How to Rent a Niceride Bike

Graham Lampa shot a quick video this morning showing how to check out a NiceRice bike. It took him just over 2 minutes to pay and check out a bike while holding his iPhone.

As Graham mentions in the video, he was planning to ride from near Lund’s in Northeast to Al’s Breakfast in Dinkytown. That’s a couple miles. When he gets to Dinkytown, he can check in the bike on 4th near Burrito Loco and walk the last block to Al’s. Since he’ll have the bike back in a kiosk in under 30 minutes, he won’t have any additional trip charges. In fact, he could bounce around town all day like that for his $5 (plus tax).

If you make longer trips between stops, you may rack up some additional charges. That’s explained here.

Niceride 65

I took on the Niceride 65 Challenge last Sunday. The challenge is to visit all 65 Nice Ride locations within 24 hours. Done. However, I had a glitch. When I got home I checked my results on the Nice Ride website where subscribers can see a log of all their trips.

Unfortunately, I missed one downtown, so I swung back to downtown later in the day to pick that up. Total time: 8 hours, 8 minutes. That’s a pretty soft time, considering that I hit the first 64 kiosks in 2:35. Sub-2:30 is very doable. Heck, I could do it.

6 thoughts on “How to Rent a Niceride Bike”

  1. I also ended up grabbing another bike after getting my wally blue pancakes and hashbrowns in order to get to the Cedar Riverside Lightrail Station. Due to the time constraints and the lack of busses on a Sunday morning, Niceride was literally the only way I could have gotten my pancakes at Al’s (opened at 9) and gotten to the airport in time to make my flight (boarded at 10:35) back to DC.

    My one wish would be that as this service expands to DC and Arlington, VA is that I can get a year’s subscription to use it in both cities. It would be ultra-affordable and convenient for me, as I am often back in the Twin Cities to visit friends and family. Even though I recently bought my own bike in DC, I could definitely see myself using the bike service here once in a while to get around quicker after having set off on foot for the day.

    Like many people who move to DC, I have ditched my car (anyone want to buy a 97 Mercury Tracer for about a grand?) and haven’t looked back. DC, with it’s serviceable metro and bus system is great for commuting and just getting around within the city. I pity the poor fools who live out in suburban Virginia and drive an hour or more into the city each way to go to work each day!

  2. I am completely in love with the Nice Ride system, but there is one HUGE drawback that I’ve found. The $250 deposit.
    I tried out the Nice Ride bikes a few days ago on my way to get coffee with friends and everything went fairly smooth until we got to the coffee shop. I tried paying for my coffee with the same card that I paid for the bike with and lo and behold it was declined! How could that be?! I had $200 in that account! Well, the bike system took the $250 hold out of my account right away. Awesome, huh? I didn’t get the money put back into my account for four days. Granted, I was the only one in my party that got this hold. I just wish they would put more emphasis on this.

  3. They do mention it on the website–they advise that you use a credit card because of that issue. Must be a protection against theft of the bikes?

  4. Stephanie, did the machine you used have a day-glo green sticker with a red exclamation point circle (like this one) — right by the credit card slot — that said “Important Notice: If using a debit/check card, your bank will place a $250 hold on your account for up to 10 days.” I believe Nice Ride has put them on all of the machines.

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