What’s Up With All the Bikes?

New bikes are popping up everywhere around Charlotte.

By Matt Chandler, Digital Marketing Manager, WBTV

Whether you like them or not, by now you’ve seen one of those colored bikes on a sidewalk, in a park or in a ditch around Charlotte. I wanted to see what the bike buzz was all about, so I used one of the bike-sharing systems to work out for free for an hour.

I walked out of my apartment building Uptown, looked to the right and immediately spotted one of the yellow kind on the corner. They’re run by a company called Ofo, whose logo looks straight up like a bike.

I wanted to see how easy it would be to hop on and take a spin. First, I had to download the Ofo app. When you download, the first thing you have to do is sign up. Signing up was as easy as putting in my email address, my phone number, and my credit card information.

Pro-tip: I would suggest signing up ahead of time and not standing on the corner for 15 minutes like I did next to the bike, phone in hand, getting my credit card out.

Then, the app opens to a map where you’ll be able to see where different Ofo bikes are around in the area. (Spoiler: They’re everywhere!) The bikes are locked through the pedals. Get started by hitting “unlock” on the app to open the camera. Each bike has a QR code you scan, located on the back of the bike. Once unlocked, the timer starts. You’ve got an hour and that ride is free!

Comfort level? Not ideal, for a bike – but doable for a free ride! Would I do it again? Possibly. They’re handy for quick errands or heading over to a friend’s place.

When you’re done with your ride, you lock it from behind and complete your trip through the app. Don’t forget to park it somewhere legal! (Not in a ditch.)

See you on the road!