I have a new obsession. I've been living in cities for years but I rarely ride my bike around the city itself. Instead, Rob and I will put our road bikes on the roof rack of our car and drive out to the suburbs to go for a ride and then drive home. In some ways, driving to and from a ride feels like it defeats the purpose of riding at all. In Boston, the roads were too poorly maintained and the drivers a bit too aggressive for me to feel comfortable riding in the city (admittedly, I am a bit of a wimp and very cautious on a bike). However, in Denver there are fewer cars downtown and there is B-Cycle.
I love B-Cycle. My co-worker introduced me to it as a way to get from our office to our gym at lunch. There are B-Cycle stations all over downtown Denver (and beyond) and you can pick up and drop off the bike at any B-Cycle location. Thus, no need to worry about bringing a bike lock or finding a safe place to lock your bike or having your bike stolen. Plus, the bikes are cruisers so you can ride in your work clothes (including a dress or skirt) and not worry about needing to change your clothes or shoes. The idea is genius and really is so fun to tool around on a bike downtown. B-Cycle currently operates in Boulder, Broward County, Chicago, Denver, Des Moines, Hawaii, Louisville and San Antonio. If your city isn't on the list, use this link to vote to have your city be next! Aside from being an awesome service and having pretty cute bikes with handy baskets, B-Cycle tracks your mileage, estimated calories burned, carbon offset and the money you have saved by biking instead of driving. I've been a B-Cycle member since March 14th and have already biked 35 miles just getting around downtown between the gym, my apartment and my office. The best part? I joined for the *season* (March through November) for only $49. Amazing. Oh - I also rode all over the city with two of my favorite people, my college roommates Kate and Lily, when they visited Denver a few weeks ago (see the photo below). It was the best way to get around the city while seeing sights and enjoying the awesome spring weather.
The only thing that might be better than B-Cycle would be a cruiser bike of my own. I think I prefer not worrying about the bike being stolen, but there are some gorgeous cruiser bikes out there that really make me want one of my own.
This first bike is from Adeline Adeline and resulted from a partnership between the company and Kate Spade New York. The result is this beautiful green bike with a fabulous wicker basket. Love! Adeline Adeline makes a number of beautiful bikes with a vintage feel and in great colors. They also carry the best bike helmet I have ever seen (you all know I love dots). Nutcase appears to make some truly fantastic bike helmets and I might just have to trade in my Bell helmet from middle school for something with a bit more flair!
Another company producing fantastic bikes is Public in San Francisco. There bikes come in a variety of styles and colors and you can customize your bike with various baskets, racks, bells and kid's seats. I particularly like the Nutcase helmet pictured below.
Playdate custom bicycles in New York City makes retro-fitted, recycled and refurbished bikes that certainly look cool riding around town. You can customize every element of your bike if you'd like or choose from one of the great options on the website. A portion of the proceeds from your purchase supports GOODWORKGROUP, a charity that includes a bike building program for kids.
Finally, if having to sit on a bike seat in a dress or skirt is not your thing, perhaps a scooter is? Don't be fooled - I am not talking about the scooter you had when you were 12, but a chic Amish-made scooter that even Martha Stewart approves of! And why wouldn't she? It comes in not only the lovely green shade pictured below, but also orange and black and is only $245.