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Breaking down Chattanooga’s bicycle transit system

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This multi-colored station is located at Broad Street + W. 4th Street. | Photo by NOOGAtoday

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Today’s article is born of a tragic, heartbreaking saga. My bike — the first real road bike I’d ever owned, the bike I cycled 48 straight miles on alongside my father, the bike that saw me through high school + college — was stolen.

Oh, and National Bike Month begins this weekend on Sun., May 1.

Because National Bike Month, in its cruel irony, begins just after my bike was taken from me, I’ve had to find other ways to enjoy biking locally. Fortunately, what is (in my opinion) one of Chattanooga’s most under-appreciated resources was there to soften the blow: Bike Chattanooga.

How it works

  • Head to one of the 42 Bike Chattanooga stations across Chattanooga.
  • Pay for a day pass, three-day pass, or sign in with your membership.
  • Undock one of the bikes (electric or normal) and begin your journey.
  • Here’s the catch: once 60 minutes is up, you have to re-dock your bike.
  • Here’s the silver lining: you can dock it at any of those aforementioned 42 stations, and once you dock it, you’re free to take out another bike. With a day pass, you have unlimited 60-minute trips for 24 hours.
  • Pro Tip: Download the CycleFiner/PBSC or Transit App to plan routes, unlock bikes via phone, and see where the closest station is when you’re on the road.

Example: Say I wanted to bike to our coworking space at Common House with a day pass. I’d likely grab a bike from one of the downtown docks — let’s say Miller Park — ride to work, and dock the bike at the E. Main Street + Rossville Avenue station near Common House. After work, I could go back to that dock (or any of them), grab another bike, and bike back to Miller Park.

Pricing

  • Day pass | $8
  • Three-day pass | $15
  • Annual pass | $50

I understand the desire to not pay for a bike that you won’t even own. But think of it like this: a new, basic road bike can cost anywhere from $350-$700. Even at the cheapest end of that scale, one bike purchased is equal to buying an annual pass for seven years.

Other benefits

  • Don’t have to worry about locks (a major selling point for me, someone who’s broken lock resulted in a stolen bike)
  • In fact, a stolen bike is never a concern
  • Don’t need bike storage
  • Don’t have to deal with bike maintenance