About a bike
Recently, a close friend got a bike. She recently transformed to this outdoorsy person I had to do a double take with. A strong woman she is who now pedals, paddles and handles pints of cold, frothy KC craft beer like a champ. One day, she was seeking a fellow biker to join her on journeys to new places in our city. At this point, I hadn’t owned my own personal ride in several years. I’m sure I offered her a look that indicated she was either ill informed of my current situation or she was suggesting I run on foot like a moron along side while she paraded around on her shiny wheels. After retelling the story of “I don’t own a bike and no, I don’t want to die today,” she knocked my sentence out cold by responding with: “No, have you tried B-Cycle? You can rent a bike for the day and it’s really cheap. There’s a station close to your place in the river market, if you didn’t know.” No, I was not aware. The conversation then took a turn to Kansas City B-Cycle and their bike sharing program.
Kansas City B-Cycle/Bike Sharing
Turns out, there is a station in the river market located on third and Grand, right next to the bus stop on the corner. There are also about 26 more stations plotted throughout the city. If you were not yet conscious of the bike rental stands scattered throughout downtown then definitely start giving them some attention. B-Cycle is making its presence in Kansas City for your convenience and to serve as promoter of your health!
With its slogans printed on every bicycle: “Helmet Hair is Sexy”, “B-Green!”, “B-Active!”, Kansas City B-Cycle is a nonprofit advocate group looking for a positive upswing the environmental impact and health of Kansas Citians. With funding from our city government itself and the major Blue Cross and Blue Shield, among several other donors, B-Cycle has made significant progress since its debut of bicycle rental stations in 2012. B-Cycle has the initiatives to establish sustainability, reduce carbon emissions and promote the serious burning of calories among its members with its bike share program. In addition to these goals, B-Cycle with the support of the BikeWalkKC advocacy group is helping to implement the BikeKC plan, to build a “transportation network of on-street bicycle facilities” with the help of The City: to construct up to 600 miles of bike pathways and establish an overhaul of wider roadway structures to make Kansas City a competitor among other bike friendly cities.
How to obtain a membership with B-Cycle
B-Cycle is a bike sharing program, currently putting into place phase three of an expansion initiative to include seven new stations in resident/commercial dense areas downtown. These areas include neighborhoods such as Union Hill, the historic 18th and Vine District, and just recently farther south in Brookside on 62nd and Waldo on 74th street. With a total of 27 stations after the completion of phase three, Kansas City’s most popular areas and all that is in between will easily be within reach without a thought regarding where you last put your car keys. Bonus, right?
The process is simple, each station is equipped with a map, 15 or so bike “parking spaces” for customers to take and return bicycles at any time, and an easy to use check out/return system. A computer check out system allows the customer to select their choice of access pass rates ranging from $7 a day to a full annual membership for only $64. Upon the purchase of an access pass the customer is charged $2 per half hour after 30 minutes of a free ride. Customers can also purchase memberships online and find more details at the B-cycle website: kansascity.bcycle.com. To make things even easier Apple and Android mobile apps are an option to not only tell you about a selection of memberships, but to view bicycle availability at each station and maps to zoom in and out of for B-Cycle station locations to make planning your day’s route a simple task.
With 27 stations and expanding to areas all throughout Kansas City, B-cycle is putting forth more and more efforts into making their Kansas City bike sharing service accessible for all. This includes the bicycles’ model and design. The model is simple, nothing fancy. The bicycles are of high quality; each is equipped with the proper safety reflectors and bell, a bike lock for your day’s travels to be of unlimited routes and a sturdy metal basket to place any personal or potential shopping items. The seats provide some cush’ for the tush’ and are adjustable to meet the needs of your personal height. After a two hour ride, I was feeling pretty great with the use of the bike and a stop for a cold beer at the end was well justified!
The ride and experience
Upon boarding a B-cycle for the first time from the third and Grand station in the City Market, I felt it was a little front heavy and was under the impression that changing gears to survive the inevitable hills in my upcoming day’s adventure was not going to be an option. My legs would just, simply, die. The ride was smooth and the brakes worked wonderfully without any halting screeches, and as it turned out the rider can change gears to ease up on Kansas City’s ever present changes is incline . One slight maneuver on the handles and riders will have control over resistance during their excursion.
Kansas City B-cycle took me on an adventure to new, undiscovered paths aboard the growing Kansas City bike route. The adventure led me to feel empowered and driven to reach cyclist status. (Talk about photo ops and bragging rights!) I had a great workout and during my calorie blast I was promoting economic and environmental advancement. There lay an instant gratification and endorphin kick. After my positive experience, I am passing this on to others as an advocate for the simple to use, progressive service available to those without a bike of their own. The post also serves to open doors a little wider to the fact that the culture in Kansas City is changing and we are moving forward in the right direction.
Support Kansas City B-Cycle
To be a fellow advocate for KC B-Cycle/BikeWalkKC, to increase Kansas City’s sustainability and eco-awareness, or to improve your health and happiness through riding your way through downtown and developing a new awareness of city surroundings, head to kansascity.bcycle.com. Here you can learn more information about how you can start your new B-Cycle membership as well as learn more about the improvement in the bicycle culture in Kansas City and how it can benefit you. And a friendly reminder: Be active, be green and helmet hair is sexy.