Nice Ride Minnesota is this pretty legit bike rental program that’s available in the Twin Cities. Biking is a popular past time in Northeast as well as the most convenient and painless way for people to get around during one of the many festivals or outdoor activities happening during the, you know, 30 days of Minnesota sunshine.
The first thing I would suggest you do if you’re looking to rent a Nice Ride is to download the Nice Ride App. Not only does this app tell you how long you’ve been on the bike, which is very useful considering the first 30 minutes for non members are free, but it also tells you the availability of bikes and open slots at the stations near you.
There are a couple ways you can use these bikes. Either you buy a day-long or month-long pass, or you become a member. Membership gets you a better deal on free-time, but you still have to pay the additional time usage fees with both options. All the price breakdowns are listed on their website HERE.
Overall, this is a pretty relative price for buses and cabs the first time, but if you get the membership this can really save you on time and money.
There are a lot of things I really love about Nice Ride MN, and there are a few things that are a bit of a challenge.
These bikes are a healthier alternative to driving, they are extremely convenient for short distances of travel, they make paying for parking or cabs a thing of the past, they make it easy for someone with limited storage space to still partake in the biking culture, and they’re a great way to see the city from a whole new perspective.
Nice Ride Minnesota even has a variety of themed “City Tours” listed on their website. With names like “Graffiti Tour,” “I See Dead People,” and “Prince For A Day,” I’m not sure how you could NOT want to test them out.
Riding a bike after 10 years of non bike riding for 7 miles from Northeast to Uptown there and back, is never a great idea, but unfortunately, the Nice Ride bikes only have 3 gears. The toughest of which is pedaling without any real resistence, which means that you’re working a lot harder to get up hills. These bikes are great for short distances and for getting from point A to point B, but they’re not the best for long trips.
They’re also a little bulky/heavy and the seat doesn’t really offer that much support for potholes, but there IS a cute little bungee basket on the front, which is actually super useful.
I guess the biggest “con” for me is that you have to actually get to the Nice Ride stations to use them and have to end at the Nice Ride station to return the bike. While the Twin Cities have been great about placing these stations all along the city, the closest one to my apartment is about a mile, and depending on where I’m going it may be a little bit of a jaunt dropping one off, too.
This is why the app comes in handy. The last thing you want to do is ride all the way to a station and see that there is no open slot to return your bike, or get to a station and see that there is no bike to rent.
Don’t wear gladiator sandals. Your toe will slam so much against the rope that you’ll feel like you have perma ninja-toe, and you’ll probably eventually need to take them off and ride barefoot.
Don’t ask a group of segway drivers buzzing by if any of them want to trade. Only 1/8 will find it amusing.