Hi - I'm visiting Chicago for a couple of days next week and am thinking of getting a Divvy 24-hour pass. However, I really dislike riding without a mirror, and would be willing to bring one and my own tools - even if I need to remount it on a new bike every 30 minutes ;-)
Or, can you return a bike, and then take the same one out again right away, or after a few minutes wait?
The question is - what if any mirror can be mounted on a Divvy handlebar?
Also - can you adjust the seat height?
You can absolutely adjust the seat height. Or be lazy and pick a bike that has the height you want, if there are enough to pick from.
As for the mirror, I am not sure if you really want to take it on and off with frequent journeys.
As an alternative, are you comfortable using one of the mirrors that mounts to glasses near a helmet? Might be easier to manage.
I've thought about the glasses mirror, but didn't like it when I tried them many decades ago. I found it difficult to quickly acquire the mirror surface, and the smaller size of it doesn't provide as much coverage as I want in an urban area.
Does anyone know just what drives the half-hour limit?
The Divvy system is designed for point to point use, and can be useful for tourists in that sense. But if your intent is to tour Chicago primarily by bicycle one of the rental shops would probably be a better choice, allowing you more freedom to go where you want on your own schedule.
As Tom mentioned, there is Bobby's Bike hike along with Bike and Roll (http://www.bikeandroll.com/chicago/) , 3rd Coast cycles (http://www.3rdcoastcycles.com/bicycle-rentals.html) and Lakeshore Bikes (http://www.lakeshorebike.com/about/bike-rentals-pg69.htm).
Those are the rental shops I'm aware of and there are probably more I don't know about.
Have fun on your visit!
You could also consider renting a bike on Spinlister--looks like there are plenty available:
Yes, you can return a bike and take it out again right away. You can do this several times - there's no limit.
I use a mirror mounted on my glass all the time - as Brian suggests.
Riding on city streets, it is always a good idea to keep track of what is coming up from behind. But also coming out from any side street, curb cut, or cross-walk, as well as any taxis or occupied parked cars ahead of you from which a door could be suddenly thrown open.
On country roads a mirror is helpful, since you don't have those other hazards coming at you. But I think most experienced city riders don't use mirrors. Instead they develop their peripheral vision, and constantly move their head back and forth, monitoring all those potential hazards...from all points of the compass.
Biking in Chicago is a wonderful experience. Welcome! It is one of the few places between New York and San Francisco where you can live a pretty good life without a car.
"most experienced city riders don't use mirrors."
Plenty of experienced riders do. This is very much a personal preference thing.
Every time you turn your head around to look behind you on a bike, you're creating a possibility of missing something important in front of you. It's way easier to see behind you with a mirror. No one would think to drive a car without at least one mirror, and generally more. They make a lot of sense on any vehicle.
Jim - I couldn't agree more. I don't wear a helmet (and am not interested in discussing the reasons), but consider avoiding accidents far more important than wearing a helmet, and am amazed at the large numbers of (club) cyclists who are religious about helmets but scoff at mirrors. Also - a quick turn of the head doesn't provide the same level of information that a mirror does.
As an example, I was once touring in Arizona, and my mirror told me I had a car of yahoos approaching. I mover a bit farther out in the lane, but then quickly moved back over just as they passed - thereby avoiding the outstretched hand of the moron in the shotgun seat who was trying to slap my butt. I likely would have gone down had he been successful. A shoulder glance would have spotted the car, but not indicated the nature of the occupants.
This is one of many reasons why a mirror is cheap insurance against a crash for any rider.
I used the bike share in Toronto and Detroit on a trip this summer, and it worked out fine. It was a real bargain for less than $8 a day. The vast majority of segments were much shorter than 30 minutes. On the longer segments I simply docked the bike along the way, and immediately checked it out again. 'No issues other than having to get a new code. It would be nice if the same code could be used all day.
I wound up with a large helmet mounted mirror, but this handle mounted one has decent reviews: