BikeShare stations officially launched in Fullerton

Bike Nation Mechanic, Christian Vallejo was polishing the BikeShare rides before today's dedication ceremony, until early guests started asking questions.

Bike Nation Mechanic, Christian Vallejo was polishing the BikeShare rides before today’s dedication ceremony, until early guests started asking questions.

Inexpensive bicycle rental has come to Fullerton. And it is among the things marking the beginning of the end of the freeway culture.

County Supervisor Shawn Nelson hosted a gaggle of politicians at the South of Commonwealth Parking Garage in a dedication ceremony making official the BikeShare partnership between BikeNation, the County of Orange, the Orange County Transportation Authority and the City of Fullerton.

Nelson said the country is at an end of an era of freeway construction. The future belongs to trains, buses and bicycles.

BikeShare currently has 11 stations across the city. Two more are planned. And two more are hoped for, the BikeShare website reports. Currently, they serve the flat areas of Fullerton. St. Jude Medical Center will have to wait.

BikeShare Map

Blue tags mark BikeShare stations from which you can pick up a bike and ride. The red tags are stations being planned.

The stations consists of bike rack holding a row of bicycles and a vending kiosk where, with the swipe of a credit card, one can purchase a daily, monthly or annual membership permitting one to ride as much as one wants at no extra charge–if one plans trips of less than 30 minutes per bike.

Shawn Nelson

County Supervisor Shawn Nelson takes a turn on a rental bike. It was noted by many he did not wear a helmet for this test ride around the parking plaza.

“Passes cost $5 for a one-day pass and $12 for a 7-day pass. Annual memberships are available to frequent users for $75,” the OCTA website reads. “There is also a discounted $45 annual membership for students. Bike rides lasting longer than 30 minutes will incur an overtime charge of $2 to $5 per 30 minutes.”

Others attending today’s dedication included the mayor pro tem of Fullerton, Greg Sebourn; City Council Woman Jan Flory; and North Orange County Community College District Trustee Leonard Lahtinen.

City of Fullerton Bike Users Subcommittee members

City of Fullerton Bike Users Subcommittee Members Vince Buck, Jane Rand, and John Carroll, speak with City Councilwoman Jan Flory (right of center). The committee reviews policies, plans and projects affecting bicycle travel within the city. The committee meets at 5 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month.

The short ceremony was followed by an opportunity for attendees to ride BikeShare rigs.

Christian Vallejo & Jane Rands

Jane Rands gets an explanation of the gearing on the BikeShare bicycles from Christian Vallejo, Bike Nation Mechanic. The bikes are nearly indestructible because of safe-guards that a first-time user must learn.

The chatter among those bikers attending, who have tried the BikeShare equipment, is one really can ride all day for the price of a membership if one rides from one bike station to another in less than 30 minutes, swaps rides, and then proceeds to the next station in under 30 minutes.

Only two complaints were heard. The rugged bikes are not speedy, $2,000 touring bikes; and if a rider meets a friend and stops to talk, as happens often in Fullerton, the rider probably will pay BikeShare an overtime charge.

U-Lock saves Cypress College student’s bike

A quick clean cut is all it takes to steal a bike secured with a cable. For this bike owner, however, a cable was not enough. He used a U-lock also. He still has his bike.

A quick clean cut is all it takes to steal a bike secured with a cable. For this bike owner, however, a cable was not enough. He used a U-lock also. He still has his bike.

A Cypress College student, a careful young man who locks up his bike with both a U-lock and a cable, got his money’s worth Wednesday night. Thieves cut his cable cleanly, but could not defeat the U-lock.

The bicyclist who parked next to him was not so lucky. Gone in 60 seconds. The bicycle rack is in a heavily patrolled plaza between the Science Building and the Art Building.

Cypress College security staff members keep warning careless bicyclists to use good locks. However, the officers still write about 10 stolen bike reports a month.

Future Fullerton Bikeshare memberships available

2013_8_Rideshare_BikeLink_MembershipW

OCTA has announced a new bike sharing program for Fullerton.

Basically, you rent a bike, ride it to the next rental station, and leave it. It has been proven effective in such large cities as Denver and Washington, D.C.

The are many questions that are not answered in this poster or the website. Here are some of the answers from OCTA BikeLink and other sources you need to understand the potential value of BikeLink in your life.

  1. There are said to be 10 stations initially planned in Fullerton: Fullerton Train Station, Fullerton City Hall Complex, Cal State Fullerton,  Fullerton College and College Plaza Shopping Center. But that’s only five stations on the list; and the map only shows eight stations.
  2. During the two-year pilot program, BikeLink bikes will operate only within the city of Fullerton.
  3. Meanwhile, Bike Nation, a Tustin-based company, which is the company it appears is installing the bikes in Fullerton (it is never stated clearly), has installed 10 kiosks and 100 bikes in Anaheim. Initial reviews from Veggie Biking audience members say that system is less than satisfactory.
  4. BikeNation’s 4,000-bike Los Angeles bike sharing program is reported by the Los Angeles Times to be on hold until a financial backer or an advertising program can be found to augment the program’s, rental fees.
  5. There is no mention of reciprocity between the Fullerton and Anaheim systems. So you cannot, it appears, take bikes from one city to the other, a natural thing for college students to do.
  6. You can buy a one-day or seven-day Fullerton Bikelink Access Pass* from any OCTA BikeLink station. It appears you must use a credit card for this, as a $100 refundable deposit is placed on the card every time you rent a bike. Can you charge a trip using your smartphone as in Washington, D.C., or do you have to use the Kiosk?
  7. A BikeLink Access Pass ranges from $5 for a one-day Pass to $12 for a seven-day pass.
  8. The first 30 minutes of riding on every trip is free.
  9. If your trip is longer than 30 minutes you will be charged overtime fees (see pricing).
  10. Or you can buy an annual pass which gives you an annual membership card with which you can simply tap the kiosk and remove a bicycle.
  11. Annual memberships are available for purchase online.
  12. If there are no empty docks, go to the kiosk, swipe your credit card and you will receive a 15-minute credit. You will then be directed to the nearest station with empty docks. (Do you get a free bus pass to get back to where you wanted to be?)
  13. You can check the BikeLink station map online prior to your ride for real-time information such as available docks and bikes.
  14. However, there is no mention of using the smartphone Spotcycle app which gives information for over 40 cities world wide, including Long Beach.
  15. The bicycles have easy adjusting seat posts with calibration marks to ensure the right seat height for you every ride. The bicycles also have step-thru frames for ease of use and low center of gravity.
  16. The BikeLink bicycle utilizes airless tires and chainless shaft-driven drivetrain.
  17. All the bicycles have baskets in the front for your personal belongings.
  18. DO NOT ABANDON YOUR CHECKED-OUT BICYCLE IF IT DOESN’T WORK!, warns OCTA. It remains your responsibility until properly returned. Return and lock it at the dock and push the red mechanics button on the dock.You can return the bike at any of the stations located in the city of Fullerton. Simply put the bike into any available dock, wait for the green light to blink to make sure it locks and you are done until your next ride. (Is there a pick-up service such as the bike rental shops provide?)
  19. Call the OCTA Bikelink 24-hour Customer Service Center at 800.980.7942 if you have any questions.

OCTA asks you share this information a friend or associate. If you want questions answered in person, you can bike to the Orange County Transportation Authority, 550 S. Main St., Orange, CA, 92863-1584.

My Commute: In Milwaukee, every sign post is a bike rack

 

Josh and his George's Big Dog Stand.

Customer parking is not a problem for Josh, who sets up his George’s Big Dogs hotdog and bratwurst stand four days a week outside Milwaukee’s National Hardware. The amateur kickball team member offers a grilled dog and toasted bun on his gas grill. Of course, he has three kinds of mustard and sauer kraut. His stand is next to two sign posts where customers lock up to grab lunch and shop in the hardware.

Almost every sign post in downtown Milwaukee has a bicycle locked to it.

Sign post bike rack close up

If every sign post is going to be a bike rack, Milwaukee decided they should be good bike racks.

Seriously! So the city embraced the obvious and has made many downtown sign poles bike racks.

National Hardware

National Hardware provides the Veggie Biker with all sorts of devices for adapting cameras to bicycles. One can find all the pieces to construct an apartment bicycle rack.

Men in coats and ties pedal down the streets and pull up to the nearest sign post, lock up, and go inside businesses. Of course, downtown is full of students from Marquette University, Wisconsin University and the School of Engineering commuting effortlessly up the hills and across the river bridges.

Of course, some poles seem to have bicycles permanently attached. There are bicycles that appear not to have been moved in months. Others, slowly disappear over time as parts are stripped away. However, the Veggie Biker observed the U-Lock and a cable meant never having to worry when you find your very own sign-post bike rack.

Abandoned bike

This forgotten bike has to be pivoted around the sign post each week by the person mowing the parkway. The basket if filled with empty cans and coffee cups.

 

ALERT! Free Metrolink ride to OCTA bike rally 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Orange

octalogo2

Alert courtesy Marcia Jeffredo

The Orange County Transportation Authority is sponsoring a bike ride 7:30 p.m. Thursday from the Metrolink Station, 194 N. Atchison Street, in the City of Orange to the OCTA headquarters, 550 S. Main Street, Orange. You will be riding with local elected officials, so get your biking wish list ready.

This is part of its celebration of National Bike Month.

As you can read on this poster, OCTA writes it wants to show you the new bicycles and bicycle parking equipment being introduced by the OCTA for the new BikeLink System. Because Metrolink is offering free train rides to anyone boarding with a bike, you can jump aboard at any Metrolink station and arrive at the Orange station in time for the rally.

octabikemonthpledge

Cycling News: Fullerton Connector Study Saturday meeting shortened

Fullerton wkshp flyer-FRONT.ai
The Fullerton College Connector Study meeting, April 27, will end at 1:30 p.m., not 3 p.m. as originally announced, reads yesterday’s email from the Fullerton Planning Commission.
The meeting at the Fullerton Community Center will welcome citizens to present their best ideas on the development of downtown and the neighborhoods along the streets leading to downtown. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. at the Fullerton Community Center, 340 West Commonwealth Ave.
This meeting is where everyday bicyclists can present ideas such as creating a Safe Routes of School Program, installing bike lanes and bike corrals–bike lanes separated from traffic by barriers–plus other amenities to make Fullerton an award-winning bicycle city.
The Email reads:
“April 27 Workshop Time Changed! Now Ending at 1:30 pm.

“We are listening.  We understand that your time is valuable and limited.  We have heard from many of you that you would like to participate in the upcoming workshop for the Fullerton Connector Study, Saturday, April 27 but you hoped that the meeting could require less of your time.  We have responded by revising the agenda to maximize the working/interaction time with the public and minimize presentations by the team.  The meeting will begin at 10:00 am and end no later than 1:30 pm.  Thank you for helping us make this the best effort possible. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

“Signed,
The Fullerton Planning Forum”
For more information, bikers can go to: http://www.fullertonplanningforum.com
or contact: Heather Allen, heathera@ci.fullerton.ca.us, or 714-738-6884.

My Commute: How NOT to Lock Your Bike!

A casual look by the Veggie Biker at a college campus bicycle lot shows only two bikes out of approximately 20 are properly secured against theft. Three-hundred-dollar rims and accessories are there for the taking, if someone can’t steal the whole bike. Visit the Veggie Biking website for more tips on using your bike as you live your daily life.