Steinberg’s Divvy Diary: Take my bike, please!

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Ka-thunk!

Of all the satisfying physical aspects of riding a Divvy bike in downtown Chicago — standing on the pedals to pick up speed and make it through that yellow light, dragging the pad of your thumb across the serrated wheel that rrrrings the bell — returning the blue bomber to its station port after a jaunt and slamming the thing home is one of the more satisfying.

Ka-thunk!

You’ve made it, alive. You guide the handlebar with one hand, while the other lifts the seat slightly as you ram the front wheel vigorously into the docking mechanism.

Ka-thunk!

You are rewarded with a sound halfway between a Cadillac door slamming and a shell being jacked into a pump shotgun.

Ka-thunk!

The little light goes from yellow to green — bike received, thankyouverymuch. You give the handlebars a hearty tug to make sure the bike is secure. And you can walk off, confident that you aren’t on the hook for the $1,200 a bike costs if you don’t return it.

That’s how it works.

In theory.

In reality, mechanical systems break down. There are glitches. Only in Indiana Jones movies will a mechanism in a cave since pre-Columbian times perform flawlessly when you step on the wrong stone.

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