By mattlamyThursday, 18 January 2018
With large-scale cycle hire and public bike share schemes being set-up in towns and cities across the country, it’s now easier than ever to leave your bike at home yet still be able to use pedal power. Cycling UK member and cycling journalist Matt Lamy looks at the options.
There’s a lot to be said for cycle hire and bike share schemes. Not only do they providing communities with convenient access to bikes, helping to offset environmental concerns such as climate change and — more locally — air pollution, but effective and well-used cycle hire schemes can help reduce congestion, improve health, and lessen the demand for car parking spaces. For non-locals, they can also offer a rare treat: the chance to visit and explore a new destination by cycle, but not have to go through all the hassle of transporting your own bike there.
Cycle hire options
The chance that any town you are planning to visit has a selection of cycle hire options available is growing all the time. While we will look at some of the major municipal and even international bike share schemes later in this article, please do not forget smaller-scale cycle hire operations which you will find at local cycle dealers or working independently, especially in areas with a thriving tourist trade. Unlike bike share schemes, whose role is solely to provide you with a bicycle as quickly and easy as possible, independent cycle hire businesses may offer added value, such as being able to fulfill particular needs — whether that’s providing a specific type of bike, child seat, trailer or even let you hire or buy helmets, locks and other accessories.