A few months back, Minneapolis bumped Portland as the No. 1 biking city in the United States. I haven’t spent nearly as much time on my bike since we’ve moved here, thanks in part to the sweltering humidity. Still, I see it. Minneapolis really is a better biking city.
One reason: Nice Ride MN, which is a non-profit organization support by Minnesota Blue Cross & Blue Shield. Nice Ride is a bike rental system with rows of bikes set up throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul. Users pay a small fee to borrow the bike. The only real stipulation is they must be returned to a Nice Ride rack. It’s a seamless bike share system, and although it’s not unique to the Twin Cities, you won’t find it in Portland.
There’s a similar program in New York that’s actually better. I haven’t used Nice Ride just yet, but my one gripe is the program — in its first year — lacks a mobile app to locate racks. That’s not the case in New York, where everything from location, rental fees and even locking are about to go wireless. That’s right — the whole rental process will be mobile-based. (Seriously, click the link. It’s a fascinating program.)
Few things get me more jacked on a civic level than cities providing alternative transportation options. Now, has anyone seen the hoverboard stand?