Serious consideration and implementation is in place for setting up bikes to rent, ride and return to “B-Cycle” stations set up around Des Moines, Iowa, according to KCCI news source. This idea of renting a bike is not new, it has been in place in European cities, and even in a few cities in the U.S., such as Washington, D.C., Denver, and soon to be in Minneapolis.
The B-Cycle system is similar in design to the Red Box system, where one can swipe a credit card to rent and return it to another location. It is said that there will be 10 racks and that the first 30 minutes will be free, with each additional hour at about a dollar or so.
Tim Lane, who is Iowa fitness consultant, is enthusiastic about this new addition to Des Moines saying “There's an economic impact, a health impact and an environmental impact, all in one cool machine." Though this bike is not up for a triathlon says Lane, they are practical, can get a person from one place to another, are versatile for different heights, and even ideal for commuters with a guard on the chain.
Watch a video on the B-Cycle: http://www.kcci.com/news/21109398/detail.html
With this new addition to the city one might worry about additional safety concerns. Also, will helmets be at the B-Cycle stations to rent as well, or will one have to carry their own?
But there are more questions you should also ask yourself, whose responsibility is it to check to make sure all the nuts and bolts, screws and washers are tight or in place? Whose responsibility is it to maintain these bikes? If you intend to participate in this bike exchange system you’d best be aware of its limitations and to act in a way that protects you.
1. Provide your own helmet.
2. Bring your own WD-40.
3. Carry a set of wrenches made just for bikes.
4. Check the bike before you get on and start to ride.
5. If the bike looks poorly maintained, don’t use it.
6. Carry your own pant leg clip.
7. Think about whether it’s worth the risk, rather than to have your own bike.