Seattle by Lime Bike

I spent 5 days in Seattle staying close to the U of W and the Burke-Gilman bike trail. Lime bikes are everywhere with what looks like an even mix of traditional pedal bikes and ebikes.

My insights:

  1. Super-convenient. I never had more than a few minute walk to find a bike. Even when I was at the West Point Lighthouse, I found the one bike that was there (but wonder if I stranded the person who rode it). I had done a fairly long walk to the lighthouse and was really happy to rest my feet on the return trip.
  2. The bikes take a beating. Handlebars often are not aligned with the wheel and there are a lot of squeaks, rattles, and brake noise. Not surprising since many of the bikes are dumped on their side. I encountered one bike with a bent crank and one with a broken front basket. Out of 10 bikes I rode, 5 had an annoying issue but still could be ridden. 2 could not be ridden. The app has a tool to report issues but I have no idea how fast Lime responds.
  3. Easy to sign up and use the app!
  4. It’s expensive! $3-$4 for a 15 minute Ebike ride. Less for a pedal bike. I guess the cost reflects the convenience of finding a bike nearly anywhere and the (likely) high cost of maintenance.
  5. The Lime ebikes work well. Zippy on the flats and helpful on the hills. They seem to be speed-limited as I couldn’t get going very fast on the downhills. I know class 1 ebikes are limited to 15 mph with assist but assume they can go faster with pedaling. Not sure if this was a regenerative braking effect or whether the speed was intentionally limited.
  6. Like pedal sharebikes everywhere, they are heavy and slow. Not a problem on a short, flat commute but I had a long hill to climb from the lighthouse and I think I was slower on the bike than walking.
  7. I’ve always ridden with a helmet. Didn’t have one and was surprised how little I thought about it since I was mostly on some excellent separated bike paths. When I was mixing with traffic (especially bike lanes in the door zone) I was very vigilant watching drivers.

As a tourist I am very happy to see this option. Every day in Seattle, I mixed public transit, walking, and biking, choosing the best mode at the time. And I never missed not having a car. Certainly a boon for travelers like me.

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Hotel Mediodía

My Spanish isn’t great, but I think the translation to American English would be ‘No-Tell-Motel’

Picture taken from the wonderful Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

More Spanish Street Art

We’re back in Madrid this week and enjoying just walking around – there is no lack of interesting barrios to visit

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And this one in Alcala da Henares (birthplace of Cervantes) with a nod to Don Quixote

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And I love this symbol of the University of Alcala showing the storks that you see everywhere on tall buildings throughout the city

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Salamanca Street Art

As part of our Spanish class this week we had an ‘art treasure hunt’ in the ‘Del Oeste’ neighborhood of Salamanca with a number of classmates. The Barrio Del Oeste is well-known for an abundance of art and I had a great time walking around.

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This is a detail from a poster on a wall, not an actual art piece, but I liked the way it looked

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The following shots are from other locations in Salamanca. It truly is an amazing city to visit. History everywhere you look and the city is always changing – never static.

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