How safe is it to rent bikes during the COVID-19 pandemic?

HOUSTONBCycle has been open throughout the pandemic because they were considered an essential business since they provide a mode of transportation.

If you live near one of their 109 stations, you’ve probably noticed ridership is up. The organization said rentals exploded. Meaning hundreds of hands are on each bike weekly.

BCycle said warm months always bring more riders but this year is unprecedented.

“We saw an increase in ridership pretty dramatically because people were staying home and more available and seeking more ways to get out and ride,” BCycle executive director Beth Martin said.

However, across the Houston area, parks, basketball courts, even benches were closed to limit people touching the same surfaces. So is sharing bikes any safer?

BCycle says yes.

“We’re always setting aside time to clean our bikes when they come in the shop, clean our stations in the field, but given the pandemic, we really stepped up those measures immensely to make sure that we’re keeping our staff safe as they work and our riders as safe as possible,” Martin explained.

The CDC even issued guidelines for shared bikes, skateboards and scooters, basically telling BCycle to do what marketing outreach manager Abby Fernandez said her team has already implemented.