They say two weeks is a long time in politics, but in CityCycle time it doesn’t seem to be that long. Granted we have had a LOT of rain, but the pace of failed stations going live and new stations opening is progressing at a pace that is leaving even patient turtles drumming their claws.
I have been riding at every opportunity – whether it be a dash to Merthyr Village for a baguette (yes I did ride back with a baguette in my basket but forgot to wear my striped shirt and beret) – or just going for a leisurely cruise along the boardwalk at sunset, I have clocked up around 4.5 hours and just under 20 rides. I have had, on the whole very good experiences. Only one more bike has been dodgy, so I put it back with its seat back to front (that is what we are adopting right?) and another subscriber advised me that he grabbed a bike only to realise into the ride that his tyre was flat.
My closest station still isn’t finished, though they have at least started the station now. The station at Merthyr Village is still techy. They finally got it working again after a week, and people who lived in the area, couldn’t hire and called, or people like myself who called after riding there then unable get back without a walk to another station, got a few extra weeks added to their subscription
My biggest beef with CityCycle is just that stations that make PERFECT sense to be the first ones rolled out aren’t live. According to fellow subscriber, CityCycle responded to his enquiry regarding Southbank, and they advised that they hoped they would be ready by the end of the year. End of the year? Seriously?
Another problem has been with the lack of response in moving bikes around. More than once I have gone past a station multiple times with only 1 bike or past a station with only 1-2 free bases. Surely the team (with so few bases to monitor) can address this. Another problem are stations going live that aren’t finished – i.e.. No numbers on the bike racks – which makes working out which bike you are supposed to release kind of tricky. CityCycle did respond to my emails regarding this and have fixed up one already.
I have learnt a few tricks along the way. The most important one is how to reset a station. If you swipe your card and it gets stuck on Validating, hit V a few times, and it will bounce back to the Welcome Screen. Try and swipe again, repeat. After a few tries, the station with “close” with the red unavailable message. Fear not, in 30 seconds, it will reboot with a Welcome Screen and you can successfully swipe.
My biggest beefs about riding has nothing to do with CityCycle – it has to do with people who park so atrociously they force you out of the bike lane (I am looking at you people of Teneriffe). Pedestrians who just step out into the bike lane to check for cars. Let’s not forget cars that push through intersections into the bike lane before they can go, again forcing you out of the bike lane. My biggest beef though is reserved for bus drivers. Yes, I said it! Going through red lights, blocking intersections, cutting infront of you and half stopping against the curb so their tail sticks out, forcing you into traffic – or the classic pull out then indicate. I am half tempted to take my dive pad with me (you strap it on your arm and you can write underwater) so I can name and shame.
Must haves in your CityCycle bag – phone (for calling CityCycle), a small hand towel/face washer to dry the seat and hand grips, GoCard incase you get stuck, and a brush or comb. Baguette is optional.
CityCycle remains at the same PandaRating, though I certainly see light at the end of the tunnel. You can read my first review of CityCycle here.
PS. Apologies for the odd formatting – no idea what I clicked.
UPDATE: I want to add “Pedestrians who stroll along share paths 3-4 abreast or pushing strollers who think that the bell I ring isn’t directed at them. Often times there isn’t anyway to go around them, esp on the boardwalks. The bike is heavier so slower to stop and less manoeuvrable. Oh and parents who let toddlers run back and forth along the paths thinking it is funny/brilliant, then give you death looks when you almost fall off avoiding their kid.” #bitterpanda