Feelin’ Some Bixi Empathy

Graphic Paku Daoust-Cloutier

If you commute on two wheels, you know you can’t help that judgmental feeling as you approach a Bixi rider, from the wobblers to those fools who think they won’t be passed by bikes that weigh a fraction of a Bixi and have (gasp!) more than three speeds.

But unforeseen circumstances have rendered me bike-less, so one morning I thought I’d give it a try. And now I know trying to get downtown on a Bixi is only a good idea if you love disappointment and frustration.

For starters, good luck finding Bixi space near campus. After waiting a minute before realizing the two idiots pressing buttons on the Bishop St. console weren’t actually taking out a bike, I started circling, with each lap widening, fury rising in my gut.

I started wishing I had my bike lock on me, so I could ditch this clunky thing and get on with my day. I was seriously considering lugging the thing into the Hall Building elevator with me. See what crazy thoughts enter your head when you’re bound to a Bixi?
Oh, and the map? With the little “B” icons? Filled with lies! Lies! A Bixi stand on Ste. Catherine St. is a horrible idea, but the signage made me look anyway. Oh, what a naïve Bixi-ite I was.

Bike sharing is a great way to encourage cycling in this city, but with the trouble finding parking I’m surprised there are as many as there are puttering around downtown.

At least now I can say I know their pain.