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Sketched Oct. 10, 2014

So, did you ride a Pronto bike yet?

I haven’t joined the program, which launched today, but I had an opportunity to take one for a spin last Friday inside the Pronto Cycle headquarters in Sodo. The spacious warehouse was filled with hundreds of bikes being readied for deployment to bike stations like the one I showed you a few days ago.

Miles Jewett, one of the temporary workers hired for the operation, said the bicycles may not look comfortable, but they are really nice to ride. I agree with that. Though they appear bulky, they ride smoothly. An internal hub mechanism makes it possible to switch gears without having to keep pedaling. That has to be the best feature of these bikes.

Now, the real test for me would be to use them in a real-life situation: Cycling through downtown on my way to a sketching assignment, for example. The problem is that I still feel pretty scared about doing that. Taking my own mountain bike to the “missing link” in Ballard didn’t help me overcome my fears of riding through traffic.

Here are other sketches from Friday afternoon. Nick Hein said they had already put together more than 300 bicycles, but he was expecting to work through the weekend to get everything ready for this morning’s launch.