05 Nov 2013

Guest Blogger Date #77: CoGo Bike Around the City + 16-Bit Bar

4 Comments $20 Date, Afternoon, Downtown, Fall, Friday, Guest Blog, Happy Hour, Monday, Morning, Night, Outdoor, Saturday, Spring, Summer, Sunday, Thursday, Tuesday, Wednesday

My name is Alphonso Laudat and I’ll be your guest blogger for today. I love exploring my fine city and going on dates. {I used to work with Alphonso and I think he’s pretty awesome. He’s very involved in everything cool in the Columbus scene & I was excited when he said he wanted to guest blog! :) }

date 2

This week’s cheap & creative date is…

A CoGo Bike Share ride + free video games at 16-Bit Bar!

What: A bike ride around downtown Columbus and an arcade for grown-ups
Where: Any CoGo Bike Share station around Columbus & 254 South Fourth Street
When: Any day of the week
Websites – CoGo Bike Share + 16-BitBar + The Grange Insurance Audubon

Top reasons why this $20Date is awesome:

date 1Over the summer I got really into biking. I can’t help but see a bike, now, and analyze it. The bike that I built over the summer essentially became my girlfriend. We spent most of our days together and ventured the city together. We discovered a lot of hidden gems. I never got tired of rediscovering my city with my lady but I started to long for a partner. There were certain trails and sites that I would have liked to share with someone. I found the perfect candidate but she didn’t have a bike nor knew anybody who could lend her one. Luckily for us CoGo Bike Share arrived over the summer!

I came up with this idea for a date towards the tail end of summer, so I planned 2 versions; a cold weather and a hot weather. Originally it was supposed to be a picnic on Walhalla in Clintonville that would end up downtown, but since CoGo isn’t currently available in the area I had to narrow the range down of the date.

I always do my research when I think of dates. Everything is thought out; time, date, location, etc. So I had to figure this new CoGo service that has been in place for a few months. I found out that it is $6 for a bike and $12 for two bikes, which is actually the maximum amount allowed on one card (a yearly membership is around $75). You can have access to the bikes for up to 24 hours if you’re not a member. What you do is enter a 5 number code consisting of 1’s, 2’s, and/or 3’s within 5 minutes of receiving it. Since the purpose of the bike is to get you from point A to point B, you can use them for 30 minutes at a time without racking up a $9 fee. If you have a smart phone, you can download an app that shows you a map of where the docks are, how many bikes are available, and how many spots are available. I suggest downloading this app; you can even set a 30 minute timer.

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At any station we were able to ride to our destination–The Grange Insurance Audubon Center. The Audubon is gorgeous. The Center has rocking chairs on the porch, gardens, a nature store, and habitat areas. A wooden path zigzags down the middle of a small pond that many ducks call home. Often you can see people scaling the free rock climbing wall nearby, but my point of interest was the giant water tower protruding out the middle of the park. A case of stairs lead up a couple of platforms in the center. This is where we had a picnic.

date 5From the top platform, we not only over looked the park as if this was our personal Mount Olympus, but we also had a clear view of the skyline. Also, this is a great place to be when the sun sets. On this date we had bread, wine, cheese, and cookies since it wasn’t terribly cold out but the wine could have definitely been substituted for a hot cocoa. Playing the Neos Wall, which my date actually suggested when she saw it, kept us warm as well.date 6 This Neos Wall is basically a giant version of that Simon toy from the 90’s, where you would have to hit the lights that flashed. Neos had different games that you could play, by yourself or against another player. We had a blast running back and forth between hitting the lights, yet tackling the other so they couldn’t complete their objective. There are 3 levels of difficulty to pick from, I suggest playing when it’s darker out because it’s easier to see that way.

date 9We hopped onto the bikes docked at the Audubon after sunset and decided to pay the Bicentennial Park a visit by Milestone 229. We took the bike path along the Scioto in order to get there. The flashing lights from the front of our bikes produced a trippy affect in front of us. It looked like we were traveling down the same tunnel Alice used to get to Wonderland. At the end of the trail, we came out underneath a bridge to a beautiful, light up skyline with a solid black backdrop. The reflection ripples throughout the river.

date 12

Since the water works were still going on at this point, we rode our bikes through the puddles of water, don’t let CoGo find out though! I suggested playing tag and hide-n-seek through the gushing water and blinding mist, all while on bikes. It was so flipping awesome!


date 10After we docked our bikes, we walked to 16-Bit Bar for free video games. 16-Bit was the long awaited “arcade for adults” that opened up towards the end of the summer. “House rules,” are that you buy a drink before you start playing. PBR is Columbus go-to brew when you’re not trying to break the bank because they’re only $2 a pop. 16-Bit carries a lot of popular, nostalgic video games from the 80’s and early 90’s. The best thing is that they’re all free. You don’t have to insert any tokens or quarters, hence buying the drinks before you play. Not only do you save a lot of money, but you can actually beat games! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve died on each game. There are 42 games on the floor with some in the back, but there will be more next year when the second floor opens up. On this date, my partner and I played Time Crisis, which was essentially a team building experience. What better way to work on trust and teamwork than blasting every bad guy in sight while playing wildly successful arcade classic?!

Ladies and gents, this has to be the most epic date I’ve ever had the pleasure of going on. I’ve never had so much fun on a date before. A major plus was the fact that it only cost $16, including the $12 bike rentals that were good for a day and the $4 for the PBR’s. Of course there’s the matter of tipping, you pick how much.

TOTAL = 12 + 4 + = 16 (plus tip)

Happy Dating,

Alphonso :)


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I love finding creative ways to save money & have fun at the same time. $20 Dates was born out of this love! :)

4 Responses to “Guest Blogger Date #77: CoGo Bike Around the City + 16-Bit Bar”

  1. Amber says:

    I’m somewhat dismayed that the author (and you, as the editor) included the disparaging portion regarding the Scioto Trail. While it’s hidden away, and for safety you should ride with a buddy, it’s a lovely area and didn’t deserve the serial killer and burning body comments.

    • PocketBook Jess says:

      Hi Amber! Thank you for your feedback, you are absolutely right. From my understanding the author meant it as a joke to compare his manliness in front of his date to how he was really feeling which is why I originally kept the statement. Upon further review, it does not accurately reflect the trail and I will edit the post now. Thank you again for your feedback!:) jess

    • francine says:

      that part made me giggle! obviously he is a fan of columbus’ bike trails, he said so himself. chill out, brah.

  2. Lisa researching music venues in Columbus says:

    What a great idea! I’m gonna have to talk the hubby into this one. I love the CoGo bikes.