Cycling in Sydney Australia
Here's what I thought of my first experience of the Bike Share scheme.
I completed the registration process on the app, and that was that, it popped up with a message and I am ready to ride
So, I was mistaken in my earlier posts that you have to wait for confirmation in writing and that they need photo ID before you are allowed to rent a bike.
The promo they are running at the moment for $100 of free credits comes in the form of 25 x $4.00 credits, or 1 hour. So as long as the trip is less than 1 hour it’s 25 free trips.
I could see that there were some bikes round the corner, so wandered over for a look. Having picked my steed it’s a simple case of tapping unlock on the app and the photo QR box pops up. Hover over the QR code on the handlebars on the bike and there is a mechanical thunk as the rear lock disengages. And that’s it, you’re off.
So I hoped on to the separated bike path and that’s where I encountered by first problem. Some ‘confused’ driver had decided that he didn’t want to drive on the road because the green path with bi-di arrows looked a lot more attractive.
I did have a word and pointed out that he should be on the road and not the cyclepath and he apologised. Still, not Reddy’s problem but I’ll get back to that later…
Did a few laps around china town, up and down Gouburn Street to see what the gears are like. There are three gears on a twist on the right handlebar. Getting up Goulburn, albeit slowly, didn’t require extensive effort in 1. The rest of the time I just stayed in 2 and pootled around. I didn’t feel truly comfortable/stable on the bike so never ventured in to 3 but that’s only really useful for downhill.
It’s also worth noting that the bell is also a twisty on the left handlebar. Took me a while to find it, but it’s a pretty smart design and should not get damaged/stolen which is quite clever.
After a bit of a cruise around I headed over to World Square where I found some of its siblings. After putting up the stand you simply close the rear lock manually, there is a resultant beep and then the app tells you the ride has finished. It summarised a 1.99 half hour trip, then applies one of the $4.00 discounts leaving a balance of 0.00 to pay. Simply tap pay now and it’s all done and dusted. It even gives you a screen of your GPS track for you to share using various social tools.
Overall it was a good experience. The Bike was good, but it’s less than 24 hours old, so it should be. The helmet, those skateboard types, was nice and clean and fresh, but again, this is probably its first use. But it doesn’t make you look too dorky.
I would happily use it again to get from central to circular quay, or over to darling harbour. It’s actually relatively simple, fairly good value and easy to use. Problems? Just the one really. On my usual commuter, a bit lycra’d up, you get a bit of respect from most drivers. On a bright red step-through upright bike I had plenty of times when Sydney traffic is turning across me, changing lanes in front, revving engines etc. I’ve got over 10 years of dealing with road dicks so it doesn’t bother me, but if I was a newbie I wouldn’t be too impressed and this was a few times in just a 20 minute ride in a 40 km/h city that mainly had 20 km/h limits due to the roadworks on George Street.
As mentioned, I’ll use it again, and whilst it’s good to see a bike share scheme in Sydney and it should be good for the public, I’m not sure Sydney drivers are ‘ready’ for a bike share scheme.
I inhabit the CBD and near environs (unless I am riding) and have only seen two being ridden in the 3-4 weeks they have been available, (one at Pyrmont, Millar St and one in Botanical Gardens) ,so wouldn't think they have gone viral / trending just yet. Another company competing is going to make it difficult for both. I have not seen any advertising / promotion but as I am not big into other social media I might have missed it. Early days I suppose.
Might check out and report on the yellow ones over the weekend as there is one right outside my front door in Zetland - and plenty around Waterloo etc too. From what I can tell they are only single speed v the 3 speed Nexus on the red ones - but have only had a cursory look.
OMG it was hard work trying to decent cruising speed using the obike
HRM reached 177 before HRM decided it had enough of tracking for today
plastic-ish rims, dynamo hub pretty mcuh means zero free cruising speeds
22kgs means hills are HIIT sessions
Also : Airless tires were pretty hard and so I had to moderate by riding as I'm pretty used to going through potholes / debris with no issues on my 45psi tubeless but get jolted with these tires. (or any tires at 75psi+ really... no issues with airless tires, wonderful stuff)
Still, I would say they work best for rides you intend to cruise along at ~12kmh for say 3~5kms
$69 refundable deposit, you get $3 credit for it
Cost is $1.99 every 30minutes
Get your mates referrals code to get 10x $1 for taking your first ride effectively means it can be $0.99 for your 4-10th rides (that end within 30minutes) (plus your mate gets it too)
Alternatively jump on this link which has some random referral codes
Reddy Go lined up sometime down the track (maybe!)