Guide to Bike-share Programs

Bike-share programs are becoming increasingly popular across the globe.  In essence we have observed somewhat of an explosive growth of those programs across North America, Europe, Asia. So I decided to provide a summary of those programs in various parts of the world and hopefully that can become a guide for those of us who travel and would need access to a bike in a city across the world.  Later on I plan to put together a database of the programs where I provide further information and a more extensive list of the programs and locations.  

Based on data I have found so far, there are over 530 bicycle sharing programs worldwide.  Here are also some stunning statistics (courtesy of US News and World Report):

Bike sharing statistics

The programs include various methods of membership including

  • daily pass — in the range of $6-$12
  • Multi-day (e.g. 3-day) — in the range of $22-$25
  • Pay by month (but a commitment to an annual total membership required)
  • Annual — which range from $65 to $100

The programs are becoming so popular that some of the companies that operate them for various cities are now offering programs for property owners as well — i.e. if you are operating an appartment complex, would you like to offer bike renting / sharing to your renters….a very neat idea.  One example of such a company is  

I like their strong push into getting agreements in place with even hotels — on their blog I saw an article highliting that bike sharing is "The Modern Hotel Amenity" — I can see the attraction of that.  The Hyatt in Philadelphia is apparently already offering such a program…!

Going back to the objective at hand, let's start with a brief listing of cities that offer bike-share programs:

Bay Area Bike Share Program

– covers San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Redwood City, San Francisco; Pricing: Annual = $88, Annual with monthly payments = $99; 3-day = $22; 24-hours = $9, that includes 30-minutes free (if you are late returning the bike); 31-6 minutes additional is $4; 

Boston – the program name is The Hubway

The program offers over 100 stations and 1000 bikes; Available in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville; Annual membership is $85; Monthly is $24; 3-day pass is $12 and 24-hour is $6;

Denver – the program name is Denver B Cycle 

This program has even more varied pricing / membership fee structure.  Annual = $80; 30-day = $30; 7-day=$24; 24-hours = $8 plus you have a fee of $4 for additional 30-minutes;  First 30-minutes are free (i.e. you have a grace period of 30-minutes to return the bike each time)

There is a long list of cities that offer programs – to name a few – Miami Beach, Austin, Minneapolis, Washington D.C., overseas locations – e.g. Hangzhou (China), Helsinki, Amsterdam, Paris, etc.  

I will be putting together a database of those.  



Review: Tech21 Impact Mesh Case for iPhone 5/5s

OK, so it is not exactly a bike product, but I'm sure most of you cyclists have smartphones–perhaps iPhones–and if you are like me, you are always on the lookout for the perfect case.  Currently, my favorite iPhone 5 case is the Tech21 Impact Mesh case. In comparison to my previous case–a Speck CandyShell–It is a little wider and a tiny bit longer, but it adds less thickness to the phone, even though the case's lip is higher and more protective.  I think that is because the back of the case is thinner, in comparison to the CandyShell.  However, as the back of the iPhone 5 is pretty sturdy, I appreciate the fact that Tech21 concentrates its efforts on the sides of the iPhone.  This is where the magic D3O gel is located–you can see it as an orange band encircling the case's edge.  I have a white iPhone and the blue Impact Mesh case looks quite marvelous with it.  The orange D3O strip is visible through the clear blue TPU, but it just adds a high tech, cool dimension to its appearance.  As far as fit is concerned, my Impact Mesh fits like a glove and has a premium feel in the hand.  It has a perfect amount of grip–just enough, while still being easy to pull in and out your pocket.  The cut-outs are all perfectly positioned.  The sleep/wake button is easy to push.  The volume up and down buttons are slightly harder to push, but it is no big deal.  The case looks great, feels great, and I would imagine that it would protect great as well, although I haven't dropped my phone with this case on it.  I am very picky where cases are concerned and this one meets all my criteria.  In summary, if you are looking for an attractive, slim, protective case for your iPhone 5 or 5s, you should strongly consider the Tech21 Impact Mesh. It is available from the Apple Store for $34.95.  Check out my YouTube review if you would like more information:

Tech21 Impact Mesh Case for iPhone 5

Biking in Austin

Austin is a place where there are tons of very avid bike riders.  You will see them on the various roads and in the multiple state parks (for the mountain biking crowd) almost any day of the week.  Even when the temperature outside is above 100F in the hot Texas summer, you will see road bikes on the various highways and roads in the city.

Bee Caves Road, 360, Walnut Creek, McKinney Falls, Pedernalles Falls State parks are are just a few of the place where you will encounter the crowd…

There is something else you will see in Austin — take a look below – an amazing view of a sunrise… Picture taken from Bee Caves Road

View from Bee Caves Road 


Interesting New Mountain Bikes

Recently there have been a bunch of new mountain bikes that have been announced that are catching my attention as being different (in a good way of course).  So, I decided to add a posting on the topic.  After all, all of us biking enthusiasts are always on the look out for the next great bicycle.  

With that in mind – let's take a look…

The first one that was announced is the Silverback Signo Technica 650b/29er;  The manufacturer is preparing a new Web site here and for time being detalils on the new products are limited.  The Shtutgart Germany company demoed the new product at Eurobike and here are key aspects of the machine:  It combines a 29-inch wheel at the front with a 27.5-inch in the rear;  A dual-position Rock-Shox fork provides the ability to use two different travel lengths on the shock based on whether you are going down a slope or climbing a hill.  The two settings are a 140-mm for the more comfortable ride and for the fast climb you can switch to the 110-mm setting.

Siverback demo area  Silverback Signo Technica

And here is a YouTube video on this bike:


Then there are the new mountain bikes from Canyon — the one that appears good and versatile bike for us the amateurs is the Spectral AL.  Of course this one is a different bike overall – being with full suspension, and available with 650b and 29-inch wheels. 


Rimac Automobili Greyp G12 Bike

Rimac Automobili has launched a bike that is both a motorbike and a bicycle – per the manufacturer…Here comes another interesting product that is supposed to give us both great thrills in being on the trail as well as provide a realtively long range on the road combined with ways to reduce polution — yes, it is another electric bike.

On September 4th 2013, the Grey G12 was announced in London.  It can achieve speeds of 40-miles per hour and a range (not counting on a human peddaling) of 75-miles.   Very good combination…

Grey G12 Bike 

To quote the manufacturer:  The Greyp G12 is designed from the ground up to combine the best of both worlds – motorcycles and bicycles. It is a bicycle when you want it, or a motorcycle when you need it. With stunning performance for an electric bike – 65 km/h top speed and a range of up to 120km without pedalling, you will enjoy riding with Greyp. It can easily be recharged from 0 to 100 percent in only 80 minutes – from a standard 220V outlet.

No question this is appears to be a very useful combination of features.  And of course a bike that you can take to work and then have your exercise on the way home….or just get home faster with the help of the electric motor…


Bicycle Maintenance – Basic Rules

What are the fundamental maintenance requirements for your bicycle…well there are many, but here in this article I will summarize the basics, which will also get you in the right situation with your machine.   Here we go:

  • To start with – you cannot claim you maintain and adjust a bike that is NOT lubricated and IS durty – so please clean your bike and lubricate regularly all threaded parts of it.
  • Maintenance often involves disassembly.  So, when you do that make sure you keep track of the sequence of parts coming off the bike and where they are.  You can use your smart phone to take photos or video of the disassembly – believe me – it will help you!
  • Check the tire pressure before every ride.  It should be your second nature.  It will save you hassle
  • Before every ride, check for any play in your bike's headset, crank, and hubs.  Checking early can save you a bigger bill out in time, and potental hassles today
  • Don't touch disk brake pads with your fingers.  Why?  The oils in your finger tips will cause it to reduce their effectiveness
  • Preferably do not put your bike upside down.  You should invest in a bike stand.  Otherwise you will ruin your saddle and / or scratch some valuable part

Then here there are some HOME REMEDIES you can use with your bike when in need:

1) Nail polish:  You can use it to touch up scratched or chipped bike paint; you can use the right shade of nail polish very successfully

2) Olive oil — what do you think?  Well, you are right – it tastes great in your salad AND it also can serve well as chain lubricant