Today, on a gloriously sunny afternoon, I finally got a chance to try out Denver’s B-cycle bike share system. I was visiting Denver three years ago on the day the system launched, but the weather didn’t cooperate: thunder, lightening, rain spitting sideways – it was the full gamut of what you can expect on the eastern slope of the Rockies.
Today was far different. I rode through the sunshine around downtown, tried out Denver’s bike lanes (just slightly more removed from the door zone than Seattle’s) and finally ended up south of town at the Buckhorn Exchange for dinner.
Where, as it turns out, there was a B-cycle station right across the street.
The beauty of bike share is the ubiquity of the system. In the core areas, you’re never more than a few blocks from a station. It makes it easy – and fun – to move about town. Simply park the bike in the nearest station and move on. As with most (all?) systems in the US, Denver’s operates on a subscription basis that includes all rides under 30 minutes. Given the ubiquity of the stations (and the fact that the ponderous 3-speed bikes don’t lend themselves to extended rides), it’s hard to imagine getting into extended time.
In Denver, the tourist subscription is available in 24 hour increments for $8.00. You simply show up at any station, swipe your credit card, accept a few click wrap limitations of liability, and you’re off.
Definitely a better way to get around than a cab – provided it isn’t pissing rain.
And no helmet required! Hear that, Seattle?