Last week my family traveled to Colorado for our summer vacation. With our first destination as Fort Collins I was excited to tour the city by bike. I had been reading so much about how bike friendly the community is and their fantastic trail network.
Choosing to leave the Iron Giant at home my plan was to take advantage of the FREE service the city provides. Since 2007 the Fort Collins Bike Library has been providing a fleet of bicycles to visitors (along with residents and CSU students) who are looking for a safe, efficient, and fun way to travel around town. As much as I love exploring libraries filled with books, I was extra-excited to visit a bicycle library!
There are several libraries around town. I chose the “hub” located at the Downtown Transit Center. It was easy to find and provided clean restrooms, air conditioning, and cold water fountains. The library had a wide variety of bikes ranging from commuters, tandems, cargo, cruisers and even vintage townies. There were bikes for kids too along with trailers, tag-alongs and striders.
As the first patron of the day I was greeted by a friendly librarian who walked me through the signup process. He picked out the type of bike that would best suit my cycling needs, checked it over to make sure it was mechanically sound, provided me with a helmet and bike lock (also free), a bike map, and set me off on my way.
I spent several hours riding around town and also the Poudre Trail. The bike was easy to ride and in good condition. I liked the comfortable upright position the handlebars provided and the cushy seat! It was fun spending time on a bike different from the one back home.
Having completed my morning outing I returned the bike, helmet, and lock back to the library. Later that day I received an email thanking me for my patronage and providing me with an opportunity to provide feedback on my experience.
The Fort Collins Bike Library is great resource for visitors wanting to submerge themselves in the bike culture of Fort Collins, travel the network of trails, or enhance their tourist experience. The library is also a fantastic role model for other cities looking to promote biking as transportation. Every city needs one of these libraries.