How to B-cycle with Your Family in Charlotte

BCycle makes getting around the city fun and affordable for the whole family.

Once you learn to ride a bike, you never forget. And kids can now show off their bicycle skills while parents join the fun with Charlotte's genius B-cycle program.

If you've seen the big bicycle station in Freedom Park and wondered what it was for, you've already been exposed to B-cycle and you just didn't know it! Charlotte B-cycle is one of the largest urban bike-sharing systems in the Southeast. With more than 200 blue bikes and at least 26 stations strategically placed throughout uptown and surrounding neighborhoods from JCSU to Freedom Park, B-cycle is convenient for your family's fun outings around town.

 

Why You Should Start Using B-cycle

B-cycles come equipped with handy baskets so you can pack snacks and goodies for your day of family adventure.

Becoming a member and riding a B-cycle has all kinds of benefits besides the obvious fun factor! Your kids will love getting to ride around the city, feeling adventurous, while you are able to keep an eye on them and enjoy quality time with the family. Everybody wins with Charlotte B-cycle. Below are all the perks your family can enjoy when you become B-cycle members.

  • It's easy-peasy. Two hours of ride time is included, plus bike locks when you grab a B-cycle. Plus, members can pick up a blue bike at any B-Station and drop it off at any other B-Station, making the process painless and simple.
  • You can get around town affordably. Depending on how often you B-cycle, you can get great rates for annual or monthly memberships—a yearly membership comes out to just 27 cents per day!
  • Fun comes naturally. There's just something about the breeze in your face as you explore your city on a bike. Your kids will thank you later for the new hobby!
  • Safety always comes first. B-cycle provides free helmets at the B-cycle office at 201 S. Tryon Street.
  • Enjoy extreme convenience. Getting around Center City has never been easier. Just grab a bike and go—any park can be your playground for the day when you're on two wheels.
  • It promotes healthy living. It's not easy to get your child to exercise, but with B-cycle, health is a natural perk! This program is a great way to introduce your kids to a lifestyle focused on health and wellness without making them feel like they are exercising.

 

How to B-cycle Around Charlotte

B-Stations are conveniently placed all around Charlotte so getting or docking a B-cycle is simple.

Ready to give B-cycle a try? Smart move—prepare to be named Parent of the Year! Here's exactly what you need to do in to get started cycling around Charlotte.

 

1. Buy a membership or day pass

Buy a membership online before you embark on your B-cycle journey, or buy it at the B-Station. There are three membership options: 24-hour passes, annual, and monthly memberships. The 24-hour passes are the only type of membership you can buy at the B-Station, but all types can be purchased online. You'll just need a credit or debit card for both online and B-Station purchases.

  • Daily passes are $8 and include two hours of ride time before you have to dock the bike.
  • Monthly memberships are $9.99 per month and include unlimited 120-minute rides.
  • Yearly memberships save you $20 at $100 per year and also include unlimited two-hour rides.
  • Once your time limit is up, be sure to dock the bike before you continue riding. If you don't re-dock the bike, you can incur additional fees, but as long as you dock it to reset it, you can ride as much as you want in two-hour intervals.

 

2. Pick a bike from any B-Station

You can download the B-cycle app on your iPhone or Android for instant access to bike, dock, and station availability. Or, here is a full map of all the B-Stations around Charlotte.

If you don't have a B-card and didn't purchase a membership yet, follow these steps at the B-Station:

  1. Press the 'Start' button on the kiosk.
  2. Follow the instructions on the touch screen to purchase a 24-Hour Pass.
  3. When prompted, select the dock number of the bike you wish to check out.
  4. The kiosk will unlock the bike from the dock you chose. The dock holding the chosen bike will beep and show a green light until the bike is removed or for about 30 seconds.

If you don't have a B-card and did already purchase a membership, follow these steps at the B-Station:

  1. Press the 'Start' button on the kiosk.
  2. Select 'No' when asked if you would like to purchase a membership.
  3. Follow the prompts on the touch screen. When prompted, swipe the same credit card you bought your membership with.
  4. When prompted, select the dock number of the bike you wish to check out.
  5. The kiosk will unlock the bike from the dock you choose.

 

3. Put on your helmet and go!

To ensure your bike is good-to-go, just do these quick checks before riding off into the distance:

  • Tires should be hard. Examine them for any abrasions or bubbles.
  • Check that the wheels spin straight and freely without rubbing against the brake pads or any other parts.
  • Try shifting to all three gears to make sure the chain shifts smoothly.
  • Squeeze both brakes to make sure they are functioning properly.
  • Adjust the seat height and clamp it securely so that your leg almost fully extends when the pedal is down. (Be especially sure your child's bike is at the right height.)

Once you've made sure your bikes are ready for action, simply strap on your helmets and head out on your adventure!

 

4. Return the bike to any B-Station when you're done

Once your day of bike-riding comes to a close, all you have to do is return the bikes to any of the B-Stations in Charlotte. Simply roll the bike into an available dock,  then wait for three rapid blinks of the green light and three quick beeps. Once you get those signals, you know that the bike has been securely returned. It's as easy as that!

If you're still confused about how B-cycle works, take a look at the FAQs—they are very helpful for first-time users. Otherwise, when you're ready to get rolling with the family, head to charlotte.bcycle.com to buy memberships and learn more.