Brisbane City Cycle again

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Another trip to Brisbane gave me the pleasure of another go at the Brisbane’s bike share scheme Citycycle. I’ve done a more in depth review previously so this will mostly be about my experience this time.

This trip I hadn’t really planned to use it but an opertunity came up where its use was both convenient and cheap. So I signed up on my phone and got to it. Or I would have if it wasn’t for compulsory helmet laws.

I walked past 4 stations with bikes but no helmets. Feeling frustrated and running low on time, I looked up on the council website for the closest shop to sell the cheap citycycle helmet. They didn’t have any but offered to sell me a regular helmet for somewhat more. I declined.

So I hightailed it to King George Square which seems to be the only station I have regularly encountered with helmets. Thankfully, they had some. But only 3 out of over 30 bikes. The helmet seemed clean enough.

So, I finally got on a bike and. went on my merry way to West End via the Kurilpa Bridge. A very nice journey which took in Brisbane’s only separated bike lane.

I wasn’t sure where my final destination was so I did a quick swap out at South Brisbane train station. Stations in the South Bank region are not where I would have expected them to be.

I continued on to West End finding the meet up point but no docking stations near by. I tried to look up station locations on my phone but it doesn’t let you browse anything but the limited mobile site. I did a bit of cruising and found a station only to find out on its map that there was a much closer station to my destination. I took the helmet with me for insurance for the ride home.

Socialization out if the way, I took a very direct trip back to the city which was mainly bike lane.

To sum up:
Again, I felt Citycycle is being let down by compulsory helmet laws. Helmets were much harder to find this trip than last. I only saw 4 helmets in the 8 or so stations I past.  Very poor odds.

The routes I took this time were mostly bike lane or better so I did feel very comfortable about the riding.

They need an online station map that is mobile phone accessible. Even if it is a dodgy JPEG rather than a more sophisticated Google map. The continual redirect to the mobile site even when direct linking to other pages makes it unusable from a phone for anything other than signing up.

I saw 3 other people on the bikes. A suited man, a smart casual female and a very casual young male.

I saw two tourists trying to use the system but gave up due to lack of information on use at the station

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3 thoughts on “Brisbane City Cycle again

  1. Hey Nat, there’s a handy app for the iPhone and Android, called “allbikesnow” (I dunno, it sounds even sillier in French), which can help you find stations. Uses the phone’s GPS and integrates with Google Maps, and even has realtime knowledge of the number of bikes and parking slots available at each station….

      • Apparently, there are a few other apps as well with similar functionality. An Android Market search for “citycycle” posts a few relevant results.

        Sample:
        * CityBikes – looks like it includes a handy distance radius
        * Biclooid
        * Cycle Hire Widget ($2.99)

        It looks like these apps can be used on many of the world wide bike share schemes. In Oz, both Melbourne and Brisbane.

        Of course, I haven’t tested any of these. So this is by no means any kind of recommendation.

        Can’t wait to give some of them a go!

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