Test ride of the new RVA Bike Share

08/29/2017 4:45 PM by

RVA Bike Share launched today so I had to get out and ride one of the new bikes.

When the rain stopped, I was stoked to see that the app showed a bike available at the Jefferson Avenue dock. I walked over to find that there were 4 apparently ready to roll.

The first 2 bikes that I attempted to rent seemed available, but also said that they were at the warehouse. The 3rd bike knew it was at Jefferson Avenue, so I got that one just to be safe. Selecting a bike is as easy as entering the 5 digit code on the bike and confirming the selection.

Quick lesson learned: before you roll away, check the seat height and what gear the bike is in.

The RVA Bike Share bikes are not fast, but they are comfortable enough. The tires are cushy, and the very upright sitting position is very accessible.

It’s an 8-speed regular bike with a horn, front and rear lights, and a basket. The basket and fenders were immediately useful running errands around the neighborhood on wet roads.

My bike had a sticky front brake that was more annoying than dangerous. The bike also failed to measure my distance accurately, giving me .02 miles for an indirect route from Jefferson Avenue to Libby Hill and back.

When fully in swing, there will be 220 bikes and 20 docking stations from Church Hill to Scott’s Addition, with more bikes and electric assist bikes expected sometime in the next year.
Right now the system map shows 17 stations, with a handful of bikes available at different areas.

The cost is $1.75 for a one-off ride, with weekly, monthly, and yearly passes available. To rent a bike, you first need to download the RVA Bike Share app and register. You use this to unlock and rent the bikes.

I’m not sure who the audience is for the bike share, but I hope that there is one because it sure feels like the right thing to have in place.

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Front lights and horn

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Rear lights and horn

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Sticky front brake

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Jefferson Avenue

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Jefferson Avenue Dock

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Jefferson Avenue

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App view of Jefferson Avenue



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