Rental Bikes are Here!

This morning Carol Evans, executive director of the Legacy Parks Foundation,  Kim Bumpas, president of Visit Knoxville, and Kevin Crateau, marketing director for Regions Bank, unveiled eight bikes that will be available to rent today.

The bikes were donated to Legacy Parks by Regions Bank, and Evans said the deal was put together in less than a month. Legacy Parks will partner with Visit Knoxville , Regions, and Billy Lush Board Shop (all of whom have their logos printed on the lime green cruisers) to provide the bikes. Four of them will be parked at the Outdoor Adventure Center on Hill Avenue and four more will be at the Visitors Center on Gay Street. Rentals will be managed both online by Billy Lush (which runs the SUP rentals), or at the cash registers at the Adventure Center and the Visitors Center.

The bikes will be available for two-hour rentals, which cost $19 for adults, $15 for teachers and military personnel, and $12 for youth under 17. Friends of Legacy Parks will be able to rent them for half off.  Renters will get a lock and a map, and the first 100 renters get a Regions Bank backpack. Proceeds will all go to Legacy Parks.

Evans says she hopes both visitors and Knoxville residents will use the bikes. “I hope people will decide to go on a ride after work,” she said.

She also said having half of the bikes parked at the Adventure Center could help connect that area to the rest of downtown. And, she added, it’s a pretty flat stretch of road (till you get to Gay Street).

Evans said she hopes to expand to new locations, but she’s waiting to see how the rentals fair throughout the fall.

The maps given to renters will include routes to Tyson Park, the University of Tennessee Greenways, World’s Fair Park, and a loop around downtown. Evans said these options will give people the option of riding only on the greenways, or around downtown, if they’re comfortable with that. There are no plans to include tips for safe riding in traffic downtown.

The bikes themselves are pretty plain. They’re single-geared and use a pedal breaking system—that’s where you pedal backwards to stop. There are no racks on them, but there is a chain guard and fenders. Your clothing can breathe a sigh of relief. Short-legged people, be prepared to lower the seat, as the bikes have a traditional diamond frame (not the step-through/girl’s bike frame).

It’s not a true bike share. Those have cost cities millions of dollars to implement. This was completely free thanks to Regions Bank’s donation of the bikes. But Evans did say the program “is kind of our entrée to that.”

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