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

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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.


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.


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


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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