Sunday, May 22, 2011

Multimodal in Denver with Bcycle

I've been hearing a lot about the Bcycle program that's in Denver and Boulder. Enough that I wanted to try it out but since I try to avoid Denver and Boulder I figured it might be a while. I got my opportunity on Saturday night, though. The goal? U2 in Denver with as little of a driving headache as possible. And believe me, I've been a mountain man long enough that I despise driving in downtown Denver and super heavy I25 traffic. Mostly because I don't know where the hell I'm going so I tend to just blunder around.

I cruised to D town in the Jeep and got off I25 not far from downtown, pretty much exited the interstate as soon as traffic got too heavy. Within minutes, I had parked at the Pepsi Center and was ready to roll. I know, I know, Pepsi Center is a close walk to Mile High, but I had to go to LoDo first. Perfect for Bcycle. The Bcycle program works perfectly. It's $6 to buy in for a 24 hour bike share. Put your credit card in and you're charged $6 to take the bike. The $6 will get you as many 30 minute or less trips around town that you can fit in a day. Take the bike for more than 30 minutes and you pay extra. That's not sharing, Bcycle says. Bcycle has several stations located all over though, that you can ride from Point A to Point B, ditch the bike at another station, run errands by foot, then pick up another Bcycle at another station. Pretty slick.

Here's a shot of my pimpin' ride for the next 29 minutes. Trek makes the bikes for Bcycle. They are overbuilt and stout, and they have plastic or metal covering up all of the barrel adjusters and other things. Fortunately, riders cannot make adjustments to the bike.

They all come equipped with 3 speed drum brake Shimano hubs. Drum brake fronts as well. I guess you could really bang up a wheel then, eh?

I trolled around for 20 minutes or so enjoying the ride. I successfully checked into my next stop. Check in was easy, just park the bike in the stand til it clicks and give you a blinky green light. You are good to go.

After walking to LoDo from the bike stop, we walked to the light rail station where we took the train to Mile High stadium. Walking from the train was the most congested and difficult time of my multimodal experience. Way too many people and not enough room.

The payoff was good, though.

After all that, back on the trail, back to the car, and back on I25. All in all a big success. I avoided my phobia of heavily trafficked downtown streets, got to ride a bike, AND got to ride the train. Good stuff and highly recommended!

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