So, I visited Hongzhou/West Lake and was lucky enough
to participate in this community bike experiment that they
have developed for tourists visiting the city. For a 300 RMB
deposit, you can rent one of these awesome Phoenix bikes.
With the seat post all the way up, my legs could not extend
past 90 degrees and the bike itself weighed about 45lbs.
When compared to all of my other bikes, this bike was
entirely wrong. Singlespeed, Brakes, Basket and a Bell.
Something snapped inside of me as I began to ride the bike.
I fell in love with it. Perhaps it is because it was rented so
I did not hesitate to bomb it down 20 set staircases and
skid around all day, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent
on the bike. I won't lie, after 2 and a half years of riding fixed,
a day worth of coasting did my knees some good.
After two laps around West Lake and a few hours worth tooling
around town, I returned it to another automated bike rack and
was refunded 296 RMB of my Deposit. So, it was 4 RMB (58 cents)
to use someone else's bike for 8 hours.
Not a bad deal.