It's Bike Month, and hotels are getting in on the action. Here, a few of our favorite two-wheeler programs at properties around North America:
All that separates Santa Monica's Shutters on the Beach from the ocean is a bike-path. Luckily, the hotel has a fleet of bright-green cycles designed by Kate Spade available to rent.
On the Atlantic, Miami's James Royal Palm has complimentary Republic bikes for guests to ride along the South Beach boardwalk.
And in Puerto Rico, the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort (pictured above) is a nature preservation unto itself, with secluded paths through a 70-acre bird sanctuary—home to endemic parrots. The hotel provides complimentary bike rentals.
A different kind of speedway opened in Indianapolis last May with the unveiling of the Indy Cultural Trail. The 8-mile-long paved trail, enlivened by public art, landscaping, and bike racks, intersects the Canal Walk (pictured here) and connects the city’s six cultural districts.
The Travel + Leisure weekly news round-up includes the latest airline to introduce new add-on fees, Google’s update on self-driving cars, a possible bikini ban in Mallorca, and some of the best places to celebrate Bike Month.
May, National Bike Month, celebrates a mode of transportation that can make sightseeing a breezy undertaking. Following bike-share models pioneered in Western Europe and China, 20 U.S. cities currently have pay-and-ride systems in place. Vietnam, pictured here, plans to launch a pilot bike-share in five cities in 2015.
Throughout the coming months, Will Leather Goods, an Oregan-based lifestyle brand, will release seven on-of-a-kind bikes at random times and locations. Each leather-wrapped bike will be reflective of a specific period in American culture. The attached bike is inspired by a pre-revolutionary time when the main form of transportation was horseback. The brand's founder, Will, hopes to inspire American travel and exploration with these pieces.
We're loving this map of the country's largest bikeshare programs of 2013, from the Washington-based blog BeyondDC.
It shows the to-be-expected large players—Boston and DC—plus debuts from New York and Chicago, but while those cities dominate the map with their massive programs, it's the smaller dots that tell a more interesting story.
Check out this futuristic eye candy. Design firm Foster + Partners has proposed a 137-mile network of elevated bicycle lanes over commuter rail lines in London.
Dubbed the SkyCycle, it could accomodate up to 12,000 cyclists per hour, making getting into and around the city a breeze.
When will we be able to go for a spin on the SkyCycle? London's mayor supported the idea when he met with the SkyCycle team back in 2012, so there's hope that the city will take Foster's plans seriously. Yet with funding still murky, we're looking at a decade or two at least before it opens. In the meantime, we can dare to dream that other cities will follow suit.
Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure, and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.
Boston's popular Hubway bicycle sharing program just got a lot safer for out-of-towners. The new HelmetHub allows users to rent or purchase helmets in the country's first helmet vending machine.
Located by the bike sharing station at Boylston Street and Mass. Ave, the HelmetHub holds over 30 helmets. The goal? Encourage all users, whether daily commuters or one-time visitors, to ride safely.
The helmet machine is one of 14 set to arrive in the city as part of a pilot program. Boston's Director of Bicycle Programs Nicole Freedman tells T+L that if all goes well, more may soon sprout up among Hubway's 100+ stations.
Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure, and part of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.
My bicycle excursions are largely limited to the Hudson Valley's very flat and nicely paved North County Trailway, with a cozy little tea shop at trail's end. So it will be no surprise that my bike has a spring-loaded comfort seat, an excess of safety reflectors, and a handlebar-mounted cup-holder for a can of, uh, Diet Pepsi. My biking attire leans more toward flip-flops and Hawaiian shirts than Spandex. Even so, I've always been impressed with those bikers I see hurtling over mountain passes and barreling along desert highways at 30 mph and more. So my interest was piqued by an upcoming series of luxury biking itineraries recently announced by Cannondale, the high-end bicycle manufacturer. Participants in the six tours offered in the inaugural season will follow the path of some of biking's most famous races in the United States and Europe, and even hang out with some of the sport's top athletes.
It’s either unchecked hedonism or outright
denial that led me to New York’s Fire Island the weekend
after summer’s unofficial demise. While most
vacationers packed up their share-houses and kissed farewell to the spit of
sand off Long Island’s south coast over Labor Day, I
was still dreaming of bike rides, summer ales, and one last coat of sun.
It doesn’t hurt that hotel prices fall off a cliff once
beachgoers pack up their white (I paid $225 per night at Clegg's Hotel, while
rates during summer’s apex can be double that). So I
found myself at the Island Mermaid pulling on a straw filled with its signature
Rocket Fuel (a dark rum piña colada with a Cruzan 151 “sinker” at the bottom and a pond of Amaretto floating on top) and stretching summer out
as long as possible before the looming cold throws its death grip around New
York City. I wasn’t ready for fall, not yet.