Google’s famous colorful bikes are getting stolen and dumped in a local creek

Those multi-colored Google bikes may look kind of cool and funky being ridden around the Googleplex, but it’s a different story when they end up in a creek covered in muck and bleaching in the sun.

The bikes are supposed to be for Googlers only. But because multitudes of them are typically left unlocked in and around Google’s headquarters campus, they’re sometimes taken for a joy ride by tourists – or pilfered by the ill-intentioned.

One or more of the latter, it appears, has taken to disposing of stolen Google bikes in a local creek. Local residents are decrying a new eyesore, with one complaining that Google should be doing a better job at preventing the problem.

Recently, every week has seen more Google bikes dumped into Stevens Creek in the North Whisman neighborhood of Mountain View, according to a new report in the Mountain View Voice.

“Within a quarter-mile stretch, there were at least 13 bikes down in the creek bed,” the news website reported.

“Some were covered in algae and sun-bleached, indicating they had been there for no short amount of time.”

Aaron Grossman, executive director of the Friends of Stevens Creek Trail, went fishing for Google bikes in the creek on a recent weekend, hauling out a half dozen of them.

“This is an annoyance and a real concern for us,” Grossman told the Voice.

“Years ago people used to toss industrial waste into the creek. Bikes by comparison are pretty mild, but it’s still inappropriate.”

Grossman supports Google’s bike program, and said he hadn’t seen bikes in the creek until recently.

The Voice said Google admitted more of its bikes were being stolen this year, but the firm wouldn’t provide any numbers. A company bike-retrieval team patrols the campus and surrounding areas daily, Google told the Voice.

Local resident Steven Chandler, who reportedly has been pressing Google to do more about the dumped-bikes eyesore, took a dim view of Google’s response and of the bike program itself.

“It just seems wrong that we have someone who is so wealthy that they have these throwaway bicycles,” Chandler told the Voice.

“It feels like Google is too high up to go down and pull their bikes up.”

Google officials are considering adding GPS tracking devices to the bikes, the Voice reported.

Wayward or dumped Google bikes can be reported to the company at lostgbike@google.com or (650) 253-5353.

 

Photo: A week after he was detained in his Texas hometown for taking a homemade clock to school, Ahmed Mohamed rides a Google bike at the Googleplex in Mountain View. (Photo courtesy of Google)

 

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  • roxoxo

    is that Ahmed the clock boy on the photo?

 
 
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