We know about all the great things that bike sharing brings us, but so many parents have been complaining about this apparently healthy initiative. Sure, bike sharing will be great for our pollution problem, but we are also spoiled and love to nitpick, including me. We have listened to the many concerns voiced by our community, and here I sum up the daily headaches that come with this bike epidemic. We can’t find a solution by ourselves, so if you have any ideas feel free to comment.
So these bikes can be parked anywhere, and it seems people have no shame in doing so. Bike hunters (the people who hustle the bikes in and around town) seem to have no real common sense of where to leave these bikes. Rows upon rows are parked on sidewalks, so that people have to walk in the road or bike lane. Some bike sharers park in the most unfortunate spaces, leaving no space to pass with strollers or toddlers, leaving parents with another obstacle to climb. Some even have to resort to walking on busy streets instead of the sidewalks.
Anybody who can install an app and make sense of the Chinese signs, can pick up one of these bikes. This does not mean they are competent to ride or have any idea where they are going. I have lost count of the number of times I have almost run into a person on a yellow bike who is clearly lost and does not know how to pedal.
Unsafe Biking Practices
Riding without knowing how is a pretty unsafe business, but there are worse things. Like putting babies into the basket on the front of your bike. However cute and funny it looks, this is not a safe thing to do. A safer way is to walk with the baby in your arms, but the idea of your baby catapulting through traffic seems to be on a lot of parents’ wish lists in Beijing. And we can all do so for only RMB 1 per half hour.
Annoyingly Too Many
I have a big issue with these bikes, as there are simply too many, in all kinds of colors and designs, giving me a migraine when I walk outside. When park my personal bike somewhere, I return there to 300 sharing bikes surrounding it, leaving me with no other solution than tipping over 50 bikes so I can reach mine. I don’t like to be so careless with bikes, but I don’t have time to gently remove them all.
Broken Bikes and Scams
Because there are so many bikes, people are careless with them. Broken bikes everywhere are of no use to anybody. There are also scams around with stickers placed over the QR code. Be aware when you try to rent a bike, you might get more than you bargained for.