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New York City's Biking Boom

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The Big Apple just got a lot more user-friendly for those who like to throw their leg over a two-wheeler, hit the bike paths, and take in the sights. The NYC Parks Department and Bike and Roll—a bicycle rental group that started seven years ago and now operates in five U.S. cities—cut the ribbon last week on their new Hop On/Hop Off program, which allows renters to pick up a bike at one of the easily recognizable 11 mobile Bike and Roll centers in Manhattan and drop it off at a totally different location, eliminating the need for a round-trip and encouraging exploration. Rates range from $12-20 per hour to $39-69 per day; child seats and tagalong attachments for kids are also available.

Speeding up the bike revolution even faster and promising greater freedom to roll where you want to in NYC is Social Bicycles, the founders of which have designed a special locking system—called the SoBi system—that is permanently mounted on the back of their bikes and works via smartphone or tablet. Log in to rent time on a bike and you’ll get a PIN number that you have to use in the next 15 minutes. When you are done, you can lock it up anywhere when and register the location back on the site. Subsequent users will log in and repeat!


Laura Teusink is the managing editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photos courtesy of Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks.

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