Checking in With Potential Divvy Member Mike Berman

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Mike Berman at the State of Illinois Building Divvy station. Photo: John Greenfield

I visited several Divvy bike-share docking stations on my way downtown from the Northwest Side this safternoon, but didn’t see much activity, save for Divvy staffers standing by to assist customers.

At the State and Kinzie station, downstairs from the IBM Building, I saw a couple of men with bikes who had unsuccessfully tried to dock them at the empty station. A building maintenance worker was trying to help them, and said this had happened to a few other users today. A customer assistant on the Divvy help line directed them to dock their bikes at functioning station nearby at Grand and Columbus.

The next station I visited is located at Randolph and LaSalle, by the State of Illinois building. Mike Berman, who works for a West Loop business that researches public records, was checking out the bike-share system on his way to the Daley Center. I asked him for his thoughts on Chicago’s newest public transportation system.

John Greenfield: Have you purchased a Divvy membership?

Mike Berman: I’m thinking of doing it. What is holding me back is there’s a 30-minute limit on rides, so I have to wait until they get more stations so I can skip-hop them, you know what I mean? I have my own bicycles but I don’t want to leave them outside where they might get stripped. People steal parts around here, especially in the West Loop. I’m thinking I’m going to get a membership once they get more stations.

JG: What would you use Divvy for?

MB: I would use it for photography. I’m a semi-professional photographer. I go to all my locations on a bicycle. So if I had one here, I would take the same trip I took last Sunday to the Northerly Island bike trail, where’s some really cool statues, I would take a few more shots of those. Rather than lug my bike down here I would grab one of these.

JG: What do you think of the Divvy program in general?

MB: I think I’m going to do it. I like it. The bikes look a little big for a short guy like me so I’m trying to see if they would fit me and everything, but I think it’s going to be good.

JG: Well, a friend of mine who’s about 4’9” was riding one the other day and it seemed to fit her fine.

MB: Oh really – she had no problem? Great, I’m really interested. I was just feeling the tires. They seem like they’re really rock hard, which is the way I like them.

  • Christine

    “JG: Well, a friend of mine who’s about 4’9” was riding one the other day and it seemed to fit her fine.”

    Julie? I thought she was at least 4’11”

  • How many empty slots is “normal” at a Divvy station? I can imagine lots of members wanting to get to, oh, Grant Park, on a Friday evening… and no one can find a place to leave their bike!

  • Lisa Curcio

    Nope. I am 4’11” and Julie is shorter than I!

  • Christine

    On the station map, you can see how many docks each station has by clicking on its icon: http://divvybikes.com/stations

  • Jin Nam

    Go around and interview anyone standing near the station and you will probably end up helping many convince themselves this is a great idea, like Mr. Berman. Thinking out loud/being interviewed about their thoughts on Divvy. SOLD! =)

  • Julie, care to chime in here with the actual digits?

  • Suffice it to say she’s a giant among local bike social networking website entrepreneurs!

  • Yeah, it’s funny, a lot of people who think Divvy isn’t for them are unclear on the concept. Once they understand how it works they’re like, “Hmm… that might be useful after all.”

  • Tall Guy

    What about taller riders? Do they have a range of sizes or just one size fits most?

  • Jin Nam

    I applied this tactic last night with a friend. =)

  • They’re one-size-fits-all. Steven is 6’4″ and he’s reasonably comfortable on them. This post includes a photo of him riding a Divvy: http://chi.streetsblog.org/2013/05/27/divvy-bike-share-bicycles-make-public-debut-at-bike-the-drive/

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