Denver B-Cycles

Have you tried the Denver B-Cycles yet?

B-Cycle PhotoToday I had the opportunity to try out the Denver B-Cycle program.  I had business at Colfax and High Street, and was coming into town from Lakewood on 6th Avenue.

Since I prefer to commute into town from my home west of Golden by motorcycle (especially during these days of high gas prices) I can’t easily transport my commuter bike for mixed-mode travel.  The B-Cycle provides a way for me to park the motorcycle pretty close to the western edge of town, and finish the commute under pedal power.

B-Cycles on sale now!

I signed up for an annual pass, optimistic that I’ll take advantage of the program frequently this year.    The pass (365 days from first use) is on sale through April 22nd for $49, after which it will return to the normal price of $65.

You can sign up on their website, but as I was already on the road I called the customer service number (303.825.3325) and spoke with a very helpful agent named Nick.   He was able to quickly walk me through the sign-up process and answer a couple of questions about the best stations to use for my commute.

B-Cycle rides begin and end in stations.

The western-most station is at Denver Health on Bannock.   I was able to find a nearby parking spot ($1.50 all day) and quickly pick up the bike.    Nick suggested I might find free parking around the next station east, at 7th and Grant, and I’ll try that next time.

The bikes are well maintained, with 3-speed grip-shift gearing, and hand brakes.    The seat height adjustment is easy to use,  and I was quickly on my way, briefcase fitting nicely into the sturdy basket on the front of the bike.   I wish there was a way to load baggage over the rear wheel, as the steering was a bit clumsy with the weight of my laptop and briefcase hanging out over the front wheel.

The ride through town was pleasant, though since I’m not familiar with the best cycling routes through the city I ended up riding on some sidewalks to avoid mixing it up with vehicle traffic on some of the narrower streets I found myself on.     The low gear came in handy climbing Capitol Hill as the sturdy bike would definitely not be classified as light weight.

The nearest station to my destination is at the Botanical Gardens at 11th and York.   It was quick and easy to “dock” the bike and just walk away from it (literally) for the final few blocks.    Nick let me know that next year they are planning a station even closer to my client’s office, which will save me 10 minutes of walking.

B-Cycles wait at the station for you.

A key point of the B-Cycle program is that they’re not intended to be parked for long outside of their stations.   The per-ride fee schedule is as follows:

  • First 1/2 hour: included in your annual fee.
  • Second 1/2 hour:  $1
  • Subsequent 1/2 hour periods:  $4

If you are running errands and you need to be out and about for a couple of hours you can easily keep your station-to-station time within a half hour by periodically docking, which resets the clock.   But you won’t want to ride to a destination and park the B-Cycle for a couple of hours, as that will get costly.

Have you tried a B-Cycle yet?

I really enjoyed my little adventure, and I look forward to using the B-Cycles more this year.

Do you use them?   What has been your experience?

You’ll find all the information about the B-Cycle program here at their website:  http://denver.bcycle.com/

 

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