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Capital Bikeshare

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Natick...
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Capital Bikeshare

Has anyone used Capital Bikeshare as a tourist? I guess my primary concerns are if it's easy to find bikes and stations to leave them at, instead of using public transportation, walking, and cabbing. We'll be staying near Dupont Circle; will be visiting typical tourist destinations.

I'm sure I'm missing other things I should ask, any advice is certainly appreciated.

Falls Church...
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1. Re: Capital Bikeshare

Take a look at the map of stations -- there aren't many right at the mall, but are lots downtown. There's an iphone app that you can use to check a station's status.

Bethesda MD
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2. Re: Capital Bikeshare

They will work well if used for what their price structure intends -- short jaunts either between stations or round trip, but not keeping a bike for hours on end. First half hour's free, then you're charged by the half-hour, and after a few of those you'd be better off renting from a bike shop for the day. There is a rack right at Dupont Circle, another location at the Smithsonian Metro. Helmets and locks not supplied.

DC
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3. Re: Capital Bikeshare

I take the metro at the Smithsonian stop every day to get to and from work and there is a huge Capital Bikeshare rack right outside the Independence Avenue exit. I don't know how the program works, but I've seen many tourists using the bikes.

Washington, DC
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4. Re: Capital Bikeshare

Go for it! The one-day pass is really reasonable, and cheaper than the Metro if you're smart and repark the bike upon reaching the nearest CapBike station rather than holding it for the entire day. And the number of CapBike stations are expanding - there soon will be a few on the Virginia side too.

bath
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5. Re: Capital Bikeshare

didn't realize it's so so expensive when I use it. I thought it was 5 dollars a day! It didn't explain well on the machine at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can't expect 40 dollars for 3 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A bike can not be that expensive!!!!!!!!! Almost like hiring a car!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Olney, Maryland
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6. Re: Capital Bikeshare

It's $5 per day + the sliding hourly cost. If you use it for 1/2 hour at a time, it's free for that 1/2 hour. You can return it and use the same credit card to get another bicycle 10 seconds later, and not pay an extra penny. If you use it for an hour straight, it's about $2. If you use it to go on a long trip to Mt. Vernon and back, it will cost you a lot. That's not the purpose of Capital Bikshare; it's to get you from place to place.

If you are staying in DC for a week or so, just buy a bicycle on CraigsList, then either abandon it or try to resell it, or give it to Goodwill and take a tax deduction.

Oxnard, Ca.
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7. Re: Capital Bikeshare

Capital Bikeshare is excellent. It is very reasonably priced and they are very customer oriented. I recommend using it to get around downtown DC, but be prepared for some crazy traffic. If you enjoy riding, biking is definitely the best way to see all the sights easily and inexpensively and to get the lay of the land, but use it in addition to taking a tour. You'll miss a lot by just riding by and you need a guide to give you all details on the sites. For a tour, the best is walking (see WalkoftheTown.com because Tim Stewart is excellent and free). However, I don't think Capital Bikeshare would be very convenient if you want to stop and park it at each site because you'll need to keep finding a station.

Natick...
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8. Re: Capital Bikeshare

Just thought I'd update this (even if it's wicked late). I used Capital Bikeshare extensively during my trip last spring, and loved it. The iPhone app made it easy to find bikes and docking stations (though there were a couple of times we had to visit a couple to get or leave our bikes). It's super reasonably priced, assuming you dock bikes when you aren't riding them. DC was relatively easy to navigate, and we generally felt comfortable riding in the streets without helmets - drivers there are much better than here in Boston.

Overall, loved the service and would recommend wholeheartedly.

Arlington, Virginia
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9. Re: Capital Bikeshare

Capitol Bikeshare has taken over Clarendon, too. Can go 2 blocks in any direction from anywhere and come across them! While the bikes are basic (especially since I'm a cyclist...) It's a very good idea. Someone is making a lot of money off of that!

Miami
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10. Re: Capital Bikeshare

The biggest problem is that most people think they are only getting charged $7 a day, but $7 is just the daily membership fee, the usage fee really adds up quickly if you do not return the bike in 30 minutes. The other very big problem is no return available where you go or no available docks because they are all used. Get ready to pay $100 or more a day, better off in a bike store...