How and where to bike share in Philly before bike share opens

    In spring 2015 Philadelphia is slated to unveil its very own bike sharing system. Until then if you are still bike curious but not quite ready to commit to your own set of wheels, here are some bike shops that offer family-friendly rentals in the city.

    Rental bikes are a great way to test out a set up or just have a fun weekend ride.

    Firth & Wilson located at 933 Spring Garden St. is Philadelphia’s cargo bike shop. Cargo bikes are equipped to carry “stuff” (groceries, furniture, packages etc.) or several children. The shop also houses a big selection of bikes to rent for an hour or a day. Take these bikes down the Spring Garden bike lane to connect to the Delaware Waterfront.

    City Bikes: Upright bikes meant for cruising around the city. The rental fleet is Brooklyn Industries and come in various speeds. For an extra fee these seats can be fitted with a front or rear Yepp child seat.

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    Cost range: $8-$35.

    Cargo Bikes: Cargo upfront options: Larry vs. Harry Bullitt with electric assist, Babboe City, Gazelle Cabby. Cargo behind options: Extracycle Edgerunner, Yuba Mundo, and Yuba Boda Boda.

    Cost range: $15-$60

    Fairmount Bicycles located at 2015 Fairmount Avenue is a friendly shop in the shadow of Eastern State Penitentiary. The shop boasts carrying “Philly-Friendly” bicycles and both new and used inventory. The shop offers two cargo bikes as rentals. The cargo bike rentals are available daily or for a weekend.

    Take these bikes to visit any of the museums or parks along the green bike lanes on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

    Cargo Bikes: Larry vs. Harry Bullitt (upfront cargo) and Surly Big Dummy (rear cargo).

    Cost range: $50-$80

    Philly Electric Wheels located at 7153 Sprague Street specializes in electric-assisted bikes. E-assisted bikes have a battery that helps power the bike while you pedal. The shop also carries regular city bikes and does rentals of their assisted and non-assisted along with child carriers. The bike rentals are available hourly, daily, weekly or monthly.

    Close to Philadelphia’s lovely Wissahickon, take these bikes along the scenic trails of the Northwest.

    Electric Assist Bikes: Call for available models.

    Cost range: $25-$295

    Traditional City Bikes: Call for available models.

    Cost range: $20-$150

    Child Carrier: Burley Trailer or Rear mounted seat.

    Cost range: $25-$80

    Be sure to call your preferred shop ahead of time to make sure the bike you want is available. Shops will require you to bring credit cards as a security deposit for the bike.

    If you have your own locks and properly-fitting helmets you should bring them, but most shops can rent accessories to you for an additional fee.

    Have fun riding!

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