Orange Spin bikes showed up today in downtown.

Urbanism

We Got Ourselves a Bike-Share War in Dallas

Watch out, VBikes. Spin is here.

In June, Matt Goodman broke the news that VBikes had quietly launched in Dallas. The Garland company has a pretty cool concept. You use your phone to find a bike. They cost a buck an hour to rent. You can park them anywhere.

As much as I’d like to support a local company, VBikes just got some competition, and I think the new kid in town has an advantage. This morning I spotted some orange bikes on the sidewalks of downtown. They belong to a San Francisco outfit called Spin. Same basic deal. Use your phone to find a bike. Scan to unlock. A buck for 30 minutes. The big difference: VBikes charges a refundable $99 when you sign up. Spin doesn’t.

You see where this is headed, right? Clearly the game here is market penetration, not revenue. I plan to enter this bike-share arms race with my new company, Petal to the Meddle. It’s a bike-share system for people who have trouble with homophones. And when you ride a PTTM bike, it pays you a buck an our. (Dad jokes!)

UPDATE: I rode a Spin to lunch and can report that I enjoyed the experience. There was a slight hiccup the first time I tried to use the app to unlock a bike, but after I closed the app and restarted, it worked fine. Apple Pay worked seamlessly. The seat was easy to adjust. The front-mounted basket proved useful in carrying my copy of the New York Times Magazine.

Riding on a Main Street sidewalk back to work, I got stopped by three twentysomethings. “Hey, how much is the deposit on that?” one of them asked. “It’s not like VBikes,” I said. “No deposit.” See what I’m saying about that advantage? Though I will say this: no one will use a bike that is broken. VBikes, it seems, are engineered to tolerate abuse, with those thick spokes and airless tires. Not so Spin.

I must also report that another bike-sharing outfit is coming to town. Look for Lime bikes to show up soon.

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Comments

  • EricCeleste

    Zac. Make him stop.

    • EricCeleste

      Re: Update: Did your copy of Twee Life not fit in said basket?

      • Nope. The rest of its capacity was filled with my pipe tobacco, beard oil, and my devil sticks.

  • mrEmannE

    Get off the sidewalk and ride in the street like a man.

  • It’s illegal to ride bikes on the sidewalk in CBD…

    • pep

      well tough editing choices were made and what do you think is more important:
      1) informing readers about local laws and ordinances
      2) making sure readers know he reads The New York Times Magazine IN PRINT

      • Thank you for your comment. It’s true. I read magazines in print.

    • Have you ever ridden a bike on Dallas streets, especially in the CBD? On one of these slow, hard-to-handle share bikes, you’re asking to get hit. Drivers here don’t understand that a bike has the right to be on the street. Until that mindset changes, or until we get real bike lanes, it should not be illegal to ride on the sidewalk.

      • pep

        if it’s the opinion of the author that these bikes are not safe to be used where they are legally required to be used then why is that information not included in the article to warn would-be riders? willfully excluding helpful information makes this post an unpaid advertisement used to highlight the perceived urban sophistication of the author

        • Thank you so much for your comment.

          • pep

            you’re welcome so much timothy. pls do a follow up on whether or not the bikes can successfully carry a matcha and a Hamilton playbill while pedestrians dart out of your way.

  • Great thing about magazines: you can read them whenever you want to, even days after they are published.

    • pep

      lmao

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