Google blames ‘local adolescents’ for throwing Google bikes into local creek, city cites ‘lame people’

Kids these days.

It’s not clear how Google knows this, but the company claims that “local adolescents” are behind the problem of Google’s multi-colored bikes getting stolen and dumped in a local creek.

A number of Mountain View residents have lately been complaining that Google bikes tossed or ghost-ridden into Stevens Creek in the North Whisman neighborhood had become an eyesore, with the company failing to properly address the problem. Google, according to the Mountain View Voice, had admitted to an uptick in thefts of its bikes.

Although the bikes are left unlocked in and around Google’s headquarters office and other company sites, they’re supposed to be for Googlers only, to get them speedily, and healthily, from place to place.

Now, thanks to an enterprising Motherboard reporter’s public-information request, communications between Google and the City of Mountain View have been revealed. And it turns out this bikes-in-the-creek saga has been going on for a while.

“Since May, the City’s Department of Public Works has been nudging Google headquarters, located just a few miles away, to come claim its abandoned bikes from Stevens Creek,” Motherboard reported July 31.

“Residents, too, have tried to get Google to remove its bikes from the creek, to no avail.”

In a complaint that will resonate with anyone who has tried to get in touch directly with a major Silicon Valley tech firm, one Mountain View resident told Motherboard, “I’ve tried to get in touch with Google, but have not found a way — the waiting time on the phone is an hour.”

As of July 13, about 14 Google bikes had been spotted in Stevens Creek, according to Motherboard.

“Sorry people are lame and do stuff like this to your bikes,” city of Mountain View assistant public works director Jacqueline Andrews Solomon said in an email to Google after seeing four Google bikes left along Stevens Creek Trail.

It appears that the problem has been solved, for now. After officials from the city and local water district went back and forth about who had jurisdiction over the stretch of creek in question, a cooperative effort was launched, Motherboard reported.

“We worked with (the) Water District and Caltrans to get the needed access to retrieve the bikes because they were in a fenced-off area without easy access,” a spokesperson for the city told the tech-news site.

Google said it knew who was to blame for the bikes in the creek, however.

“Google Security has received multiple reports regarding at least 14 Google bikes that have been deposited into Stevens Creek by local adolescents,” said a July 11 email from a security staffer to the city.

Google, asked by SiliconBeat how it knew whom to blame, said it would provide a response, which will be added to this post if it’s received.

The company has a team working six to seven days of the week retrieving wayward Google bikes from Mountain View and nearby areas. A source familiar with the situation said a special task force has been created to deal with bikes thrown in the creek, and that the number of staff and vehicles dedicated to retrieving Google bikes has been increased.


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)


Tags: , , , ,


Share this Post

  • Alan1976

    They need to throw the jealous douchebags that did in the creek.

  • jbelkin

    I like they are holdig meetings to determine who is going to drive to the creek to pic them up – don’t they have interns for that?

  • hoapres

    Google bikes are used by the homeless to get around.

    Google should just consider this as being a good corporate citizen.