b-cycle is a national bicycle rental program that lets you check out a bike for the day (or longer with a membership) from one of their “b-stations” and then return it at any of the stations around the city. b-cycle is starting to pop up in lots of cities around the country, including kansas city, des moines, denver, salt lake city, and of course, here in omaha. omaha’s b-cycle program consists of 35 bikes across 5 stations in the aksarben village / university of nebraska omaha neighborhood. we do own our own bikes, but we thought it would be fun to take these for a spin for the day last weekend.
it’s just $5 per bike for a 24-hour pass, which i think is a great deal compared to a lot of other bike rental programs i’ve seen, both here and other cities. the only catch is that you do have to check the bike back in each hour to avoid extra fees. i’m assuming they do this in case others want to check them out, as they can also be reserved online. i thought that checking the bikes in would be kind of annoying, but we did it twice and it actually wasn’t too much of a hassle. if you truly wanted to take a day-long bike ride across the city, this might not be the best option, but for casual riding with stops for frozen yogurt and iced coffee, they’re perfect.
the bikes themselves are quite nice. after you pay at the checkout station, it tells you which dock(s) to get your bike(s) from, and you just pull them right out. each bike has a relatively large basket on the front so you can store your wallet, phone, etc. while riding around. we had a great time trying them out and will definitely be doing it again. we love the aksarben area, but it’s a little far for us to bike to on our own bikes, so having this option is really nice. i hope that people will continue to use the program and that we’ll see it start expanding to other areas of town. if you live in omaha, a day with a b-cycle would make a great springtime family activity, and if not, check their website to see if they rent bikes in your town.
oh, and apparently it’s not possible for there to be a photo of me without my hair sticking up in some fashion. awesome.