The B-cycle bike share program made its debut in Charlotte almost four years ago and has 200 bikes spread over 20 stations throughout the city.
And it’s an underrated, underused way to spend your free time when it’s beautiful outside. I can’t count the number of times I’ve spent an entire afternoon using the program to just joyride.
It works like this: riders can purchase an all-day pass for $8 or an annual membership for $65 ($15 for students) and use the bikes in 30-minute increments during the hours of 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
The 30-minute limit may seem restricting, but the way that the stations are laid out, it gives the rider a lot more freedom than expected. You can see the map of stations here, but if you don’t want to plan your own day, I’ve put together three of my favorite and most trusted routes.
Route one: The ‘no left turns and one way only signs don’t apply to me now*’ route. AKA, The Uptown.
*These rules very much still apply.
Pick up a bike at the station located at South Tryon and Morehead and ride it straight up South Tryon. There’s plenty to do (and plenty of stations along the way to check back in to renew your bike or to get off and see something):
From the Bechtler…
Nearest station: Levine Avenue of the Arts (9 bikes, 4 docks)
…to Romare Bearden Park…
Nearest station: at the park closest to the Element and Catalyst apartments
… to Discovery Place via Tryon…
Nearest station: Trade & Tryon (13 bikes, 6 docks)
…to 7th Street Public Market…
Nearest station: on the patio-like area of 7th Street Public Market
…and finally to First Ward Park.
Nearest station: East 9th Street, near UNC Charlotte (6 bikes, 9 docks)
Route two: The ‘South End traffic doesn’t scare me’ route
Grab your bike from the Convention Center station and head toward South End.
From The Green…
Nearest station: The South College Street end of the Green (8 bikes, 6 docks)
…to Common Market…
Nearest station: Behind the Trolley Museum (7 bikes, 8 docks)
…to Atherton Mill…
Nearest station: The corner of East and West Boulevards (6 bikes, 9 docks)
…and to Triple C.
Nearest station: A block away on New Bern Street (129 New Bern) (5 bikes, 10 docks)
Route three: The ‘I just want to be outside’ route
Pick up a bike at the CPCC station (11 bikes, 4 docks) and head toward Metropolitan.
Nearest station: Kings Drive (11 bikes, 4 docks)
…to Metropolitan (for patio sitting at Hickory Tavern)…
Nearest station: at Metropolitan, outside of West Elm
…to Little Sugar Creek Greenway…
Nearest station: Metropolitan at the front end, Crescent Dilworth (5 bikes, 8 docks) toward the Carolinas Medical Center end.
…and end at Freedom Park.
Nearest station: at Freedom Park, near the biggest pond. You know the one.