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Are dockless bikeshares like dating apps?

Are dockless bikeshares like dating apps?

Jeff Wong
BikeCommuter Crush

Commuter Crush: How The Dockless Bike Craze is Exactly Like Dating in DC

Kat is an author, founder of the DC dating blog Unemployed Kat and matchmaker with Three Day Rule.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you may have noticed that DC has nearly a dozen bikeshare options throughout the city. There’s Lime Bike and Mobike and Ofo bike and Jump Bike, and of course, there’s the grandfather of them all, Capital Bikeshare.

Kat Haselkorn

Kat Haselkorn

For each of these bipedal commute options, there’s a customized app to make it easy to locate the best bike for you and get you on your merry way.

While all these new options promise ease and convenience and “something for everyone,” I’ve found that, like the dating app scene, bike apps tend to overpromise and underdeliver.

From Tinder to Bumble, Dating Apps Galore

Anyone who has spent much time dating in the DMV knows there are lots of ways to meet people through apps.

There’s Tinder and Bumble and OkCupid and Match and Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel and Zoosk and literally dozens of others. And at first, when you’re newly single and scrolling through the never-ending list of humans you can date, it looks so promising. No matter where you are in the DMV, the apps guarantee that there’s someone within a reasonable radius you could grab drinks with.

But, like bike apps, the romantic options that seem so incredible at first tend to leave you wanting.

The Big Letdown

A couple weeks ago, I was trying to bike from the H Street Corridor in Northeast DC to a boot camp workout in Meridian Hill Park near Columbia Heights. My friend and I planned to grab two Lime Bikes that, according to the app, were in the neighborhood and cycle down Florida to get to our destination. Although our phones told us there were two bikes within a few yards of each other, when we got there, one bike was missing a seat.

This isn’t entirely unlike showing up to a date only to have him look NOTHING likes his photos.

Back to the bike search.

Lime Bike, Save Us

We opened up the Lime Bike app and saw there was one not too far away. We walked to the destination, watching the little blue dot on the app’s map getting closer and closer. But when we got to the location, there was no bike to be seen. We looked under bushes and behind trash cans; even peeked into the window of someone’s home, but… nothing.

We were bicycle ghosted.

Again, not all that different from planning a date with someone on Bumble only to be stood up the night of.

Searching for the perfect dockless bike is occasionally a rewarding experience, but more than often not, it’s simply frustrating.

Exactly like dating in DC.

Got any interesting commuting-related dating stories? Let us know via Twitter and tag us with #commutercrush.

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