You’ve probably already heard that bikeshare is coming to Hawaii! I couldn’t be more excited about this initiative, especially after seeing and enjoying Brisbane, Australia’s bikeshare system called CityCyle.
CityCycle stations and their yellow cruiser bikes are spread throughout the whole city of Brisbane. One morning I stopped at one of their stations to read the instructions for renting a bike. I was excited to learn that it was a simple and easy process. It took me less than 5 minutes to sign up and to rent a bike.
Here’s how I did it:
- I visited their website
- Signed up with some basic personal information
- Chose if I wanted to rent for a day, a week or long-term. There was also a student plan, and each option was very affordable.
- Paid the fee with a credit card. I chose the daily subscription, the “most expensive” one, $2 for a day…so cheap!
- Wrote down the pin number they provided after I paid. This was the number I would enter on the stations to rent a bike.
Oh! I forgot to mention that I had to convince my mom to come ride with me. She wasn’t as excited as I was, she said “you ride too fast I can’t keep it up”. So I promised her that we would ride slow and stop whenever she wanted to.
We started our CityCycle bike adventure at 6am. The closest station was just 1km from where we were staying, so we walked to the station. When we got there it was easy breezy to rent the bikes. We entered the pin number I got from the website. Then we chose the bikes we wanted. That station had about 20 bikes available, and they were all in great condition.
We grabbed our bikes and headed to Brisbane River. I got a little bit scared because of the “opposite” traffic rules in Australia–you need to stay in the left lane at all times. However, after a few miles, we got more comfortable, since there are bike lane signs and paths all over, so we just followed them.
After a few miles of riding, we arrived at Brisbane River Park. We parked our bikes at the CityCycle station and decided to enjoy the Park and then walk along the river to the next bike station.
After a few hours we rented the bikes again and rode all the way to the beautiful Botanical Garden. Again we parked the bikes to have a lovely lunch at the garden. After lunch we started walking towards downtown and for a second I had the strange feeling that we forgot to get “our” bikes that we left on the station. Then I realized we didn’t need to do that, if we needed to we could just check out bikes again at any other station.
We continued walking all the way to the amazing Brisbane museum, and as a nice coincidence one of the exhibitions was about the cycling culture of Australia. The cool “free cycling” exhibition just reinforced my perception that Aussies love everything about bikes. And they planned and built their cities for everyone to commute on their bikes, even for moms that are not really comfortable on two wheels.
The CityCycle system is fantastic and the city of Brisbane has an incredible infrastructure for cyclists (read here more about it). There are two details that are worth mentioning:
- Every trip under 30 minutes is free. In other words, you need to return the bike to any station before the 30 minutes are up in order to use the bike for free all day long. However, if you decide to enjoy the view, stop to take photos, or ride a little bit slower (to be nice to your mom), you will pay a fee for those extra minutes. But it’s still very cheap, we spent $4 each to ride for a full day.
- In one of the stations there wasn’t a spot open to return the bikes. So we had to ride to the next station. But it wasn’t a big deal since after you enter your number in the system, it gives you an extra 15 minutes to ride to the next station, which is usually less than 1km away.
- The last thing is to make sure to return the bike properly on the rack. If you don’t park the bike properly the system thinks that you still have the bike and it will charge for the time until you return the bike.
I got very enthusiastic when my dear friend Lori McCarney, the CEO of Bikeshare Hawaii, told me about bringing bikeshare to Hawaii. This initiative is very much aligned with my passions, sustainability and healthy lifestyle. Bikeshare is an incredible sustainable solution for public transportation, relieving the traffic on the roads and minimizing the emission of pollutants. And as a healthy lifestyle fanatic, I truly love to see people riding bikes. Not just cyclists and triathletes training on the roads, but especially workers commuting, and parents having a good time riding along with their kids. Riding bikes also offers a unique way to experience the city without worrying and spending money with parking.
Bike sharing in Brisbane boosted the fun of sight seeing, and Bikeshare in Hawaii is not only going to boost the fun for tourists and in residents’ daily routine, but it will also boost Hawaii with a wonderful system that brings sustainable and healthy solutions for everyone!
some dreams are worth sharing…
Lori McCarney (Bikeshare Hawaii CEO)
Bag “Say yes to New Adventures” by Cotton on Foundation – empowering youth
Dress by Florencia Arias (Contemporary lifestyle clothing line, designed in Honolulu)
photos by my sweet mom that rode a bike all over Brisbane with me and took all those cute pictures. Mom you are the best!!!