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B-cycle in Denver, CORows of B-cycle bikes at a station in Denver, CO.
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B-cycle Bike Station - Denver, COA B-cycle bike station in Denver, CO.
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B-cycle BikesB-cycle bikes come with built-in front baskets and lights.
B-cycle in Denver, CO
B-cycle Bike Station - Denver, CO
By Sara Young
DENVER, CO - The other day, I tried out the Denver B-cycle bike sharing program. As a first-timer, I was not sure what to expect. The neat row of shiny red bikes next to the big metal European parking meter-looking thing was initially a bit intimidating, but I managed to overcome my fears and go for it.
I picked up my bike on 28th and Larimer Street, right outside the Denver B-cycle office and took it for a ride downtown to get a feel for it. As with the rental bike in San Francisco, it was heavy and there was no possible way I was going to get up any real speed while riding it, but, let me tell you, it was perfect for tooling around downtown and seeing the sights.
This might sound ridiculous, but just riding the thing made me happy. In no particular order, I will tell you why:
• The color. It is literally a shiny new red bike. How can this not make a person happy?
• The basket on the front. It screams Old School! Old School is the new sexy.
• The plethora of places to pick up or drop off a bike downtown. I counted 15 on my very short, (less than 30 minutes), ride around downtown.
• It is not yours. Part of bike ownership is listening for sounds that might mean something. When you are riding a shared bike, those sounds are gloriously meaningless.
• The bike light on the back is on while you are riding it. Safety is a feature I look for in all things.
• When you bring it back, you just park it in an open bike stall. That’s it. Simplicity at its finest.
• Did I mention the color?
In sum, my first bicycle sharing experience was mind-blowing, and unlike my millennial bicycle commuting cohorts, I do not say that lightly. As I have roughly 20 more days in Denver to test this system, I will be writing further about my experiences on these amazing bicycles. I am looking forward to every last shiny-red-brand-spankin’-new-moment.
Sara Young is a writer, artist, cyclist, amateur yogi and avid poetry appreciator. Originally from Chicago, IL, and most recently from Portland, OR, Sara is presently traveling the US, working on her project, 25 Days, in which she travels to 15 cities around the US, talking to people about their favorite places and bicycle commuting. She hopes to create a more bike-friendly society through advocacy, and a more peaceful world through listening.