Today was my first experience of renting the Next Bikes in Cardiff. They’ve been around for a while now and I’ve always wanted to try them, but the truth is I haven’t been on a bike for about 10 years!
For those of you who don’t know, Cardiff introduced their ‘Next Bike’ bike renting/sharing scheme in early 2018 and have dotted the bikes all over the city. The Boris bike-style hire scheme is really popular at the moment, and you can rent the bikes for however long you choose.
How does it work?
You need to download the NextBike app to get started, click on the map icon and you’ll be able to see all of the bikes at bike stations available to rent. Make your way towards your chosen station and get your app at the ready. Once you arrive at the bike station open up the ‘scan QR code’ page and your phone will open the camera, then you simply need to scan the QR code on the back of the bike, pull the lock out of the front wheel and you’re away!
The cost + stuff
I was under the impression that a short amount of time on the bikes (30 mins?) may be free, but thats not the case. It costs 1 GBP for every half an hour spent on the bike. This is regardless of whether you are using the bike or not, the time starts from the minute the bike is confirmed as ‘rented’ on your phone’s app. Once the bikes are docked back at a bike station (any next bike station in the city, no matter how far away from your original destination) then you need to reattach the lock to the front wheel and that when your rental will finish.
When you are in the process of renting the bike there is a timer on the app so that you can check how long you have been using the bike and it gives you an idea of the cost you’re incurring too.
The next bike website and app have clear instructions for how to removed, rent and pay for the bikes before and after you’ve used them and once you know what you’re doing it’s really easy. We did get a bit stuck at first trying to undo the locks, but some passers by came to lend a helping hand and explain it to us.
Here, i’ve done a little illustration below to give you an idea of the bike in the docking station…
I rented the bikes with my friend Danielle and we ended up cycling for 2 hours around the parks of Cardiff and its city centre. Greeted by luscious green fields, trees and acres of beautiful nature, it was hard to believe we were bang in the middle of a bustling capital city.
We ventured along the Taff trail, through Bute park, around Sophia gardens and Coopers field. After our very fun, breezy expedition filled with laughter we stopped for a refreshing cold drink at a cafe outside the Museum, followed by a wander around the new Japanese exhibition inside the museum itself.
Have a look at some of my pics from the day below: