Biking in Downtown Long Beach with Bike Share
My mom and I attended Simply Bridal's $80 Sample Sale last Sunday morning, and due to (but not to my surprise) unsuccessfully finding a dress or veil, we left the sale after 15 minutes of shopping (but 2 hours waiting in line) and decided to stop in at Downtown Long Beach for lunch on our way back home. I was going to take my mom to 2nd Street in Belmont Shore where there are many restaurants and small shops but my mom mentioned that there was a lighthouse in Long Beach that she always wanted to go to; and luckily enough I had just visited near it the weekend prior so I knew where to take her. Before visiting Lion's Lighthouse overlooking Rainbow Bay (it's nestled next to the Aquarium of the Pacific and across the water from the Shoreline Village), we enjoyed a seafood lunch and mimosas at Gladstone's.
HOW LB BIKE SHARE WORKS
Before entering Gladstone's, my mom noticed a bike rack which look liked there were rentable bikes so I snuck a peek to see how we could rent one each. The bikes are operated by Long Beach Ride Share and a TAP (Transit Access Pass) card can simply be placed on the key pad to initiate service or the SoBi (Social Bicycles) App downloaded onto the phone and account number + pin (generated during registration) inputted by hand onto the keypad. During lunch I downloaded the app and when we left the restaurant I created an account and selected and paid for a $7/hour pay-as-you-go plan (which I believe I pre-purchased 2 hours so I could allocate an hour each between the two bikes). Once submitting my credit card, the purchase is used to initiate a pre-paid balance on my account, which is reduced when used and overtime fees are prorated at 12 cents per minute. Up to 6 bikes can be rented at the same time charged at the same rate with one account.
Once the keypad accepted my account, I simply removed the u-bar and stored it in a designated place on the bike. The keypad has a screen that displays how long you've been riding and the distance you've been riding. The bike seat can easily be adjusted to fit the rider's height, you can change the gears, there are two hand brakes, a bell and a basket in the front to stow belongings. We took a leisurely ride out to the end of Pine Avenue Pier then followed the pathway which curved past the aquarium all the way up to the lighthouse. Upon finishing our ride, we rode our bike back to the original rack that we rented them from.
We just put the bike back in the original position along the rack and placed the u-bar back into place, the keypad will tell you if you successfully locked the u-bar into place. If the original rack or a corresponding bike share rack is full, then the bike can be locked to any other public bike rack for a small fee (within 100 feet of a bike share station). I can see all the details of my ride on the app, and what's great is anywhere there are bike share programs within the SoBi app territories in various cities, I'll be able to use my account to rent bikes. Long Beach alone has 400 bikes currently in downtown & midtown and set to have 500 bikes this season.
I didn't know how much joy this whole experience would bring my mom. It pretty much was her perfect day, and Long Beach Bike Share really was the cherry on top! It was nice that we were not expecting to take part in a biking activity, so the entire process being so seamless and simple made it even more enjoyable, I look forward to using this service again. I recommend Long Beach Bike Share for locals, short visits like my Mom and I did, or more long term travelers/visitors!
Amanda of Feast.Fashion.Faves was not given monetary compensation or services in exchange for composing and publishing this post. All opinions expresses are of her own.