Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:
1. The bike-sharing war is heating up as competitors eagerly attempt to raise additional funds. LimeBike (which is seemingly Silicon Valley's favored competitor) raised $50 million in funding back in October in an effort to expand into twice as many markets around the country than it previously existed in. The dockless bike-sharing model allows customers to unlock a bicycle with their smartphone and pay $1 to rent it, leaving it wherever they want when they are done riding. The LimeBike service exists in the city where I live (Durham, NC) and a few of my colleagues rented bikes for an afternoon ride a few months ago. The process was easy peasy—both renting and returning the bikes. As a cyclist who commutes by bike to work every day, I have been happy to see bike rentals become more easy and affordable, which will hopefully encourage others to ride bicycles more frequently. But as an environmentalist, I am disturbed by the amount of bikes I see discarded in various areas around town that just seem to stay parked where they are. China even has ridiculous bike-share "graveyards" due to issues with its dockless bike-sharing services. Ultimately, I'd like to see dockless bike sharing expand to more areas, but the ongoing maintenance of the bicycles and the eyesores that parked bikes can create in some places are two things that I think need more consideration.
That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.