Biking to work: From Portland to Paris
Don’t have a bike? Bike sharing programs in major cities are gaining popularity. Get a jump start on your commute before Bike to Work day, May 10.
By Lauren Rosenberg
May is National Bike to Work Month, and we’ve been greasing our gears and shining our fenders in preparation for a beautiful month in the bike lanes.
It grinds our gears that our City by the Bay (San Francisco for the non-west coast crowd) doesn’t have a bike sharing system in place. Thankfully though, it looks like an official system could be implemented soon. In the meantime, other cities across the U.S. and Canada are making bike hires available to the masses, as well as making them easier, cheaper and more convenient.
Montreal’s Bixi system is among the most developed in North America, and Chicago’s B-cycle system provides steep discounts to students and seniors. A bike sharing program is set to arrive in Portland in 2013, as well as a new system in NYC this summer.
Across the pond In London, Barclay’s has provided locals with pay-per use bikes all around the city since 2010. The best part? You can rent a bike at one location, and return it at another without any added fee. Signing up for annual access can save you some green, but it’s completely open to the public, and requires only a debit or credit card to get spinning. My only hope is that the system won’t be overthrown by all of the visitors in London for this summer’s 2012 Olympic games.
Visit BikesBelong.org or bike-sharing.blogspot.com to find a bike sharing program and some interesting stats about biking your city! And saddle up and get ready to ride (to work, that is) on Thursday, May 10 (National Bike to work day). To encourage and reward green commuters, many cities are giving away juice, water bottles, and even breakfast on the big day.