Well, Nashville’s bike share finally launched on Thursday. I didn’t make it to the launch (whose idea is it to have these things in the middle of the day downtown??) but I feel like being the very first person to sign up for a year’s membership gives me some street cred anyway.
On Sunday, we had a bike lunch at the very bike-friendly Kay Bob’s Grill and Ale near Vanderbilt (they volunteered to host AND they have a brand new bike rack!). Jonathan and Stephanie get points for biking all the way from East Nashville…our next brunch has got to be a little further their way. As we ate, we noted a couple of B-Cycle riders cruising down 21st—an encouraging sign for the program. Of course, the mild weather didn’t hurt: It was easily 60 degrees.
$2 beers and delicious flatbreads were had. Then we strolled down to the closest kiosk to check this whole bike-share thing out.
The kiosks were the simplest ones I’ve used yet. Plus, if you’re a member, you can bypass them completely and just hold your pass up to the release point and checking the bike out that way.
And unlike in London, I didn’t snag my tights/bruise myself trying to wrestle the damn bike out of the…holster, for lack of a better word.
As I said before, these are fairly heavy, sturdy, 3-speed bikes. But the seats were easy to adjust and the same bike fit all of us with ease.
They sent me a little text once I had successfully returned the bike, and I also got an email receipt detailing my activity—a nice touch.
While we were at the kiosk, a handful of people stopped to check out the bikes and ask questions about how they worked—proof that a bike share has the power to make people think about cycling as transportation. Though I wouldn’t say that 21st Ave. is my favorite street to bike on (nor is Wedgewood, for that matter, though once it turns into Blakemore it’s OK), this station is one that will really up the program’s visibility. I can see myself using it on days I don’t bike to work if I have to run a lunch errand.