Two Great Cycling Cities and Where to Stay
I’d like to welcome the good folks from Hostel Bookers who are supplying today’s post and providing details for a great contest. Have a look at what they have to say about cycling in the cities of Miami and San Francisco, and check out the information they provide for accommodation options while in these cities.
Then be sure to make your way down to the bottom of the post for details on their bike and accessories contest.….and we’re giving away a Pearl Izumi Jersey/Gloves Prize Package as well.
We’ve got a WINNER. Congratulations to @Sugabakes who gets a sweet Pearl Izumi Jersey and Gloves. Thanks to everyone who entered and good luck in the Hostel Bookers Bike Giveaway Contest.
The officials of Miami have committed to making the city bicycle friendly by 2012. They’re modernising old cycle routes and creating new cycle-only lanes, as well as creating more facilities for cyclists such as docking stations and cycle proficiency lessons.
In March 2011 the Miami government rolled out the ‘Decobike’ scheme, open to locals and residents, featuring a fleet of 1000 custom bikes accessible from 100 solar-powered bike rental stations 24 hours a day. You can ride free for 30 minutes with a daily access pass, and then all you have to do is dock it and pick up another if you want to carry on with your journey. You can join for an hour, a day or a month, allowing total flexibility. There are stations all around Miami and you can even download the app that will tell you where the nearest station is. It’s $5 for your first hour and enrolment is currently free.
They’ve also introduced ‘sharrows’, chevron-shaped street marking to indicate when traffic lanes are to be shared with cars and bikes. The railways have added 600 bike lockers and thousands of dollars is to be spent on safety improvements on cycle lanes throughout the city.
Backpackers, crew members, students and tourists love The Miami Hostel. Located on South Beach you can enjoy the free breakfast, free wi-fi and free bike rental with the sea and sand in the background. There’s a lush courtyard, a Jacuzzi, a pool table and a bar to keep you busy and get you talking to other travellers in the hostel. Rooms are spacious and stylish, with comfortable beds and a cool atmosphere. You can enjoy free activities on most nights – including barbecues, parties, pool comps, ping pong comps, movie nights and poker night. The hostel is also one of the safest with 24-hour security cameras. Dorms start at $20.00US pppn.
Cycling in San Francisco is becoming very popular, thanks mostly to the increase and care given to the cycling infrastructure. As far as the terrain goes, the city is extreme, it’s mostly completely flat but the famed steep hills can make cycling exhausting, and sometimes impossible.
If you’re right in the centre of the city, in the most densely populated area, it’s easy to cycle to the shops and entertainment in the area.
There’s still quite a way for San Francisco to go to complete the proposed 2009 Bicycle Plan, but the 60 near-term improvements are underway, including 34 miles of additional bicycle lanes, of which 11 are currently completed.
Another initiative to get people out of cars and on their bikes is Sunday Streets. On occasional Sundays throughout the year they will close the roads to cars and only allow bikes, skates and those on foot to pass through.
The Government has installed over 1500 bike racks and all new car parks must provide a relative amount of bike racks to car parking spaces.
Around 16% of San Francisco’s residents class themselves as ‘frequent cyclists’ cycling on two or more days per week.
Cycle-friendly hostels in San Francisco
To get the most for your money in San Francisco book into the Green Tortoise Backpackers Guesthouse. Here you’ll get free meals, free wi-fi and even a free sauna. It’s located in the city by the bay and the free bike rental means you can travel around the city in style the green way. You’ll feel at home at the Green Tortoise – there’s a kitchen, a pool table and foosball table, a piano, a stereo and quiet areas too – there’s also a bike rack to store your bike safely. There are private and dorm rooms with comfy beds, a lucky few have TVs and a huge selection of movies. The hostel is just a few minutes on a bike away from Chinatown, San Francisco Bay, Fisherman’s Wharf and Little Italy. The city is easy to navigate on a bike and the staff at Green Tortoise will be happy to give you a free map and directions. Dorms and privates start at $33.00 pppn.
We’ve actually got two chances for you to win. The good folks at Hostel Bookers are giving away a Pearl Izumi jersey/gloves prize pack to one of our Loving the Bike readers. To enter, start following @hostelbookers on Twitter and “Like” them over on Facebook. You get one entry for doing each of these things….wait a minute, let’s get you a couple more chances to win. If you’re not already “Liking” us on Facebook or following us @lovingthebike, then do that for two more entries. Once you’ve done all this, come back here and let us know by entering a comment below telling us how many entries you get and you’re in to WIN.
Contest closes on Friday, August 19th at Noon EST.
WIN A BIKE:
For a limited time WIN a bike and cycle accessories of your choice worth $500US (€350)! Go to http://blog.hostelbookers.com/travel/weird-and-wonderful/win-a-bike/ and tell HostelBookers what fantasy accessory or feature you would like your bike to have.