I'll admit: I wasn't not amused when, upon launch of the city's Biketown system, someone took it upon themselves to flip an entire rack's worth of bikes. It seemed a puckish initiation that would soon dissipate.
Some, like Mercury Managing Editor Erik Henriksen, have persisted, but Henriksen's a lost cause.
.@erik_henriksen shocked you didn't notice while YOU WERE FLIPPING THEM. #itwasErikHenriksen pic.twitter.com/MrCbxxKHy6
— Dirk VanderHart (@dirquez) August 4, 2016
Anyway, we've had our fun, and can now responsibly enjoy bike share for the amenity it is. Or perhaps we can't.
Here's a photo reader Sandra sent the Merc this morning, under the email subject "alternative Biketown rack". This is NW 23rd, between Pettygrove and Overton.
On the one hand: I get it. The photo clearly suggests that all available Biketown space was taken up. Even the rack across the street is choked with hunter orange. We imagine the Biketown user in question—who will be readily identifiable to Motivate, the company operating the system—wanted to avoid the $2 fee for parking away from a station. (This person could have simply walked three blocks north to the next one.)
Also, there's some impressive strength in evidence here. These things weigh right around 60 pounds. My guess is this is a two-person job.
But of course this will not do. Don't lock your Biketown bike in trees, Portland.
We've reached out to Motivate to see what kind of penalties might be tacked on for this kind of antic.
Update, 9:32 am: Biketown General Manager Dorothy Mitchell sends this good-natured response.
Nothing should surprise me anymore.
We would need to check out the bike to see if there is any damage to it, but I don't anticipate we'd hit them with a fee unless we find substantial damage. We'll be able find out who the user was once we retrieve the bike and we'll be reaching out to let them know that parking a bike to a tree is not a recommended maneuver for BIKETOWN pros or newbs; definitely not good for the bike, the tree, or the user's lower back! Further bad behavior could result in the user's account being suspended.