The Fort Collins Bike Library opened its CafÃ© 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 CafÃ© 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 â€œanyone that can ride oneâ€ 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 driverâ€™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 CafÃ© 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 â€œfrequently ran out of bikes,â€ 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.
â€œWe are trying to lessen the traffic and congestion in the city,â€ manager and volunteer coordinator of the CafÃ© Bicyclette Sage Faucette said. â€œWe also try to help the environment. Both are big parts of (why we rent bikes out).â€
CafÃ© Bicyclette also gets tourists that come to rent bikes and enjoy the sights of Fort Collins.
â€œWe also want to provide a way to see this beautiful town,â€ Faucette said. â€œThere are lots of things you can see on a bike that you canâ€™t see in a car.â€
During one hour of operation, the shop rented out 17 bikes to its customers, many of whom spoke highly of the service.
â€œI definitely recommend this,â€ Brent Zimmer, a resident of Wisconsin visiting his sister in Fort Collins. â€œSomeone should start something like this in every state. I think itâ€™s a cool, free service.â€
Staff writer Joe E. Goings can be reached at email@example.com.