It isn't quite the bike sharing program the city deserves, but it's a start: Timbuk2 launched a new Bike Share program in its downtown store yesterday. Patrons of the store can now borrow a bike with accompanying helmet, bike lock, and messenger bag—at no charge.

Last year we wondered why city-sponsored bike sharing hadn't yet come to Seattle (answer: "Weather, topography, helmet laws, and funding," apparently). But it's really and truly almost here: Puget Sound Bike Share will launch in 2014 with 500 bikes and bike helmet vending machines. We'll be catching up with cities like Denver and NYC; the latter launched a massive 6,000-bike sharing system called Citi Bike in May and saw their bikes travel a million miles in less than a month—and earn their riders a record number of cycling tickets. Buggy as it may be, the New York system is undeniably popular. 

Timbuk2’s new Bike Share is more like a free rental, and there are only three bikes. But no purchase is required at the Seventh Avenue and Pine store; just provide the store with your ID and a credit card, fill out a liability waiver, and you’re ready to go. Bikes must be returned during store business hours, and the loan of a Timbuk2 messenger bag is included. The wheels are Giant Seek 0 bikes, eight-speeds known for their versatility. And don't forget the helmet—it's the law!

Why bikes at a bag store? The San Francisco-based bag manufacturing company was started in 1989 by a bike messenger and since then has enthusiastically promoted cycle commuting. The 2011 bike-share program launched in Timbuk2's original Bay Area location and proved popular enough to spread to Seattle, its newest outpost (and only one not on home turf). We'll take it.

Filed under
Show Comments