There’s an epidemic facing the greater Burlington area, and it is really not what you may think considering how the last 3 years have been going. If you have been in Burlington over the summer, you may have noticed the sudden and alarming change. One day in late June, they just appeared. Blue monstrosities. Blue bikes, or ‘birds,’ were suddenly on every corner of the old north end, new north end, old new south end, and older new west end. Conspicuously lined up like freshmen in line for an at-capacity house show. Now I know what you may be thinking. What harm could these bikes possibly have? Bike share programs are great for the community! Well I am here to spread the truth about these blue bikes, and the reason they will soon become the downfall of the Burlington community.
First, a practical point. These bikes are outrageously expensive. Using a blue bike costs $1 to unlock and $0.49 per minute to ride. If you’re riding a blue bike for 20 minutes, that’s $11. In what world would you not just take an uber. There is also something inherently flawed about the way these bikes work, the fact that they can just be tossed anywhere when you’re done using them. A few weeks ago, much to my dismay, I found a bird bike blocking my driveway. Putting aside the audacity that one of my neighbors must have had, there should have been a simple solution to this problem, right? Just move the bike. But no, when I went to drag the bike away, I discovered 2 things. One, they weigh approximately 3 tons. Also, the instant you try to move one of them, they start beeping increasingly louder and louder like a dying animal. Basically the most annoying thing you could imagine.
However, this is the least of my concerns. The more pressing issue is simply the humiliation of being seen riding a blue bike. I think everyone in the UVM student body is aware of this effect. When you see an electric bike or scooter on campus, what’s your first thought? “Wow, that’s so fuel efficient and amazing?” I think we all know the truth, ownership of an electric bike or scooter is a clearcut sign that you are 1. rich enough to afford a bike that costs over a grand and 2. can’t even handle riding a normal bike without a little boost. Aww, do you need a little push to get up the pearl street hill? You can’t handle the hill without mommy giving you that sweet electrical lift (mommy is the bike)? That’s cute. What the blue bikes threaten Burlington with is a disease that I think we know has been here for a long time— a disease of swag. The least swag thing you could possibly be seen doing is riding a blue bike. Every time I see one of these monstrosities on campus, all I can think about is how some poor schmuck is paying 50 cents a minute to be seen stuck behind a crowd of students where they can’t even use their fancy boosted bike. We need to have some more respect for ourselves! So please, it’s time to boycott them for the greater good. If anyone is ever to catch me on a blue bike you have permission to launch yourself at me so that at least I can save some self respect .