Happy Birthday to Capital Bikeshare!!

Today, September 20, marks the 2nd anniversary of the launch of Capital Bikeshare in DC and Arlington.  I was there for the launch (see a couple of photos below).  Although I was optimistic about CaBi being successful, it has far outstripped my expectations.  To see some stats, click here.

My own personal stats are:
68 rides (just under 3 per month)
56 miles.

These stats reflect the way I use CaBi.  I use my own bike for commuting and for trips from home to Metro, local shops and around town.  There are no stations near my house. 

I primarily use CaBi when I go into DC via Metro and then want to travel from one location to another.  Or if I want to shorten my trip by replacing a Metro transfer with a bike ride.  My most common trip is between Foggy Bottom and DuPont.  On Metro I would have to switch between the Orange and Red lines.  On CaBi, it's a 7-9 minute ride--faster than the Metro.  And often I end closer to my destination.

With CaBi expanding to new areas, I may have even more opportunities in the future.  Hope to see you out there on the red bikes!
The bikes lined up on the plaza ready to be staged
Remember this guy?

Another hidden advantage of the hybrid car

We bought a 2007 Toyota Camry hybrid in the spring of 2007, and I have blogged on my experiences with it numerous times in the past (brand new feelings, disappointing mileagehypermiling, tire efficiency, taxes,).

One nice advantage is that some maintenance costs are reduced due to the use of the electric motor.  For one, the gas engine runs less and more efficiently than in a regular car, so one can stretch out oil changes a little.

The one that caught my attention recently, though, is brakes.  Our car now has 66,000 miles on it.  When I took it in for regular maintenance the front brake pads, which are still original, look great.  Since many of the hybrid cars on the road use regenerative braking, the brake pads are rarely employed to slow the car.  Instead, the energy to slow the car is used to charge the battery.

So not only do we enjoy the added efficiency of harvesting the brake energy, we also almost never have to purchase new brake pads.  Sweet!