike out. Again, I changed the bike at Belmont Divvy station and now I was heading further south.
I was enjoying the bike track so much. Its the scenic route, water, greenery great tunes playing on my iPhone which was also tracking my progress in ‘Moves’ app.
I decided to change the bike at Fullerton and to go further south. At Fullerton station they only have two spots
open. Good enough for me to change bikes, but spot that was open just refuse to take my bike in. I tried few times and I wasn’t being too gentle either cause you have to push the bike in. Nop, it just didn’t wanted to take my bike. Well, I went to next station on North Ave and same problem there. I thought station on Oak isn’t too far so I rode there. Same problem there. I was getting extremely frustrated by now. I was over my 30 min limit and farther then I anticipated to ride that evening. Suddenly my great experienced turned into frustration. I called Divvy and told them I won’t be changing my bike until I get to Montrose Harbor and they told me to call them back for credit.
So far my bike “riding” experience has been great. I’m just loving the work out it gives me. I’m skipping my gym somedays because I can ride the bike and enjoy my work out way more. When it comes to Divvy. I love the idea and the concept but they really need to work with the stations to make them better. Its a great concept and will be a huge success if they improve few hiccups it has.
I’ve ridden so many times after my first try. Mostly it went well, but sometimes I also have had trouble with their credit card readers not reading cards. Then you have to find another station just to change the bike. Now that is just a pain. Our parking meters credit card reader are hardly ever broken I would suggest to Divvy to use the same service
One more thing, they way this whole experience of renting the bike and changing the bike every 30 min is designed, its much more comfortable and easy if you have the annual membership. I don’t have it yet but I just bought it and excited for my Divvy key fob to arrive on Monday. I’m sure Divvy will be improving all the minor problems soon and will do great in my beautiful city Chicago.