In Copenhagen, you can check bikes out from the bicycle library
We love a good bike share, but you have to admit that the bikes all look the same. Meanwhile, people’s bicycle preferences and needs are as varied as … well, as their taste in books. Which is why Copenhagen, always first with the bike innovations, lets you borrow bikes from the bicycle library.
Unlike the book library, you do have to put down a deposit on bikes, the equivalent of $80. But that deposit is returned when you bring the bike back safely by the due date (you can borrow them for three to four days). Which means that you can try out all sorts of bicycles — tandems, cargo bikes, folding bikes, recumbents, Velomobiles — to figure out which one works for you.
The bicycle library isn’t intended as a replacement for a bike share or bike ownership. You can’t keep checking the same bike out week after week. But you can shop around for the bike that best fits your lifestyle, or have a fling with bikes that are hard to find or afford — and for no more money than getting 50 Shades from your local library branch. Now that’s an idea worth borrowing.
Browsing in Copenhagen’s ‘Bicycle Library’, New York Times.