For the last two months you may have seen the nice green bikes around downtown Cleveland. They were just a teaser. At an official kickoff Wednesday on the newly renovated Public Square, UH Bikes replaced them with 250 shiny red bikes that are here to stay. “It’s a really big step to our goal of becoming truly bicycle friendly,” says Jacob VanSickle, Bike Cleveland executive director. “[It’s] an opportunity to really use it as another form of public transportation.” Here are three things to know before taking one for a spin.
Subscription plan: With bikes parked throughout the city, there is an opportunity for more than just getting around: Riding can be your daily workout. In addition to one-time rides at $3.50 for 30 minutes, the program offers membership plans. For $15 a month, you can ride for 60 minutes per day or $20 for 90 minutes. Members sign up online, where they are given an account and pin number to enter into a bike to unlock it.
Go anywhere: Just because you pick up a bike in Ohio City doesn’t mean you have to ride all the way back to return it. “You can grab a bike at Public Square and ride it all the way to University Circle and lock it up there,” says VanSickle. “Experiencing Cleveland on a bike is awesome; this is a great way to do it.” With the official launch, you can bike throughout downtown, University Circle, Tremont and Ohio City. Further expansion could be on the horizon. “Hopefully in three [to] five years, we’ll get 1,000 bikes throughout the whole county,” adds Mike Foley, Cuyahoga County director of sustainability.
Always available: Making strides to be a cyclist-friendly community means allowing Clevelanders to peddle year-round. So the bikes, sponsored by University Hospitals, could also be available during the winter. “We have a growing bike community culture in Cleveland,” says VanSickle. “It will be interesting to see if [UH Bike Share] boosts those numbers of people riding in the winter.”