Bicycles were invented just about 600 years ago in Italy. Seventy five years later Leonardo da Vinci was said to make this sketch. Turned out not to be true.
Exactly 300 years ago Karl Drais of Germany came up with the running machine. Even back then this device was forbidden because it interfered with people walking on sidewalks.
In 1887, here were the options in Germany:
In 1884, Thomas Stevens, an American, began a two-year ride around the world on on bike. Bicycle playing cards appeared in 1885, and are today the #1 seller. Mass production of bikes began in the Gay '90's, when Schwinn bikes appeared. There is a lot more history, but I'll skip them until 1970 when Earth Day generated a new spurt in the growth of bicycle sales, which influenced the spirit of today.
When a new community is designed, of course, bike paths should be a must. It's essentially too late for the center of Honolulu. Here and there bike lanes are possible, but not continuously from the center of Honolulu to Waikiki.
- slow traffic
- cause cars to recklessly swerve to prevent hitting them
- increase my stress level, and that of other drivers, too
What about riding a bike on sidewalks, where they now compete with pedestrians? In Honolulu, not in downtown or Waikiki, but just about anywhere else appears to be okay, unless there are prohibitive signs. But this is complicated. In Japan, I've been close to death a few times, especially in Sendai, where they move at top speed.
On average, 20 golfers die on a course/year. Bikers have 35 times the incidence of death. This seems hard to believe, too, but the last shark attack death in the USA was in 2012 in Hawaii. I think there was another Hawaii shark death in 2015. No kidding, but cows cause an average of 22 deaths/year in the U.S.
But back to bikes, biki, run by non-profit Bike Share Hawaii (CEO Lori McCarney) is now operating in Honolulu. Bike sharing has been around for half a century, mostly Europe, but now found in 50 countries. I think this a good concept, if the roads allow for it. Not so in Honolulu. While it doesn't snow in Honolulu, it does rain, a lot. Finally, I have a feeling that the cost might be higher here compared to other locations:
- $3.50/30 minutes. (I think they should have charged a buck for half an hour the first few months to get people started.) However, even a few seconds over 30 minutes, and the cost immediately jumps to $7.
- Free Spirit Pass: $20 for a total of 300 minutes, to be used in any increment.
- There are two monthly plans: $15/month for an unlimited number of trips up to 30 minutes in length, and $25/month for the same up to an hour.