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Hey, what did you do in San Antonio, Texas? Saw old friends, drank beer and watched a concert. Oh yeah, I rented a bicycle and rolled around downtown.

I was speaking to a friend at a local theater in downtown San Antonio. (I worked at the theater for MANY years). As we were talking, my friend suggested that I stop by a larger venue to talk to people I know at that entertainment center. Hmmm… I don’t have a car, and the walk will take a good twenty minutes. As I was walking to the venue, I found myself in front of the new bike rentals placed around downtown in various locations (23 in all).

Try it? Why not. The fee is $10 to rent the bike and $2 for every half hour you use the bicycle (the first 30 minutes are free). My thoughts? The baskets on the front of the bicycle gives the bike a bulky feel. How do I lock up my bike once the bike is rented? The bicycle DOES have a built-in lock. Just lock the cord around an object, and fit the cord into the lock. Twist the key from under the basket and your bicycle is secure. How do I pay for the bike rental? There is a vending machine located at the bicycle station. Swipe your credit card in the machine and now you have 30 seconds to choose a bicycle. You can also key in your phone number for a text from the bike share program. Where do I return the bicycle to? There are 23 different locations to return the bicycles to in downtown San Antonio. I was curious how the bike would be secured after I returned the bicycle. Once you roll the bicycle into the rental rack, the metal bracket on the front wheel is locked into place automatically.

Is this a ten speed bicycle? No, the bike is three speed. I found the bicycle to be solidly built. The tires were in very good condition. The bicycles have a small metal bell as well. Are helmets provided? Helmets were not provided at the station I rented the bicycle from. I stayed on the sidewalks as I rolled around downtown.

As I was riding the bicycle downtown, a local rolled up by me on his bicycle and asked if the bicycle was comfortable. I replied that is was (I also said I commuted to work daily).

Over all, I really enjoyed how easy the bike share program works in San Antonio. The bicycles are good, there are many locations to return the bicycle, and the price is right. I will have to try the bike share out again when I am in town.

On a side note, I have to discuss the new bicycle environment in San Antonio. When I arrived downtown, I was stunned by how many locals were riding bicycles. They were everywhere. Even on the Riverwalk.

I just happened to take the picture when I noticed the woman was walking her bicycle up and over the bridge to “ride” along the river. I also noticed many buses with bicycles locked to the bike rack on the front of the bus. Not just one or two buses, but most buses had a bike or two attached to the front of the bus. Friends and family were even using the new bicycle trails. I used to bike to work in this city in 1999-2001. There were very few of us commuting to work by bike. I dodged entire neighborhoods to get to work. Trash thrown at me was a weekly occurrence. I was cursed at on a daily basis. Cars would run me off the street routinely. San Antonio is now a bicycle friendly city? Amazing. Keep up the great work San Antonio. I will see you again and roll along your streets.

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