Atlanta's bike share program is damn well worth your time

Atlanta's long wait for bulky, bright-blue bicycles that people can rent by the minute is over.

City officials and residents last week endured stifling heat and cut the ribbon on Relay, Atlanta's bike share program. The program operated by CycleHop launched with 100 two-wheelers placed at 10 racks locations throughout Downtown. The city say 500 bikes will be placed by the end of the year in Midtown, West End, and in east Atlanta neighborhoods. Whether city drivers are educated enough to share the road or Atlanta's still-growing network of bike lanes is ready to handle them, well, we shall see! 

After blessings by Mayor Kasim Reed, Chief Bicycle Officer Becky Katz, and Planning Commissioner Tim Keane, the crowd hopped on the three-speed bikes, which came from Long Beach, California, and pedaled around Downtown and South Downtown. It was hot and humid but the jaunt — and subsequent trips around South Downtown — was a reminder that the most enjoyable way to move around the city is on a bike. 

The system is straightforward: sign up for an account and plan online, enter your account number and PIN on the bike-mounted computer, and then pedal away. Find available bikes on the online map or via the Relay app. When you're finished riding, lock up the bike at a rack or on the side of the road. (Be sure to read the fine print about fees you can incur if you don't return the bike to a rack. Or the credits you can earn by retrieving two-wheelers left outside the system area.) And if you are one of the nearly 8 percent of Americans who doesn't have a bank account, Katz says, you can pay CycleHop in cash.

More information is available on Relay's website. Or you can just watch the above video produced by CL photographer extraordinaire Eric Cash and featuring a man who is afraid of the sun. 

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