With so much time spent behind a desk during our working hours, bookended by commutes to and from our jobs with the interspersed jaunts here and there to the store, our legs don’t get nearly enough use—not that we don’t have every intention of putting them to work. But we have busy lives that sometimes seem to get in the way of our best intentions of getting out and being active, and then there’s the convenience factor. Even one of the simplest forms of exercise—biking—can be an exercise of patience in and of itself, as getting the bike somewhere to hit a bike path isn’t always a straightforward question of rolling it out. Adding to the headache of transporting a bike on the back of the car is the maintenance of keeping gears and chains in shape, making sure the tires are inflated, and the cost of any repairs that need to be made, and that “simple” bike ends up becoming far less simple than you initially thought.
Fortunately, actual bike ownership isn’t the only option. Drawing on the inspiration of so many larger cities across the country who now have bike share programs of their own, the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department recently implemented the city-wide BCycle bike share program, giving members the perfect way to take even just an hour here or there to let the car sit idle while they put their feet into motion on the pedals of a bike.
“Our BCycle program is a great way to navigate the downtown area; and we’re offering it not only as an alternative method of transportation the way the national Bcycle platform does, but also trying to encourage it as a healthy recreational experience,” says Clarksville Parks and Recreation Administrative Support Supervisor Michelle Austin. “The on-board BCycle trip computer allows members to track all the miles they ride, the calories they burn, and the carbon emissions they avoid, so it’s really ideal for people who are trying to reach fitness goals or simply want to be more mindful of the environment.”
Differing from traditional bike rentals that provide longer-term usage requiring pre-booking and reservations, Clarksville’s Bcycle program offers a membership that allows for unlimited use for trips up to one hour. Once a 60-minute trip has been exceeded on one bike, a $1 fee is incurred for each additional 30 minutes. For quick trips around town or even a one-hour bike ride through the park, however, BCycle is the perfect solution, with docks located at various points all over town that make picking up or dropping off bikes quick and convenient.
Convenience is a tenet of the program as kiosks may be located through the use of an app or on the website, and each bicycle is regularly inspected and maintained to ensure the safest ride. Bikes are also equipped with baskets to provide for easy transport of goods as well as front and rear lights to guarantee that visibility is high no matter the hour. For those who need nothing more than a day-pass, credit card purchases may be made at BCycle kiosks, though affordable monthly and annual membership options definitely make becoming a regular BCycle pedal pusher a route worth taking.
To learn more about membership regulations, options, and BCyle locations, visit www.clarksville.bcycle.com.