If you have been down to the lake in the past few days, you may have noticed some yellow and grey bikes parked near the Spillway. Don’t worry, it’s not a family with matching bicycles who went for a hike a never came back, but a new bike-sharing program that has finally made its way to the lake. VBikes is a startup from Garland that has been placing their tech-savvy shared bikes around Dallas this summer, and now there is a new way to cruise the lake even if you don’t have a bike, or don’t want to schlep it from home.
Unlike other bike share programs from the City of Dallas, these bikes don’t have to be returned to the same docking station where they were found, or any docking station at all. One just needs to download the VBikes app, sign up via Facebook or phone number, and then you can unlock the bike via the app and ride it for as long as you please. It costs just a dollar pr hour to ride, but there is a $99 deposit that you get back when you stop using the bicycle. When finished, the rider is instructed to manually lock the bike and park in “any proper location,” meaning you could ride it from the lake and leave it in Deep Ellum if you wanted. Cyclists can use the app to locate the shared bicycles as well.
The Garland-made bikes have tires that don’t need air, they don’t have chains that can break or get caught on clothing, and they only need to be charged once a year. If you want to learn more about the history of bike-share in Dallas, check out D Magazine’s piece about VBikes and programs like it.