Category Archives: bikes

BCycle Charlotte

Charlotte’s new bike sharing program, BCycle, had only been installed a month and a half before our visit. I’ve never tried a bike share and we were car-less in Charlotte, so I decided to explore Charlotte by BCycle for a day.

Charlotte BCycle

For $8, you get a 24-hour pass (longer-term passes are also available). As long as you return each bike within a half hour, you can take unlimited rides without any additional charge. Bikes come with a lock and basket but not a helmet, so I brought my own. The system was hassle-free and easy to use.

I started uptown, rambled down the the Sugar Creek Greenway, followed the almost entirely bike-laned East Boulevard to the Trolley Rail Trail, then took the trail back to uptown, switching bikes at each station along the way (Link to Map).  Though the bike rode smoothly, a heavy 3-speed was totally exhausting for this road bike girl! So on my way, I stopped for a necessary snack at the Common Market. Later in the day I took another bike for a spin down to Elizabeth Creamery for a scoop of praline ice cream. By the end of the day, I had ridden 8 bikes!

at Common Market

I didn’t see a lot of other people riding bikes in Charlotte, and when I did they were riding on the sidewalk, a practice that is illegal (or at least frowned upon) most places but seemingly the norm in Charlotte.  Some of the streets uptown had bike lanes and the drivers were courteous, but if you’re skittish on the roads, the Little Sugar Creek Greenway and Trolley Rail Trail would be good places to ride.

BCycle Along the River

Happy Bike Month!

When Jeremy and I got engaged three years ago, my grandfather gave us some money as a present, and we bought bikes. It was a present that will last forever – not the bikes themselves (I already sold mine and upgraded), but a new hobby that we could share, that would keep us active and healthy together. It was also a fitting gift from my grandfather, who was always very active.

Of course I rode a bike when I was young (loved the paths in the Loantaka Reservation), but it seems different when you’re an adult and have so much to think about, so much to do. Maybe you never forget how to ride a bike, but you may forget how to let it have a place in your life.

My Bike

Last year, I started commuting to work on my bike. I’ll admit that I’m still a wimp and let RIPTA do the driving  in rainy and cold weather, but even commuting about 30% of the time has made such a positive impact on my life. I get to see my neighborhood through the seasons, breathe some fresh air, get exercise, and never have to gas up! My commute is about 4.5 miles each way. Usually, I’m so excited to get on my bike that I’m at work at least a half hour early, and I’m awake enough  that I’m not aching for coffee. Did I mention that my travel time is much shorter than the bus and often faster than driving (especially at rush hour)?

May is National Bike Month, so I thought I’d write this little tribute to getting back on two wheels. If you’d like to try biking to work, Providence Bike to Work day is on Friday…