By: John Mabery
If you’re looking for a ride around the city but can’t get a car, you’re in luck: May is National Bike Month, and there are a number of places and ways to get a new set of wheels in Cincinnati.
One of those ways is through Red Bike, a bike share system with stations located throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. People can rent a Red Bike, ride it around the city, and return it to any one of the designated stations. Red Bike has a number of partner organizations throughout the city to help educate residents about the program.
“I think there’s been a shift in the way people are thinking about providing access to bikes, whether that’s for transportation, health and wellness, or recreational use,” says Elese Daniel, education and outreach manager for Red Bike.
Last month, the company launched Red Bike Go, a membership program that offers an unlimited number of 90-minute rides for $5 a month to those who qualify for SNAP, HEAP, or PIPP benefits. A Red Bike Go pass can be bought with cash, credit, debit, or prepaid card.
For Daniel, making bikes readily available is essential. “It shouldn’t be a hurdle for you to ride a bike,” she says.
In addition to Red Bike, there are other accessible options for getting a bike around the city. If you’re interested in owning a bike and learning how to fix it, MoBo Bicycle Cooperative in Northside is a great place to start.
“Our main focus is on education and teaching people how to repair their own bikes,” says Nate Kemphues, Head Mechanic at MoBo. “We also try to find new homes for used bikes. So people donate their used bikes here and we then make them available to our members to adopt.”
MoBo offers members the ability to access a workspace, tools, bike parts, and a community of people to teach and learn from.
A MoBo membership is $20 a year, but people can also earn credits toward a bike by volunteering at the co-op. Even if you know nothing about bikes, Kemphues believes that you can learn.
“MoBo is dedicated to giving everyone the tools to power their own transportation,” Kemphues says.
UC Bike Kitchen is another accessible option. Though it’s located on UC’s Main Campus, the Kitchen is open to anyone from the region. Much like MoBo, the UC Bike Kitchen offers free bike education and repairs by a knowledgeable staff.
“We are happy to help people in the community with the maintenance,” says Riley Krutza, Bike Kitchen mechanic and UC student.
Much like Daniel, Krutza believes in the importance of community through cycling.
“We want to show people that cycling in the city is something that’s very accessible, it’s fun, it’s safe, and there’s a whole community around it,” Krutza says. “It’s always great to see people out on bikes, getting out in the community, and getting involved in that culture.”
With the help of organizations like Red Bike, MoBo, and the UC Bike Kitchen, biking not only provides people with a mode of transportation and source of wellness, but it also gives people the chance to create and build bonds with others through the shared love of cycling.
RED BIKE 513.621.2453
MOBO CO-OP 513.666.1890
UC BIKE KITCHEN 513.556.2453