In Brighton, there is a new Bike scheme called Social Bicycles. It is a new thing and since September you can rent the blue bikes from a number of locations around the city. Last Friday I tried the scheme out and rented a bike. In this post, I will explain how it works and also share my experience.
Create an account:
- The first thing you have to do, is to sign up and create an account. You can do this on the website or you can download the Social Bicycles App. Personally, I think the app is much more practical because it gives you up to date information.
- You’re asked to select a plan, and then to set a PIN code. You’ll need this PIN for unlocking a bike
- I would recommend the Easy Rider option where you will be asked to select an account balance. After every ride, it will charge you the fee for your ride. You can choose a balance between £1, £10 and £20.
- You’re now a member. You are given a six-figure account number and you will need both, the account number and your PIN to unlock a bike.
There are a lot of places (called hubs) where you can get a bike. You can zoom in on the map and find the nearest place for you. On the map, you can also see how many bicycles are available at a hub in real time.
How to unlock a bike:
- Enter your account number and your PIN on the screen at the back of the bicycle:
- Pull out the U-bar which locks the bike and place it in the holster:
- You can return your bicycle to any hub you like – you don’t have to bring it to the same hub as you unlocked it
I like the idea of this bike sharing. It could be a great solution for students who don’t want to buy their own bike and is not too expensive. My ride from Brighton to Rottingdean and back did only cost £1.78, taking a bus would have cost me £2.50 and a taxi even more at over £20!
But if I am really honest, I’m not sure about the bicycle itself. I rode from Brighton near the Pier to Rottingdean and back – which is quite a long way!
The bikes are really heavy, which makes you exhausted after a while. I love riding bikes and I do it often in Switzerland. Riding to Rottingdean and back was very hard, because I had the heavy bike and the wind as against me. But the view was beautiful and I enjoyed seeing the sea next to me 😉
Perhaps this is best for short journeys?! I think if you want to travel from Brighton to Hove or other short rides in the city, the bike share is a really good solution!