5 Tips for Using Bikeshare While Traveling!

  1. Pre-Plan Download the bikeshare app where you are going and choose a place to stay, if possible, that has a bikeshare station as well as welcoming routes nearby. Spend a little time with the app so you have a feel for the type of bikes and locking requirements (they are all a little different) as well as local rules and tips. I also always bring my helmet when I travel. I just dangle it off my arm or attach it to my backpack. No big deal, and often a conversation starter.
  2. Use MultiModal See if you can replace an expensive Uber ride with mass transit from the airport that you can then combine with bikeshare to your destination. In Boston last week, I took the Silver Line bus from Logan International Airport to South Station for FREE and then picked up a bikeshare bike with my paid daily pass ($10 a day, team). (And, yes, I rocked my BikeBloom upcycled bike tube earrings!)
  3. Get Ride-Ready Adjust the seat of the bike you want to use before unlocking it. Sometimes the seats are broken and you want to know that before committing to a certain bike. Once you find a comfortable height (usually knee slightly bent when leg extended to bottom pedal), note that there are usually numbers on the seat stem. Remember which height is most comfortable for you so that it’s quick and easy to adjust the seat on future bikes. Oh, and double-check that you have locked the bike effectively at the end of your ride. Call customer service if you have any concerns.
  4. Make It Your Habit If you are traveling with other people who don’t want to ride bikes, find time in the day when you can explore on your own. I’m a morning person so I’ve been doing this for years (Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, New York City, you name it) while my family is still sleeping. I use this time to source local places to bring everyone for meals and entertainment later in the day. My family also knows that I’m better company if I get a chance to ride and are quick to encourage me to do so. (They do also sometimes join me!)
  5. Promote It Take photos and videos and promote your use of bikeshare during and after your trip so that the city knows it was a valuable addition to your visit there and that local businesses benefited from your ability to access them safely. You can also point out particular dangers so that the city leaders hear it from others besides the by-now-exhausted local advocates.
  6. Bonus Tip: Keep the Vibe Going Use your bike as transportation back at home and discover lots of new places to go and things to do! I actually rode my bike to and from the MARTA transit station here in Metro Atlanta for my Boston trip last week. It cost me nothing to park and I had an extraordinarily lovely way to end my trip. (Plus, bravo to MARTA for having a stop literally IN the Atlanta airport. More of that, please, America!)

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