Month: January 2014

Andy Marske: Meet a B-cyclist

Marske_BcycleMeet Andy Marske, a B-cycle user who works downtown and uses B-cycle to get around quickly, or if he needs to fit in an afternoon exercise break.

How long have you been riding B-cycle, and why did you start using it?

Since it began, I volunteered to help build the bikes [in 2012] and was hooked from there. I ride the bus to work a lot, so unless I have my personal bike, the B-cycles are a great way to supplement my trips around downtown from/to work.

Where do you ride B-cycle to? Favorite place to ride?

I work downtown and use the B-cycles to go from bus to work and work to bus the most. My favorite place to ride would be from 12th and Wyandotte to 13th and Locust and 13th and Locust to Union Station/Crown Center. Sometimes I’ll just get a bike and ride somewhere to clear my head and get away from my desk at lunchtime. The gym in my building closed, so it’s a nice way to get out quick and get some exercise.

Do you own your own bike? If so, why do you still use B-cycle?

Yes, I own two bikes. As mentioned earlier, I use the B-cycles to help get around downtown quickly when I don’t have my personal bike with me.

Have you used bike share in other cities?

Yes, I’ve used Nice Ride in Minneapolis and B-cycle in Denver, Des Moines, and Nashville. I really like the annual membership can be used at any B-cycles around the Country!

What do you think about the Phase Two expansion plan to to bring B-cycle to Midtown, the Plaza, and Waldo?

I think it would be great to expand the system to Midtown, Plaza, Brookside, Waldo, Westport, West and East Bottoms, and beyond. To be honest, it would be nice if the system expanded out from downtown in any direction there’s bike routes, because it should only help grow ridership and bicycle awareness around the metro.

I think the key is to have some kiosks at key midpoint locations, so people wouldn’t have to ride all the way from one area of town to the next. Since there are some substantial hills on some of the routes, intermediate stops would allow people of all skill levels to not feel intimidated to ride from point a to b.

Where would you like to see stations in the future?

Someday I hope there would even be kiosks at Arrowhead and The K (would be a great way to beat the parking fees). Who knows, maybe even expansion into KS (Prairie Village, Mission, Shawnee, etc) because there’s lots of off street trails and places people could go. Maybe even in places like Shawnee Mission Park, Heritage Park, and some of the other large parks with trails? Maybe people without bikes would rent the B-cycles to travel around the parks as well? Just a thought.

 How would the expansion have an impact on KC?

As mentioned above, I believe the expansion would help promote bicycle use in the metro area and make more motorists aware of the people choosing to ride around town instead of drive. It would be really nice to have the kiosks in several other KC areas–Plaza, Midtown, Westport, Brookside, Waldo, etc.–because then people could leave their cars behind, which would help with some of the parking issues several areas of town face.

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Controlled Chaos

Lately I find myself wanting to reflect about the meaning of cycling.

I know near to nothing, technically, about the mechanics of cycling. I wish I could tell you how to fix this or that problem. I may be able to assist in changing a tire, but even there I have limited experience. I know nearly nothing about my ride, but I know HOW to ride.

Tomorrow I’ll jump on my bicycle and ride to nowhere with no one telling me to ride, just for the hell of it. Just for the experience of the uncertainty (Will I get a flat? Do I have enough room? Will I make this light? Can I go just a little farther? Is there any way to give this ride a sense of closure?). As I ride and weave and dodge,  all of my thoughts slow. My immediate decisions are more important than the worries and stresses of the day or week and my mind relaxes as my reflexes take over. I ride and slowly the thoughts of the day return one by one, for fear that I may need my senses to advert danger, and I’m able to sift my way through my problems and troubles a little more easily.

So my technical experience is lacking. To some all of this may sound like gibberish, but I hope others may understand what I’m getting at. There is something to cycling which everyone can enjoy whether they know what all of the parts of a bicycle are called or not. It’s the Experience that’s important and Experience is subjective. Keep your eyes and mind open out there.

–Michael