From the Golden Transcript
By Christy Steadman
Goldenites and visitors will soon have a new way to cruise around town when the Golden Bike Library is launched this summer.
“Experiencing Golden on a bike is one of the most fun and efficient ways,” said Jenifer Doane, who works in the city’s community and economic development department. “On two wheels, it is a lot of fun.”
Partnering with the Golden Visitor’s Center, the Golden Optimists, RTD, the Jefferson County public health department and several Golden bike shops, the city will launch its bike library on June 22 — when the state celebrates Bike to Work Day.
“The Golden Bike Library is going to be great for residents, visitors and those who work in Golden looking for an alternative to jumping in their car to travel around Golden,” Doane said.
Bikes will be available to everyone, and can be used for any local trip around the city. A two-hour use will be free, but bikes will also be available for daily rentals at a nominal fee. Passes for the Golden Circulator Bus will also be available for those who want to use public transportation.
Many are familiar with Denver and Boulder’s B-cycle, a nonprofit organization that provides a bike share program. But Golden’s bike library differs because a variety of bicycles will be available for all different ages and abilities.
“Golden has a unique topography,” Doane said, so it’s important to have bikes for different uses, one of which addresses Golden’s hills. Also, the city wanted to accommodate a variety of riders — from children to adults, and different experience levels. A bike library, versus a bike share, can fulfill both of those requirements.
To start out, the Golden Bike Library will have a fleet of 40 bikes, which will include road, mountain, children’s and light-weight geared bikes. Each bike is equipped with a lock, helmet and reusable water bottle. Each rental will also receive a Golden Ticket, which is a program that encourages people to patronize Golden businesses by offering discounts on purchases or dining, or an opportunity to win cash prizes.
The bike library will be located at the Golden Visitors Center, 1010 Washington Ave. People can check out bikes Thursday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a key-drop box at the visitor’s center will allow users to return bikes after hours. The bike library will be open spring through fall, approximately seven months.
As part of the program, the Golden Visitor’s Center will also install a new public water fountain with a water bottle-filling station, board president Jerry Devitt said.
Talks on implementing a bike library or bike share program in Golden began last year. In June, the city applied for a grant from the Denver Regional Council of Governments. The application was approved in October, and the city received $164,000 in grant money. The city will match 17.2 percent of the grant to cover the $198,000 program cost.
As part of a feasibility study to implement the program, Golden officials met with organizers of the successful Fort Collins Bike Library, which began in April 2008.
The program in Fort Collins will be expanding in 2016 because of its popularity, said Stacy Sebeczek, director of the Fort Collins Bike Library. During the busy summer season, about 1,000 riders each month take advantage of the bike library. Bike borrowers include local residents and families, tourists, CSU students and university conference attendees, brewery tour participants, wedding parties and even attendees and participants of the Tour de Fat, the
New Belgium Brewing’s traveling celebration of the bicycle and cyclist. And people will often test out a certain model available at the bike library to get comfortable with their preferred style before purchasing a bike at a local shop.
“Simply put, bikes put smiles on people’s faces,” Sebeczek said. “Bikes enable families of all ages to play together, they reduce motor vehicle traffic and they get the heart rate pumping a little bit.”
In addition to learning about other bike library and share programs, the city did a lot of community outreach, Doane said. “There really is a need for bike rentals,” she said, “especially short-term rentals.”
Presented to Golden City Council in June 2015, the study showed respondents believed a bike rental program would be useful for recreation at lunch or after work, and for short commutes across town for a business or other professional meetings. People also liked the idea of being able to rent a bike for brewery bicycle tours and commuter trips to connect with bus stops or the light rail. Those who frequent the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and students at the Colorado School of Mines campus thought it was a good idea, too.
Doane anticipates the bike library will be popular.
And the visitor’s center is excited to host it, Devitt said. “It will provide greater exposure for the center,” he said, “and provide visitors with something fun to do when they visit our town.”
Original article from the Golden Transcript here