Portland’s bikeshare, Bike(y)town, is doing two awesome things in the month of May.
- You can ride an orange bike for up to 90 minutes a day for free.
- You can lock the bikes at any bike rack/staple within the bike share boundaries — you do not need to lock the bike to an orange station rack/dock.
Official details here on the Biketown FAQ site.
This is great! Enjoy! You’ll want to create an account so that you can enter your account number/PIN and go! If you just want to try it out, set yourself up as a “single ride” account.
When I did this for my partner, I had to enter a credit card and I purchased a $2.50 credit. It wasn’t clear to me if there was a way to do create an account with no purchase. This was also right at the beginning of May and maybe they’ve smoothed the kinks since then.
Dockless bike parking
I’m really enjoying this one! I can park about a block from my house rather than 6-8 blocks away. Pretty sweet. I’ve been jealous of the Central Eastside Industrial District (CEID) dockless “Superhub” area, so this is super convenient.
I figure this also lays down a desire trail to have bike parking closer to where I live (and maybe push the boundary area further east).
Theories on why
- Fend off dockless bike share
- Gain data about where people would really like ride and what happens when lots and lots of people are riding the bikes
A few other observations
We have adaptive bikeshare! These are also free in May!
Biketown for All: discounted memberships for Portlanders living on low incomes.
Ready to ride: handkerchiefs, helmets and safety notes
I like having a handkerchief with me in general — it’s just handy. I’ve also felt rather clever when it has been a bit wet and then I want to ride an orange bike. I can easily dry the seat off with my cloth handkerchief (some of which used to be my grandfather’s…aw….)
I’m a big believer in helmets because I am not the most coordinated person. Plus my brain doesn’t need to be knocked around — it’s already losing its marbles. I have an orange helmet that I keep at work to use with Biketown. However, I also ride just as frequently without a helmet. Some of this is because I like routes where I’m relatively protected from big dangerous cars. And I’m also pretty comfortable on the orange bikes by now.
That being said, if you’re diving into using Biketown for the first time, you might want to carry a bike helmet for some extra brain protection.
My other safety consideration has been to throw an extra bike light in my bag if I think I might ride a bike later a night. They do have lights on the front under the basket, but they aren’t the brightest.
While most of the bikes are orange, there are also some interesting additional designs: shoe-inspired visuals and others from Nike and our new community designs.
A note on Bike(y)town
I like to call our bike share Bikeytown. Or the orange bikes. As in, I’m taking a Bikeytown orange bike to get to my appointment. I’m not sure how the Biketown marketers feel about this, but it makes me happy! Bikey fun good times!