Still too much cold and snow for bike riding in northern Michigan, but my trip last week to San Diego gave me a few opportunities.
I was in town for work, but found time for cycling at each end of my stay. On Sunday I decided to try the city’s bike share system while looking for a hat shop I had heard about.
There are two options for bicycle renting in the downtown area. The official bike share setup is sponsored by Discover and features docking stations all over town. Like similar systems in other cities, one sets up an account, unlocks a bike, rides, then returns the bike to a station close to the destination.
Another choice is the several companies offering dockless rentals. The bicycles are scattered all over, found on most corners downtown. Using a smartphone app, the rider scans a QR code to unlock the bike. After riding, the bicycle can be left anywhere for the next rider. (One morning I saw a crew with a truck moving bikes to best spots for the new day.)
I tried the Discover bike share first. It was easy to setup my account with credit card and email address. However, my attempt to unlock a bike failed. Since I didn’t want multiple charges on my card with no ride, I tried the dockless bike next.
After installing the app, it was easy to setup the account, scan a bike, and start riding. After a short ride over bike lanes and shared traffic lanes I arrived at my shop and ended the rental.
For the trip back, I decided to try the little scooters the company also offered. Not much bigger than a Razor scooter, this electric powered little guy was easy to ride on both streets and sidewalks as needed. I stopped at a Ralph’s grocery store to get a deli sandwich for lunch.
One evening during my conference I tried one of the dockless bikes with electric assist. Since I was late for a meeting, this made my short trip quick and easy with minimal sweat.
My final ride in San Diego was more planned and relaxed. Taking a Lyft across the Coronado Bay Bridge, I arrived at a bike shop that rented beach cruisers. Big wide handlebars, a wire basket, and balloon tires made for a comfy, slow trip around Coronado Island.
My trip included a stop at Dog Beach, where pooches were running around having a ball. Would like to take my pup there some day.
After returning the bicycle at the shop, I retired to the Irish pub just around the corner (I planned this trip well) for some water, an adult beverage, and a greasy burger.
I have no more trips to warm locales planned this Spring, so I hope the weather gets more agreeable to bike rides here at home.