I couldn’t wait. I downloaded the VBike México app to my phone (http://www.vbike.mx/) and signed up for the one year option. $499 pesos, or roughly $20 usd. This gives you unlimited use of the bike system.
On my last visit to Soriana I’d forgotten to buy a power strip. The laptop I’m using has a failing fan, and is a good 10 years old. Loading programs, and even web pages, requires playing a lengthy waiting game and I really want a desktop so I can while away my retirement playing World of Warcraft. Anyway, if I put the desktop (temporarily) in the kitchen, I need one more outlet – hence the need of a strip of power (play WoW, talk like WoW).
Took a power walk down Aquiles Serdan; past the mercado; past the shrimp ladies; and ending at the malecon near the fishermen’s monument. The first bike station is just North of that by about a block. Picked a bike, put the seat at the right height, ran the app and selected “unlock bike”, then pointed the camera at the QR code on the bike. A couple of seconds later, zip/crunch – and the lock opened!
Get on the bike and wobble a few yards until I notice that the front tire is very skinny, and very inflated. I haven’t been on a bike for a few years, so balance needs to be worked on a little. Five minutes into the ride and I’m also noticing that I’m riding into a headwind, as well as using leg muscles that muscles used for walking don’t even say hi to! Ok. I ride to the next station and it’s getting harder – and I’m using the easiest of the three gears on the bike! One more station, 8 minutes and 1.6 kilometers of riding, and I’m done! I *did* make it a hefty portion of the malecon though, so I’m happy.
Place the bike in the designated area, flip the lock on, and end my ride in the app! Woo!!! Pretty easy!!! Then I’m approached by a gentleman with a very strong (Scottish?) accent, asking for help unlocking a bike. Run him through the process and get him on his way then I continue on my walk to Soriana.
Six minutes later, run into him again as he’s putting his bike in a station and ending the ride (ha, I beat him by two minutes!). There’s another person having trouble – their app seems to be stuck so I can’t help further. Today was a cruise ship day and I didn’t work a shift – so I consider assisting two people with bikes to be my contribution 🙂
The rest of the journey was pretty uneventful. Had a salad and a buffalo chicken burger at SUPER SALADS, the salad place on the street level of Soriana, then shop, pay, walk to the bus, stop at the fruteria to buy some veggies (don’t shop in the afternoon – all the good stuff is gone). Gave the bagger 10 pesos when the veggies only cost 13, then listened to her discuss with the cashier how crazy I am. There were times that I didn’t tip them because I wasn’t sure if they were like the grocery baggers or not. Yes, they are – they work for tips. So I’m being a little generous for the next few times to make up for it. Plus, I got her to put the items in my reusable bag and not give me yet another plastic one – kudos to her for understanding my broken Spanish 🙂
Now I’m going to watch a few episodes of something and decide if a nap might be in order! ¡Adios!