If you have not noticed, bike sharing systems have been popping up in major cities over the past few years. In the last year alone I have seen them in New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Paris. For a little background on how bike sharing systems work, read the first paragraph of this article.
Bike sharing systems are a great option to have when traveling. Here are 3 reasons why.
1. They are a great way to see parts of a city
While I do not recommend trying to see large portions of a city via biking (if you are looking for a way to see most of a city, feel free to check out my article on bus tours), biking is a great way to see specific parts of a city.
For example, this past summer I used Chicago’s bike sharing system to explore the Chicago Lakefront Trail. Through this experience I saw the different beaches Chicago has to offer, the Navy Pier, and gained a better understanding of the city’s layout. As a bonus, I was treated to some sublime views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline (See Below).
2. They are an efficient way to exercise while traveling.
It’s no secret that exercising while traveling can be difficult, annoying, or both. Biking is an easy solution to this problem. In my opinion, it is fun and relaxing to bike around a city. Before you know it, an hour has gone by, and you have gotten your exercise for the day. On the last night of my trip to Paris, I noticed that their bike sharing system had stations on the Seine River. I sincerely regret not being able to wake up early one morning and start my day by taking a bike ride on the river.
3. They operate the same way no matter where you are
Once you use one bike sharing system, you will know how to use one anywhere. Almost all of them have the same easy process of inserting a credit card, taking out a bike, and then returning a bike at any station. So even if you face a language barrier or cultural gap while traveling, a bike sharing system can be something constant that you are familiar with, and do not need assistance using.