Sore bottom in São Paulo

My bahookie is getting bored with sitting on hard wooden chairs in my hotel’s bar/restaurant, despite wearing padded cycling shorts. Yellow bikes don’t help either.

Friday 2019_01_18

Another day of reading, administrivia, emailing and making arrangements. Hugo has arranged a meeting next week with the leader of a civil society organisation. With a bit of luck, that will involve gathering data as well as getting to know more about São Paulo’s civic scene. Apart from that, there’s no work progress that I can report without going into tedious detail.

Around midnight I realised I was hungry, so I decided to hire a bike and head up Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima in search of fast food. I wanted to try a Yellow bike to compare it to the Itau bike I’d already tried. Based on this statistically insignificant trial, Itau beats Yellow hands down – but my bike (Lev Davidovitch Bikestein) is far better, of course.

Possibly the worst feature of the Yellow bike I used was the lack of gears. I think this compromised the gear ratio (too high to start off smoothly, but too low to pedal comfortably) and necessitated quite short cranks. Also, the luggage-carrier didn’t pivot with the handlebars, which seemed counterintuitive. (I assume that experienced Yellow riders probably wouldn’t notice this.)

It didn’t help that the rear wheel on my bike was slightly buckled. I think this may be because Yellow bikes work on the hire-anywhere-dump-anywhere model, so aren’t left in places where it is easy to maintain them. I saw a couple of kids dump Yellow bikes right in the middle of the cycle-path. This is the most inconsiderate thing I’ve seen on São Paulo’s vehicle-ways. (Motorcyclists are very cheeky, and take advantage of any gap, so it’s a close call. However, car-drivers are very polite in my limited experience.)

Yellow Itau Lev Davidovitch
colour yellow orange dark grey/black
  1. Find a bike using the app.
  2. To start a ride, scan the bike’s barcode using the app.
  3. When your ride is finished, lock the bike. This stops the hire.
  1. Find a bike station with available bikes.
  2. Futz with the info-pillar to get an unlock code.
  3. Enter the code into an available bike’s holder.
  4. Immediately pull out the bike.
    To finish your ride/hire, put the bike into an available holder.
    (This means finding a station near your destination.)
  1. Take off his cover.
  2. Unlock him.
  3. Hump him up the stairs.
  4. Endure Edinburgh’s road-surfaces.
  5. Hump him down the stairs.
  6. Lock him.
  7. Put his cover on.
  8. Go inside and make a cup of tea.
cost R$ 1per 15 minutes R$2 per hour, or
R$8 per day
Running cost = ~£150 per year for servicing and parts
Cost of bike and accessories ~£1000 over 5 years.
luggage carrier front-mounted basket with no bungie front-mounted carrier with bungie Any or all of

  • front panniers
  • top-tube bag
  • frame-bag
  • saddle-bag
  • rear panniers
  • another bag strapped to top of rear pannier rack
lights none that I saw There are lights but I didn’t work out how to turn them on. many! (all USB-rechargable)
gears 1 3 3 * 9 = 27
brakes V-brakes drum/roller disk brakes with drop-levers and cross-top/interruptor levers
phone carrier nothing obvious strap a holder to the front bungie/luggage carrier LifeProof adaptor
audible warning device functional bell knackered bell
riding position sit-up (uncomfortable) sit-up (less uncomfortable)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.