The Bicing is a public bicycle rental service offered by the City Council of Barcelona since 2007. The system is very simple: users request via the Internet a card that currently has an annual cost of 44 €, and after 10 days at most they will receive it at home. From that moment they can use the card to remove one of the more than 6,000 bikes at any of the 420 stations that are scattered throughout the city for up to 30 minutes per itinerary. If the use of a bike takes you longer than half an hour you will be charged with 51 cents per each additional 30 minutes to 2 hours, after which the user will be penalized with 3.05 euros each hour. More than 24 hours of use will mean a fine of 150 euros. If you want to extend the use of Bicing for more than 30 minutes without being charged you can change your bike, waiting 10 minutes in the same station or in another nearby station without any wait.
To use the bicycle the user must move the card close to the reader’s station and wait a few seconds until the display shows the number of bike that has been assigned to him/her. The bicycle anchor’s red light will flash and change color to green indicating that it’s waiting to be removed. To take off the bike and start pedaling around town, just lift it up by the handlebars. The Bicing service is available to users 24 hours a day from Monday to Sunday, except that from Thursday to Sunday between 2am and 5am you can just return the bike, not pick up one.The bikes are very heavy and are designed so that the ride would be as safe as possible (is nearly impossible to take your hands off the handlebars without falling to the ground – for those who are more skilled over the two-wheeled vehicle-). Bikes are white and red, they have three gears, front and rear lights, a metal frame in the front to place your backpack and are numbered to keep track of possible thefts or incidents. There is a free phone available to the users to communicate anchoring or other technical problems.Bicing success is obvious by its more than 190,000 users who use bicycles daily. When the service was released in 2007 it was pretty poor, but over the years has been getting better and today the service ir very satisfying and a great way to move around the city if you are staying long term.For further information about the rental apartments of ShBarcelona click here.