$5 for a bike ride?

While planning on visiting Denver on “business” (teachers need to think of themselves as business people to be taken more seriously, so yes….I was on a business trip, but I will step down from that pulpit and talk about bikes.) I thought about staying within town and renting or borrowing a bike. It shouldnt be that difficult with a city that is made up of mostly sports nuts and cowboys. Through my searching, I came upon a relatively new bike sharing program in Denver that is run by the folks at bcycle. I read up on it and looked at some maps and figured that it would actually be close to where my conference was going to be.  If I could steal some time away from all the learning, schmoozing, and networking I was going to do, I would get a ride around town.

The make it easier than I could explain it.

Just outside the convention center there were two racks of bikes to rent out. The process is really simple as long as you have a credit card. Although the touch screen was not very sensitive, it was not a difficult process once I got my info put in the system. I paid five bucks for a twenty four hour membership to the Denver Bike sharing program and I was off to pick a bike. The available bike choices show up on the touch screen and after you enter the one that you choose, the bike is electronically unlocked and you are off to take a ride.

With my bike already adjusted before my time started, I was off for a ride around town. The bike had a basket off the front, a SRAM equipped internal 3 speed hub, and a step through frame design. My bike had a bell on it, but it was broken, which bummed me out a bit, but I got over it quick.

The bike rack had a pretty sweet map above the bikes which I used to make myself a rudimentary mental map of things I wanted to see. I was off and flying. The bike rode well and the gearing was a bit low, but once I was in the flow, I was really moving around town just like I was back in Philly.

I made my way down towards Coors field so that I could check it out and ride around the joint. I heard it was a nice place, and it really stood up to the rep. I then headed off for the river path, which of course being in the land where bike dorks go to die, it was pretty awesome.

Along the bike path, I found a urban beach complete with a small city park, rapids built for rafting, and a some ice cold crystal clear water. If I was not already in love with Denver, this solidified it.

There was bike share location located just outside of the worlds largest REI, so I was able to check my bike in under the 30 minute limit, then take it back out after I was done walking around in the water.

Unfortunately, I did not have an ocean of time and I had to get back to some hobknobbing back at the conference, so I headed back up towards ground zero to turn my bike back in. My hour and a half of riding cost me just $5 because I was able to check the bike in and get it back when I was done. It is a pretty sweet deal, and something I wish we could make work in Philly, but I honestly do not trust most Philly folks to take care of something as mundane as a bus shelter, much less something as dynamic as a bicycle.

One Response to “$5 for a bike ride?”
  1. Russell says:

    Glad to see you found Bike Sharing in Denver a “pretty sweet deal.” It would be great if we had this type of “sweet deal” in Philadelphia too. I do believe we can make Bike Sharing work well in the City of Brotherly Love. Don’t be so hard on your fellow Philadelphians. Once they use the system, as you did, find it so easy and convenient, as you did, they will take care of the bikes with their own style of brotherly love. Don’t just wish it could work in Philadelphia, write Mayor Nutter and let him now you want Bike Sharing in the city between the Schuylkill and the Delaware.

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