When I was in Paris I became totally obsessed with Velib, the public bike sharing system. It’s such a genius idea. You can buy a year membership for about $50 or a day pass for $2 (however, bikes can only be used for 30 minutes or less at a time or additional fees apply). There are over 20,000 bikes in the city, and nearly 1,500 rental stations. GENIUS.
So, why aren’t we doing this in America? Well, we are, sort of. Over the years a number of cities have tried to launch bike-sharing programs, but failed due to vandalism and cost constraints. Today, only four programs exist in the country: Buffalo, Denver, Minneapolis and Washington, DC. Of these programs, I’m most fascinated with B-Cycle, the company running the Denver program. Go online to their site and vote for your community to be the next outlet. Here’s a little snapshot of how it all works:
However, if you’re not keen on sharing a bike, but would like one of your own, I would suggest you check out Dahon. Their bikes are amazing – especially perfect for city dwellers and commuters. Each design folds up neatly to make for easy storage and transport (when you’re not riding, of course!).