The other day I wrote about how to avoid accidents with electric bike rentals in the city of Madrid.
So how does one actually rent out these bikes?
- Visit their website, BiciMad
- Register and plug in your credit card information
- Receive a code in your phone
- Plug in the code into the machine at a physical bike rental station and a physical plastic card pops out for you to keep
- To rent a bike, swipe this card at any of the rental stations that has available bikes
You can rent from any station where there´s an availability of bikes as long as you have enough credit in your balance. Download the BiciMad application onto your phone so that you can see a map of the stations. It costs roughly 40-50 cents per half hour and 1 Euros per hour. If you go over your time limit (2 hours), there´s a 4 Euro fine per hour from that moment onward. As long as you make sure you place the bike back when you´re finished with it into the slot at a station which has an available slot, and it won´t come back out, then you´re good!
Tourists can also rent out bikes but the rules are stricter and they go by a slightly different process.
As a Canadian coming from Halifax, NS, riding a bicycle in a decent, nay, warm weather is a luxury. That’s why I’m such a big fan of this fairly new public transportation system put in place in the city I live in, Madrid. Cycling from one point to another and then having the convenience of parking the bike at one of the many, many point-stations all around the city is something to be grateful for. If I need to be somewhere and don’t feel like walking or taking the subway or metro, or even driving a car, I can rent a bike at one of the stations near my house and ride it 5 kilometres and park it literally 2 minutes from my destination.
But let’s be careful and not make the same innocent mistakes I’ve made. Having trusted in other clients like myself, I didn’t think about checking the bikes to make sure it’s useable and rideable.
- Check that the chain on the bike is tucked in where it’s supposed to be. If the chain’s out, your bike will not move no matter how much you pedal. Oh, by the way, did I mention these beauties are electric and can be motor run if you want them to be? This makes the bike go faster and you reach your destination in a jiffy!
- Check that the tires aren’t flat. That can be a bumpy ride! Been there, done that!
- If the bike cannot be hooked back into the station, then you must write a note to the company at the big machine there. Let’s avoid a random stranger pulling out the bike while it’s still connected to your account, shall we!
That’s all for now. I had an all but lovely Saturday morning bright and early when I was confronted with all three of those mishaps I outlined above. Hopefully they won’t happen again.
Photo credit: tumblr.com/blog/alexeylin