Apr 042010
 
Authors: Joe E. Goings

The Fort Collins Bike Library opened its Café Bicyclette shop for the season on April 3. The shop is one of three in Fort Collins that allow customers to rent bicycles for up to a week.

The Bike Library has a total of 203 bikes to rent out, 20 to 30 of which are at Café Bicyclette, located at 19 Old Town Square. The Library also has centers at the Campus Information Desk in the Lory Student Center and 222 LaPorte Avenue.

Bikes are available for “anyone that can ride one” said president of Bike Fort Collins Jeff Morrell. Bike Fort Collins manages the day-to-day operations of the Bike Library.

To rent, people must first become a member of the Fort Collins Bike Library. A valid driver’s license and a $150 deposit is required per bike to ensure they are returned, though there have been only two thefts in the four years the Bike Library has been operational.

The Café Bicyclette shop first opened its doors in 2008, after the success of the CSU branch which opened in 2006, the first bike library in the city. During the first year the shop “frequently ran out of bikes,” Morrell said. This created the need for expansion.

The Bike Library is funded by the Congestion Management and Air Quality Grant, which provides money for those exhibiting a desire to have cleaner air, one of the goals of the Bike Library.

“We are trying to lessen the traffic and congestion in the city,” manager and volunteer coordinator of the Café Bicyclette Sage Faucette said. “We also try to help the environment. Both are big parts of (why we rent bikes out).”

Café Bicyclette also gets tourists that come to rent bikes and enjoy the sights of Fort Collins.

“We also want to provide a way to see this beautiful town,” Faucette said. “There are lots of things you can see on a bike that you can’t see in a car.”

During one hour of operation, the shop rented out 17 bikes to its customers, many of whom spoke highly of the service.

“I definitely recommend this,” Brent Zimmer, a resident of Wisconsin visiting his sister in Fort Collins. “Someone should start something like this in every state. I think it’s a cool, free service.”

Staff writer Joe E. Goings can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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