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    • Chris

      We live in a residential area 2.5 miles from Trader Joe's and we needed groceries (chocolate!) So I stepped outside on a gorgeous day with my skateboard and grocery bags. But then I spied this beauty.

      So I installed the Lime app, typed my phone number, scanned the code and presto! Unlocked bike. 🎉It said I could take my first ride for as little as a dollar and that I had 43.1 miles of range.

      Wow, that electric assist. I am faster on my real bikes, but I cruised effortlessly on this at 12 mph without getting sweaty or putting on bike gear. I even forgot to wear a helmet.

      I parked at Trader Joe's and wondered, um, will the bike be here when I come back or am I walking home? It was, but there were a lot of people hovering around it, curious. They wanted to watch how I did it. Tech-savvy me, I'll show 'em how easy it is.

      I pull out my phone and scan: Error. Not enough credits. Wait, what? Then how did I get here? I have to choose my payment plan. $10 credits and no bonuses? $20 and save $1? I choose $10.

      Payment error. What does that mean? Okay, I'll try a different payment method. How do I do that? I see how to get paid for collecting scooters and charging them. Oh, it only takes Apple Pay. Try again. Payment error.

      The crowd laughed and lost faith in my tech-savvy. The humiliation. I got out a new credit card and scanned it, told Apple Pay to forget the old, in with the new. Payment succeeded: $2.33 for the last ride. Balance: $7.67. So I guess the first ride is free until you want a second ride? But if your credit card has an issue, have a nice walk?

      Anyway, I enjoyed it and would do it again. I parked it in front of my house, the neighbor gave me stink-eye, but it was gone this morning when I got up.

    • RussP

      The bike share business is not working in Sydney 2 companies have shut up shop this week.
      They both site over regulation and our helmet laws as a problem.

      The dockless types are also causing major problems with the bikes being abandoned everywhere, many ending up in the harbour, which is expensive for the council to remove.

    • california_born

      I haven't tried Lime yet, but it sounds like such an enjoyable experience short of payment errors. Not having to worry about locking up a bike, finding a safe place for the bike, and not having to charge it are luxuries.

      But I seriously wonder how in the heck they'll make a viable business model.

      There must be high expenses in running the operation. I'm sure theft is a big issue. How do these things get charged? There must be a small army of people collecting, charging and redistributing them amongst the community. And what about maintenance? I've seen late night drunk people jumping off curbs and riding through park landscaping. They sit in the rain, snow, and hot sun.

      Lime has to cover those costs, but really how much are people willing to pay for a Lime rental? People have lots of low-cost options to get around town, like UberX and public transit not to mention owning your own bike. The promise of self-driving taxis will further bring down the cost of competitive ride services. I'd prefer a car or public transit in a city. It's just dangerous riding a bike in close proximitiy to bigger vehicles.

      I'm skeptical, but I'll gladly try a ride soon for ~$2.33. Must be subsidized by that $335 million Series C 🤨

    • Ridge

      I first experienced Lime on a business trip out to Phoenix earlier this year and it was a bit... disconcerting. I'm from rural North Carolina and unaccustomed to such services as the dockless bikes. I'd witnessed a steady rise in the docked bikes and always liked that organization of resources; though it does have limitations to users that don't live or work near a docking station. The Lime bikes seem to have a good solution to get around that, but it also seems equally flawed to negative public feedback from the perceived "littering" and randomness of the bikes at any given point across an urban landscape.

      Driving through Phoenix, it was difficult to avoid seeing the Lime bikes as their colors are so contrasting to nearly everything else in an urban landscape. It truly was one of those situations where "once you see it, you can't unsee it". They were peppered all over the city and surrounding sidewalks, street corners, bus stops, in yards, and even along the watershed greenway path I was running. Just standing idly there or even lying on their side in the grass.

      It's a bit perplexing to grapple with the dichotomy of how to offer a non-polluting and easily accessible method of transportation but without it becoming an obtrusive eyesore in an otherwise simple landscape.

      I worry about the ability of municipalities to absorb and regulate their influx. I certainly hope they see what happened in China and take very good notes on preventing such a situation from repeating itself. Lime bike has arrived in the city nearest me that I frequently ride MTB in and, again, they are impossible to miss... even when someone decided they wanted to try one out as a mountain bike.

      https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/03/bike-share-oversupply-in-china-huge-piles-of-abandoned-and-broken-bicycles/556268/

    • Chris

      That link to the Atlantic's photo essay! I'll never be able to unsee that. It's one of those truth-is-stranger-than-fiction things. I had no idea and if there weren't photos I could not have envisioned it.

      Now that Lime just raised a fresh $333 million 😳I guess we can expect to see them everywhere.

      Here's how the Juicer program works. I don't think I'd like to make a long-term career out of this:

    • Chris

      Oh man, there goes my side hustle.

      Criminals and pickpockets have also begun to recognize Bird hunters as prime targets and can use the Birds to lure their prey to isolated areas.

      One scooter charger said he has been nearly robbed on two occasions and that he now won’t retrieve scooters that are left in strange places, for instance, at the end of a dark alley. “I’d tell anyone getting into this to be safe,” he says. “I’d say to others: Bring mace or a taser because there’s a lot of crazy people out there, even the [chargers themselves]. I’ve had people yell at me, threaten me. It’s the Wild West.”

    • vegasphotog
      Robert Baker

      Hmmm....I had never heard of a dockless bike solution. I do like the ability to rent an e-bike for the reasons you mentioned. I rented a bike in Central Park/NYC and would have really liked an e-bike for the roving photography aspect.

      The City of Las Vegas has a huge subsidy investment for regular and ebikes here in Las Vegas. But, I hate to admit it, locals don't really hang out downtown and visitors typically just find one casino and get locked in. I do not think it will succeed long term. Plus, they are not a cool color like the Lime bikes.

      To me is seems the ONLY way this biking model works is that the ability to datamine the crap out of the renters and the only way to could offset the costs.

      Until then, I am always happy to see more people on bikes. I LOVE how in the Fisherman's Warf area, several bike rental companies are doing an excellent job deploying bikes to the tourist masses. It was my best experience of hanging around the Warf area for a few days.

    • wx

      When you mentioned data mining, I saw the light.

      The amount of data Chris had to give to rent that bike, while understandable, gave me pause. I assume that a generation already exists that doesn't think twice about coughing-up that stuff. I sure do, though.

      That it (probably) represents an important revenue stream makes perfect sense.

    • vegasphotog

      To your point....what I like about the bike rental ~shop in San Fran, was, yes, I gave them my CC, but, for the most part it was probably not being dumped into a datamining sales machine....I am sure my CC company sells my usage info but hopefully not at the level the Uber, Lyft, AirBnb and other shared-economy based businesses. I might be totally dillusional though.

    • Chris

      yeah, they know the route I took, when I took it, that I went to Trader Joe’s, my true identity, phone... And what we’ve found out from Facebook, once they have your identity, they merge it with a lot of other data to get you profile.

    • Chris

      That I think is where VC and entrepreneur interests don’t align. To the VC it’s growth over a relatively short period of time. It’s how their funds are measured. They would also like premium brands as references in their portfolios like Google and Amazon, but companies on great missions that don’t grow fast enough or get an exit are hard for VCs.

      To the founders it could be about the mission and whether it’s fun, respected, and brings good to the world. It’s about the team, the technology, and whether the company can build a sustainable advantage over a long period of time.

      I can think of a lot of companies I’d rather be an entrepreneur in than a scooter rental company.

    • dr

      To date, I've yet to give a single company access to my facebook profile. And very few have access to my phone's location. I'm a stingy mofo when it comes to my data. A handful of companies do have access, and even those I go through the trouble of turning on 'n off functionality wherever I can.

    • gorudy

      I don't disagree with you... however in this case might the only path to to a sustainable advantage to be at scale before anyone else? I don't really understand the economics at all for their business...

      hopefully all these electric bike and scooter riders will evolve into adventure riders :)

    You've been invited!