When I lived in the Midwest, I used to ride a bike all the time. I still have wonderful memories of riding through dead-quiet summer streets, full of brick houses with porches, when I lived in Columbus.
But since moving here, I just don't like riding all that much. It's just too fast-paced for me, too hilly, and I'm basically too afraid of being hit by a car. So my bicycle is gathering dust on a hook in our building's storage area while all of my more adventuresome friends enjoy riding in Critical Mass, saving fossil fuels, and putting One Less Car stickers on their bicycles.
I'm very impressed, however, by a project the city is considering--perhaps impressed enough to consider being a part of it. Basically, it sounds like they might have clumps of bicycles around the city that people can take on short trips. They can explain better than I can:
The City may require the selected contractor to implement a bicycle-sharing program to make bicycles available at key transit stops through a pre-paid option similar to car-sharing business models. Bicycle-sharing stations could be incorporated into a transit shelter design—provided they did not impede access for persons with disabilities and other patrons—or they could be free-standing. The initial phase of the Program may include 10-20 pre-paid bicycle sharing stations throughout the City, at locations to be identified by the SFMTA.I like the idea of being able to use a bike briefly without lugging it around all day and worrying about it. I have enough trouble just remembering my lunch.
And right now, the city is asking for feedback about the bicycles they are considering buying. You can see them here, and vote for your favorite. Here's mine: