Saturday, March 23, 2019

Ford E-Bike Share and Bay Bridge Trail

Since my SMR was brief and I volunteered to drive SIX teenagers to Alameda today, I decided to treat myself to a real adventure.  Here is my Product Review for the Ford Go Bike E-Bike Bike Share program.

1.  Download the APP and enter your data and buy a ride.  There are options for single rides or multiple ride memberships.  You can also use your Clipper Card it says... I didn't try that.  The PLUS (E-Bike) doesn't cost any more to rent than the regular bike share bikes.

2.  The idea behind bike share is not obvious, but you're supposed to lock it back up at a docking station within 30 minutes of checking it out - and if you don't the price goes up some... but not ridiculous.  So $2 for the first 30 minutes, and then $3 for each 15 minutes beyond that.  I was out for a little under 2 hours and my bill was $19.67 - the math sounds wrong but not too bad so I didn't contest.  And they sent me an e-mail reminding me that I was beyond my 30 minutes.  Then when I checked the bike in I get this screen on my phone:

3.  The app has a map that shows where all the docking stations are and where bikes are available.  But I suggest checking them out well ahead of time and planning your excursion because again... it's not always clear.  I took a few detours and wrong turns trying to find my way from the Emeryville Target where the docking station was, to the Bay Bridge, and even more wrong turns on the way back.  I could've gotten everything done 30 minutes faster, but I was having fun, so no biggie.

4.  Now I have never ridden an e-Bike before.  These Ford E-Bike Plus bikes are heavy and klunky like the other bike share bikes, but when you put the pressure on the pedals you get a nice power boost.  This was a lot of fun on the Bay Bridge because climbing up to Treasure Island I had a really stiff headwind, and I was passing all the regular riders and thinking I wouldn't be enjoying this ride as much on my fixed gear.

5.  Riding the Bay Bridge trail is of course fun with great views, but noisy and windy and usually kind of hard. 

So... if you've got $20 and an afternoon to kill... this might be a good plan.

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