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Sunday, June 12, 2011

A small bike takes a big trip

I tend to notice stuff that's not quite right. Sure, there are countless examples of software projects with something weird going on, or hacking around a bug for a customer, but there are other times when this comes up. Out in the Real World, for instance, there can be plenty of oddities if you just keep your eyes open.

Target parking lot

Here's one. It's a nice afternoon, like so many that we have around here, and you take a trip to Target to go shopping. While parking, you scan your surroundings, and spot a small metallic object far in the distance. Hey, that looks strange, almost like a "gBike" -- a community bicycle Google puts in its campuses for employees to use.

Just the bike

Walking closer, it becomes clear: yep, that is a gBike, or an amazing clone of one. Its colors are right, it has the usual basket, and even its tires are colored, just like all of the others. But what's this?

Asset tag

It seems to have an asset tag! So it must be a gBike!

The only question is: what is a gBike from Mountain View doing in north San Jose? Did someone really ride this little rickety contraption 10 miles through the baylands trails to get it here?

There is only one other possibility: Google finally is ramping up their Mountain View-Alviso goat transporter and has started doing experiments on non-living objects. Yep, that must be the ticket.