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  • Melina Joseph

I Rode A Bird And It Was The Best Time Ever

In addition to the Water Lantern Festival, my boyfriend and I went into Los Angeles, CA to celebrate our 5-year anniversary. We first went to WP24 by Wolfgang Puck, which is 24 floors above the downtown skyline at The Ritz-Carlton. It features celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s modern Asian-fusion bites and cocktails.


Our second stop was Spire 73, a rooftop and open-air bar on the 73rd floor of the InterContinental Hotel. In order to get there we walked from WP24, which was about a 15-minute walk. Along the way, we saw all these electric scooters from companies like, Bird, Lyft, and Lime. We both had seen them before but didn’t know how they operated.


“Let’s take one,” I said. My boyfriend, on the other hand, was reluctant and thought that they were parked their because they were, "obviously being used by other people." Me, being the smarter one, knew they were parked because they actually weren’t being used. Little did he know I had previously asked someone if they were free to take and the person told me, “Yeah.”


We were about 5 minutes to our destination when my boyfriend couldn’t hold his excitement any longer and thought to download the Bird App. This is when we figured out how to ride the famous Bird.


Once you download the app, it asks you to enter your email address. Then it directs you to the homepage, which shows a map of your current destination and surrounding Bird scooters. In order to unlock the scooter and start riding, you need to click on the “Ride” button on the homepage. It will ask you to enter a form of payment beforehand. Then you must choose between an auto-deposit of $10, $20, or $30. They say the most popular choice is $20 but I selected $10 because I don’t need to be spending $20 riding a scooter; at least for now.


Afterwards, you need to take a picture of the barcode on the handle of the scooter, which revs up its engine, so to speak. Next, stand on the scooter, push-off, and then push the throttle button with your thumb to ride. Be careful because this thing can go pretty fast.


Of course, the app tells you to ride only in the bike lanes, not on the sidewalks, and to wear a helmet, but no one follows those rules. Don’t tell anyone but we didn’t either. Also, if the Bird needs charging because, hello, it’s electric, you can charge it through the app. Don't ask me how to charge it, but the app shows you the battery percent of the scooter, so that’s cool.


Anyway, to slow down or stop the scooter, squeeze the brake on the left-hand side. Once you are done riding around LA, or wherever you are, tap the “End Ride” button within the app to stop. The app will ask you to take a picture of the bike upright to conclude your ride and purchase.


Oh, I almost forgot. In some areas, if you’re not close enough to the street, you won’t be able to ride the scooter at its fastest. It will ride really slowly, to the point where it may appear like the scooter is dying. This is when you will have to ride the Bird like the Razor scooters you used to ride when you were in elementary school, but don't worry, it will start back up again once you are near the main road.


Bird’s pricing amount varies depending on currency and city. To view accurate pricing for your current location, navigate to the Payments Tab of the app. We rode in Los Angeles, by the Staples Center, and were charged $1 to start and $0.26/minute (plus tax). It will calculate the time and distance you rode. Upon registration and initializing the first ride we each received a "Free Ride" coupon which we gave to each other and got $5 off our next ride. We then rode for about 20 minutes and only paid $0.47. Nice, right?



Well, there you have it. Now that you know how to ride a Bird, go ride one because it will be the best time ever!





Cover Image via Wikipedia

Video via Melina Joseph

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