It comes as no surprise that cold temps and snow can seriously impact a bike share system with 100+ stations and hundreds of bikes. While we bring in almost half of our fleet for hibernation during the winter, many of our riders continue to ride and we want to give you the best experience possible. And so, we want to share with you some bike share pro-tips on how to get the most of your winter riding:
While Healthy Ride encourages riding bikes in all of Pittsburgh’s beautiful seasons, we encourage everyone to be cautious and to plan ahead. While it’s only happened once or twice since our launch in 2015, we have had to shut down Healthy Ride due to too much snow so that we can effectively clear our stations and ensure safe riding conditions. In these instances we send out a newsletter, post to Twitter and Facebook, and put an alert on our website.
We’ve also designed a helpful guide to help our riders prepare for whatever Winter throws at us. Check it out.
Turns out, batteries and the cold do not work well together. Consistently cold temperatures (under 32 degrees) drastically reduce the life of any battery, and our on-bike keypads are no exception. The Healthy Ride team spends much of it’s Winter season recharging batteries to keep all of our stations stocked with active bikes for the winter. However, it’s an uphill battle and you may encounter a “dead” bike along your travels. But expecting it is half the battle; the other half is knowing what to do. Don’t stress, simply move to another bike at the station or check the nextbike app for another nearby station.
When it snows our team gets shoveling! But with 104 stations to shovel, it can take us some time to get around to them all. Please be patient. Don’t want to wait? Be a bike share snow angel, grab a shovel, and help out! Shoot us a photo through email or social media and we’ll send you a little thank you prize!
And don’t forget to brush off those seats to avoid a soggy bottom. It’s not cool when you’re baking and it’s not cool when you’re biking either.
Before rolling away from a station, check to make sure your brakes and shifter haven’t frozen. While the brakes can warm up while you ride, let’s all agree to play it safe. And there’s nothing worse than a shifter that just won’t budge. Just last week I was caught riding on the flats in first gear – I was getting a solid workout while hardly moving. And it never feels good to climb a hill in seventh gear, unless you’re Jeremiah Sullivan, and then it’s NBD.
If you find that there’s an issue with your brakes or shifting, simply report that bike through any of our Customer Service channels like the nextbike app, and rent another bike. That way you won’t pay for a frozen bike and you can continue on your journey with a more comfortable, safer ride. We’ll also send our team out to collect that bike ASAP to avoid further riders encountering the same problem.
When in doubt, always play it safe! Winter has it’s challenges, but we’ll keep working to keep you riding all year long.
Have a Winter Weather pro-tip of your own? Send it to us and we’ll include it here in this Blog!