I took my first ride on a Lime Bike last weekend. Here’s how it went down. My extra-long Sunday morning walk had started great, with cool temps and passing clouds. But by the time I started home, the lovely northern Wisconsin morning had morphed into a “South Florida” mid-afternoon. As I stood sweating, slightly irritated and way too far from home, a miracle occurred.
A cute green bike appeared – randomly – smack in the middle of a tiny neighborhood park I was passing. Three minutes later I had downloaded the Lime Bike app, uploaded my credit card and tootled my Lime directly to my door. Miserable slog averted!
Chances are, you’ve noticed a smattering of cheery, lime green bikes around town. Since Green Bay kicked the program off last month, my family has taken to looking for Lime Bikes like we used to look for Waldo. We shout out when we see one, and my kids have even started a game where they imagine the story behind each bike ride. The two bikes parked under a tree by the East River Trail? Perhaps the riders rode the bikes there to watch their kids’ baseball game, and ended up catching a car ride home with friends – no need to worry about the bikes that got them there. Or maybe they hopped a ride with a passing kayaker.
As transplants from Chicago, bike shares are not new to our family. When we’re back in the the city, we regularly use the Divvy bike-share program. But the freedom and flexibility of Lime is something new. While Divvy is a great program, it can be a frustrating one as well. Case in point, just two weeks ago my husband and our boys used Divvy’s to head out to a favorite restaurant near White Sox park. Upon arrival at their destination, the Divvy dock was full. Womp womp. Matt had no choice but to wait until someone undocked or bike to the nearest available dock.
When I stumbled upon the Lime Bike in the off-the-beaten track playground, I was able to ride the Lime Bike all the way home (see photo!). And now I have a new tool in my transportation mix. On days when I choose to walk to work, I know I can hop a Lime home if I am running late or feeling droopy. Long walks have the option of becoming rides if need be. A meeting across the river? I can hop a Lime rather than drive my car.
As an advocate for an active, connected community, I’m are thrilled to see this movement. The more rides people take, the more we will all learn about the power of bikes and other shared transport to relieve pressure on our streets and environment while at the same time helping us be more active in our daily habits.
Have you hopped on a Lime? If so, how did it go?