Bike Bethlehem! Bike share program ‘Ready to roll’
“I am pleased to announce the launch of Bike Bethlehem!” declared Mayor Robert Donchez from the steps of the Bethlehem Public Library Aug. 15.
“I hope the Bethlehem Bike Share will be so successful that it will continue to expand throughout the city,” Donchez said before turning to City of Bethlehem Health Director, Kristin Wenrich, to present an overview of Bethlehem’s innovative new program.
After spending three years researching similar programs in other metro areas, “We are now literally ready to roll,” Wenrich said. To make the experience family-friendly, there are 10 adult single-speed bikes, six children’s bikes and two trailers available. These can be checked out at the Bethlehem Public Library on the Northside or Cutters Bike Shop on the Southside. Instead of a library card, an adult 18 years of age or older must provide a valid driver’s license or photo ID and sign a waiver to get the free use of a bike, helmet and lock. When the loaner bike and equipment is returned to the rental location during open hours, the rider’s ID is returned.
Dr. Stephen Olenchock from St. Luke’s University Health Network explained the health benefits of biking.
“Just three 45 minute rides per week can actually improve your cardiovascular health; it can lower your risk of type two diabetes; it can improve your blood pressure and it can also decrease obesity.” He added that bicycling “overall improves your mental health.”
This free program is operated by the City of Bethlehem in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network, the Bethlehem Public Library, Cutters Bike Shop, Coalition for Appropriate Transportation, Appalachian Mountain Club and Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.
Bethlehem Public Library: 11 West Church St., Bethlehem; 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday – Wednesday; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.
Cutters Bike Shop: 418 East Third St., Bethlehem; 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday – Friday; 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.
For information: www.bikebethlehem.org.