Reader Jim passed this NYT article on bike rentals around the world. When in Berlin, my hotel had a few bikes for guests- and this was back in 1990. Why hasn’t a hotel in Dayton gotten in on this yet? Or has one?
The idea of having a bike sharing system in place can have a huge impact on getting tourists to explore our city “up close and personal”- you experience a city differently on a bike. An excerpt from the NYT article:
visiting a city that has a free (or nearly free) bike-rental program. Many of these are quite famous — Paris’s Vélib’ is probably the best known — but cities in North America including Montreal and Irvine, Calif., have inaugurated similar programs. Two years ago, Washington, D.C., started SmartBike DC (smartbikedc.com), in which a $40 annual subscription gets you access (in three-hour increments) to bicycles at 10 locations throughout the nation’s capital. Not a bad deal.
The other cities and towns with bike-sharing systems are too numerous to mention, but the Bike-Sharing Blog (bike-sharing.blogspot.com) and a Wikipedia article on bicycle sharing systems(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_sharing_system) keep good track of developments in that realm.
In a sign that more travelers are demanding bicycles, many hotels, including the Sullivans Hotel in Perth, Australia, and Hotel Heldt in Bremen, Germany, now offer them to paying guests. Last spring at the Ace Hotel in Portland, Ore., I was overjoyed to make use of the free bikes provided to guests, and while that sort of service was to be expected in the cycling capital of America, it’s nice to see it being expanded to other cities. Strangely enough, the New York branch of the Ace doesn’t have bikes, but both the Bowery Hotel and the Jane (where rooms start at a fantastic $99 a night) downtown offer bikes for guests.
Just think what free bikes on the Sinclair campus would do to get students off campus into the center city.