Musician David Byrne wrote an Op-Ed in the NY Times a few weeks ago about the joys of pedestrian bike riding. There’s tremendous value for cities that provide great public transit systems and other options. Not to mention it’s a great form of exercise and environmentally-friendly! Hundreds of cities around the world take part and so should you!
There’s an exhilaration you get from self-propelled transportation — skateboarding, in-line skating and walking as well as biking; New York has good public transportation, but you just don’t get the kind of rush I’m talking about on a bus or subway train. I got hooked on biking because it’s a pleasure, not because biking lowers my carbon footprint, improves my health or brings me into contact with different parts of the city and new adventures. But it does all these things, too — and sometimes makes us a little self-satisfied for it; still, the reward is emotional gratification, which trumps reason, as it often does.
Here’s a general overview I found via the BBC Travel site:
So how does bike sharing work? In most cities, visitors can purchase short-term subscriptions at bike stations themselves. Just walk up to a station’s electronic kiosk, choose the duration for which you need access to the service, and swipe your credit card. You will receive an unlocking code which you can then use to release a bike from the docking station. Then you can start exploring the city via bicycle. When you reach your destination, find a nearby station and return your bike. Make sure to lock the bike carefully by pushing the front wheel into an empty dock. Most docks will show a green light and/or make a beeping sound when bikes are correctly secured.
In no particular order here’s a few cities running programs. There are also cities like Amsterdam where residents use old bikes to get around the narrow canal streets. I have to tell you, one of the funniest sights ever was spying drunk Dutch people leaving nightspots in winter coats during December trying to pedal home at 3 a.m.
Check to see if your city or town offers a bike program or organize one.
Paris Before you go (back) to the City of Lights, get to know the Velib program.
Charlotte In preparation for the DNC Convention, there’s a fleet of brand new bikes.
Copenhagen Denmark has one of the oldest bike programs. Cycling is a way of life.