You may have heard of bike share. Perhaps you’ve seen it in operation in Europe or the US?
After spotting some bike share stations popping up in Canberra, Pedal Power were interested to find out more; and we tracked down the company behind these, Spinway Canberra. Kate McDonald of Spinway explained the initiative:
“In essence, it’s a simple concept that is bringing convenient bicycle hire to the heart of cities all over the world. An automated and very simple to use station holds a number of bikes, available for hire. Swipe your credit card and a bike is released from the rack. In fact, if you think ‘vending machine’, then you’d be pretty close to the mark.
“Being an unmanned system has major benefits. The cost to hire a bike is reduced significantly and the stations operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year. So, there is no deadline to worry about, just return the bike when you’re ready. Prices range from $11 for one hour up to $33 for 24 hours.
“Our bikes are light, easy to ride and very reliable. They are custom made for us by Avanti and the gears and brakes use an internal hub design and cabling is internal where possible. The gears have three well-spaced ratios, perfect for cruising and light touring. The bikes are easy to control, safe and uber-comfy – with the low step option making getting on and off a piece of cake. The tyres are puncture resistant and the bike is fitted with a comfortable seat, chain guard and large basket (perfect for packing a picnic or bringing back some shopping). High-rise stem and swept-back handlebars put your shoulders in a relaxed position for a more comfortable ride. The seat, of course, is fully height adjustable.
“Spinway Canberra does operate slightly different to an established, large scale bike-share network in just one way. As we’re a very young operation, we don’t yet have a sufficient number of stations to operate as a network. Bikes must therefore be returned to the station they were hired from, for the time being at least. We hope to change this as resources allow and increase the number of stations over time. We actively communicate with Canberra’s cycling body, Pedal Power ACT, and will use their input to help shape our operation to best suit both residents and visitors to our wonderful city.
“So, grab a helmet, lock, map and lights and start exploring. There’s a lot to see!”
Spinway rental stations are currently situated at two well known Canberra hotels; the Crowne Plaza and the Novotel. A location for a third station is under negotiation at the moment and will be installed shortly. Tina Fisher, General Manager Crowne Plaza Canberra explained why the hotel installed one of these stations: “Cycling is a great way to get around any city, particularly Canberra. We’re a city with a close knit community feel and there is no better way to see the sights than on bike. Not only is it economical and healthy, it’s good for the environment and Crowne Plaza Canberra has long since supported the cycling movement. We have a Spinway station located out the front of our hotel and we’re thrilled to be able to share this activity with our guests.”
You can see more information on Spinway at www.spinwaycanberra.com.au