Midtown Sacramento launches bike-share initiative

Ride Your Own Way, a new bike-sharing program for mid-town Sacramento, is set to launch on June 11th, says Brandon Darnell of The Sacramento Press. The bicycle-rental initiative is sponsored by Ikon Cycles, the tiny boutique bike shop on 18th St run by local cycling advocate Adrian Moore.

Moore donated the bikes to the program, saying “I had some extra money and I thought it was kind of an investment in Sacramento.” The bikes were purchased in a closeout sale from Italian manufacturer Bianchi. Moore spent $4,000 on 12 bicycles, a small but significant initial fleet of rental units for the planned six-month trial period.

“I’d like to see a private entity be able to run it and profit from it, but the reality is there really is very little profit in bike share programs.” Added Moore. His own donation of bikes was part of a group including Curb Locking Systems, the company which donated the bike locking stands, and the Midtown Business Association.

The first bike stations will be located at 28th and J Street in midtown, where customers will be able to rent a bike for free for the first 30 minutes. After the initial time-period is up, users’ credit cards will be billed a $2 fee for each additional 30-minute period. The bikes must be returned to their original location, otherwise the user will be charged $500 to “keep” the bike.

Rob Kerth, Executive Director of the Midtown Business Association is enthusiastic about the bike-share program.

“I see this as having many uses. Folks who don’t have a bike but don’t want to deal with parking at lunchtime would be a perfect example.”

Kerth envisions future bike stations situated at light rail stations and bus stops, enabling commuters to pick up bikes from all kinds of locations around Sacramento, and eventually drop them off at any other bike station.

“It wouldn’t take very much at all to keep this going”, Kerth added. ” Sacramento is great bicycle country, we have tree-lined streets, it’s flat, and the weather is great for it.”

Users are encouraged to bring their own cycle helmets, but Moore will also be renting helmets from his shop for a nominal $3 day-use fee.

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