Typically, bikes and I don’t get along. I have a tendency to ride into targets like walls or cars which means I have accumulated a lot of cycling-related scars. But I’m quite a persistent person so when nextbike arrived in Cardiff, I thought it was my chance to turn things around and get back on the bike, especially as I think it’s a great way for me to incorporate more outdoor activities into my daily life. So here’s what you need to know about nextbike.
Officially launched in our city in May, nextbike is a bike sharing provider which allows you to rent bikes in the city for a low cost, and it has over 125 schemes like this operating worldwide. It’s pretty easy to use too, which makes it even more appealing to me. You sign up through the app, enter all of your profile info and preferred payment details, then when you come across a bike station, you can scan the QR code, click to rent a bike with a specific code that’s sent to your phone and get going, for however long you like. It really is that simple. Yet, the app’s functionality can be a little slow at times, but stick with it – fingers crossed it will be updated soon.
Like I said, this is a pretty low cost scheme, costing just £1 for the first 30 minutes and then £1 for every half an hour after that. The maximum you’ll ever pay within a 24hour period is £10 so you can cycle to your heart’s content if you like. Hey, if you really enjoy hiring the bikes, they also offer monthly or annual subscriptions for the service – with monthly costs being £5 per month with a 12month contract or an annual membership coming in at £60. With a pretty reasonable price tag, I think it’s a great way to get people moving and encourage more Cardiffians to consider taking bikes around the city rather than driving. Or you know, just get outside and just enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.Personally, I’ve been keen to use the bikes around my new home of Cardiff Bay. I’m not a confident rider and thanks to my clumsiness, cycling on the road sounds like my worst nightmare right now. So I’ve been keen to stay on and take full advantage of the cycle paths. But the bay is probably the perfect setting to do this and dip your toe in the water, so to speak, especially if you’ve haven’t cycled much in your adult years (like me). I’ve taken a few picturesque bike rides along the Cardiff Bay barrage so far, travelling across to Penarth and coming full circle back home. In total, this takes about an hour but there are so many other places that you can enjoy in Cardiff with these bikes like Bute Park, Roath or you can even take on the Taff Trail.
The people of Cardiff seem to be fully embracing the scheme so far and if you look around, they seem to be everywhere and I completely understand why. With almost 20 stations currently set up all across the city, it’s so accessible and honestly great to see. I’m sure I’ll be taking full advantage of these bikes, especially across the summer months to explore my home city and get that extra exercise in.