May is Bike to Work month, but I don’t see why it can’t also be Bike Share While Traveling month!
The way bike share programs like Pronto or DecoBike works is (usually) this:
- There are stations located all around the city where you can rent and return your bike.
- You go to one of these stations and purchase a pass (one time, one day, three day, annual, etc) with your credit card.
- Use your pass to unlock a bike from the station. Ride around the city.
- Drop off your bike at any station. You can ride one way trips (i.e. you don’t have to return your bike to the same station where you rented it).
Most of the bike share programs I have seen give you a time limit on the bike of 30-60 minutes; so you are not borrowing the same bike for the entire day, just for one trip. For tourists, the best option is usually a one day pass (for $8-$15 depending on the city) where you get unlimited 30 minute rides during that 24 hour period.
Washington DC was the first city to have a program (which makes sense… flat city with centralized attractions). There are over 600 bike share programs worldwide, so there is a good chance the city you are visiting has one!
Seattle is one of the few cities that has a helmet laws (even for adults) so helmets are provided as well.
To check if the city you are traveling to has a bike share program, I would suggest checking out this wikipedia page.
Bike share while traveling is a great way to explore a new city, be outdoors, and get some exercise.