Jorge Gardala-Maria of the GW Hatchet writes an article asking if Capital Bikeshare is such a good idea.
He's worried that people who use CaBi will be irresponsible and cites examples of cyclists riding legally, though probably not safely, on the sidewalk; without helmets and while drunk.
But he actually doesn't have any proof that CaBi "contributes to the prevalence of riding without helmets." I see many CaBi riders who do wear them (myself included) and many non-CaBi users who do not. So, I think that is a fear, but not a fear based in fact. He also doesn't ask the question of whether the benefit of "contributing to the prevalance of riding" doesn't outweight the risk of doing so "without helmets".
In addition to worrying about cyclists riding on the sidewalk, he's worried about them riding in the street, since not everyone is as experienced as he is.
After riding my bike from sea to shining sea - literally, from San Francisco to D.C. - I learned traffic patterns, like where it's safe and not so safe to ride on the road, and other important skills to know for riding on the busy streets of D.C.
I spent 67 days riding my bike this summer and there have been times when I still don't feel comfortable with D.C. drivers, so it flustered me how some CaBis feel so confident riding next to traffic. These skills don't come with the simple click of the "Join" button on the Capital Bikeshare website, and unfortunately many never get that message.
Maybe they feel confident because they also have extensive riding experience, and most of there's is not in the wide open spaces of America's flyover states but in cities or even in DC?
He's also worried about drunk biking, which is a legitimate concern (really, not cool) but the source of his worries are some rumors he heard.
So, while I echo his concern for safe, courteous cycling, I think it has more to do with people and little to do with CaBi. You should not limit your good behavior to when you're on one of DC's red and golds.