Roma Bike Beats SmartBike

These are actually cool

These are actually cool

I’m walking down a street in Rome, and what do I see? A bicycle rental program that puts SmarkBike to shame. Why can’t SmartBike have these cool wheels? Instead, we have DorkBike DC.

Has anybody even tried it yet? So far I’ve not found the want or need. Not even thieves are trying that hard

Married, mortgaged, and soon to be a father, Wayan Vota is in the fast lane to mid-life respectability – until the day his brood finds his intimate journal of global traveling and curses him with the ever-eternal reply “I’m gonna be just like you, Dad!”

4 thoughts on “Roma Bike Beats SmartBike

  1. You are not seriously dumping on SmartBike – an intelligent, responsible, and inexpensive program to relieve traffic and do something a little green (have you been up 14th Street near DCUSA at rush hour lately – or any hour, really?) – simply because you think the bikes look dorky? What planet are you on that this doesn’t make sense? People are using it and people like it. For so many reasons this is smart. And, while there are no provisions for helmets, certainly anyone that is going to join SmartBike will get their own. (Helmet sharing is just gross.)

    I’m no dork and I think they look cool because they are green, easy, and more and more accessible. Dump on something else.

  2. As best as I can tell, the bikes pictured look like absolute crap from a component/technical perspective (again, judging only as a bike nerd looking at a picture). Probably quite heavy too. It’s all about simple and sturdy – that’s what the SmartBike DC seems to be. I agree with Nathan – I like the look of our bikes versus these run-o-the-mill Walmart type ladies bikes. They have Walmart in Rome, right?

  3. I haven’t used the system in Rome, but I used to live in Paris and their communal system, called Velib, is infinitely better than the one in DC.

    The entire city is blanketed in stations, often only 1-2 blocks away from each other. While the bikes don’t look much better than the DC ones, they do come with integrated locks, and they’re free for the first half hour. Pretty much everyone I knew in Paris used them.

  4. Locks, helmets, first half hour free, bikes with baskets – all these would make SmartBikes less DorkBike-ish. Of course if they also could be rented instantly with a credit card, thereby opening them up to impulse rentals and tourists, and then expanding locations to be near every DC metro stop, you’d see an amazing leap in ridership.

    As it is, I still say SmartBike is a crap concession by ClearChannel to get sole advert rights.