The week of May 16th to 19th I spent
many hours a day doing and supervising bike parking at Google I/O,
an event held at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View. Google
hosts it for the developers that make their system work. We didn't
get access to the inner workings of the event, but we did get
plenty of time with the bikes used to attend the event.
We'd get upwards of 150 bikes a day
using the SVBC parking corral. You can see from the pictures that
many more came on google bikes. Not shown are the extensive space
devoted to shuttle buses and the "uber area", where ride hailing
services had to do their drop offs and pickups. They also had
several tiers of car parking. I'd say a larger percentage of the
developers in the conference came by bicycle than spectators come
by bike to events at Levis Stadium.
There were many subtypes of the
google bikes, although most of them had baskets, yellow frames,
pink seats, fenders, and blue or green tires. We ignored them
until they got so numerous they were blocking traffic. Then we
called Angel in facilities and they sent out a truck to
"rebalance" the situation by taking away a truckload of the
things. After that they came and went in rough balance for the
rest of the day.
The first day the SVBC corral ended
about where the porta-pottie was. That day I'd say "park over by
the green thing" to people that showed up on google bikes. One guy
browbeat us into checking his google bike. That turned out to be a
mistake. Somebody else explained to me in simple words that
"Google bikes are more of a public resource; first come, first
served." The next day we got way more bikes than expected so they
expanded our fiefdom to the end of the island in the parking lot.
After that I'd say "Google bikes in the back" when someone else
wanted us to check their google bike. I wasn't interested in
hearing that speech again.
The green porta-potty was locked.
Reserved for the guys that kept the traffic flowing. We had to
borrow google bikes and ride them to the other porta-potties at
the back of the parking lot to use a bathroom ourselves.
I'd say that this dinosaur was the
peak of cute personality among the bikes in the lot. There was a
broad variety of bikes, everything from low end but working bikes
to high end electric assist bikes. Very few had any stickers or
stuff like that. Two or three had flat tires. One lady talked us
into fixing her flat. The others just took their bikes back at the
end of the day without comment or fixed them using out pump and
Several other companies have
programs similar to Google's google bike program. Notable among
them are Intuit and Linked-in. Intuit employees that brought their
bikes had no problems with checking their bikes. Linked-in, on the
other hand, sent security over to repossess the bikes their
employees had checked into our lot. The first time they did that I
called the person who had checked in the Linked-in campus bike and
asked her to spread the word that Linked-in didn't like that.
There was no second time.
This was the bike parking crew when
I was in the mood to be a photographer. So cool that the mom on
the right's mom-mobile is a cargo bike!
Our hope is that Shoreline will hear
from our customers or figure out on their own that having bike
parking in that spot is a great idea. Then maybe localish people
will be able to attend concerts there by bicycle without worrying
about leaving their bikes locked someplace nearby. If you like the
idea of bike parking at Shoreline, please ask Shoreline to
institute bike parking any time you find yourself there and
talking to an employee of the venue.