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As the Fargo metro has grown, the rebirth of the downtown has created many unique opportunities that couldn’t have existed a decade ago. This spring, Fargo will join a number of other progressive cities around the nation as it’s launches the Great Rides Fargo bike share program.

A project like this took the concerted efforts of a group of people that included Fargo City Commissioner Mike Williams, Cam Knutson and a group of NDSU students among others. The community itself was well represented in the process as well, with previews and public discussion about the possibilities of a bike share program garnering a substantial amount of excitement and interest.

Fargo Underground spoke with Great Rides about the program and what it brings to a region on the grow.

What is Great Rides Fargo?

Great Rides Fargo exists to build a community where people find and share their cycling lifestyle. Through active events, cycling centered programs, and encouraging bicycle services in our community, we want to see the cycling community continue to grow and  to flourish.

After operating on a small scale for the past 3 years, Great Rides Fargo has recently brought on Sara Watson Curry as the Director of Operations to help pedal Fargo forward with some exciting and expanded programming.

In addition to events and advocacy we are please to be managing Great Rides Bike Share program.  As bikes are being built, stations sites being prepped, and technical trouble shooting well underway, Bike Share memberships are now on sale at www.greatridesbikeshare.com.

When will the bikes be ready?

Great Rides Bike Share is somewhat contingent on Mother Nature’s cooperation, but we anticipate installation at the beginning of March 2015. We’re planning a Community Launch Party on Sunday, March 15th from 2 to 4pm at Great Northern Bicycle Co. at 425 Broadway. You can get on board early with a founding membership to Great Rides Bike Share. We’re extending a $10 discount on the annual membership from now until Midnight on March 15th. Founding members get a discount, a warm fuzzy feeling for being a part of something big, and exclusive Founding Members card to flash around town and use to check out bikes once our Bike Share is live. Once it’s rocking, you’ll find 101 bicycles throughout downtown Fargo and NDSU’s main and downtown campuses at 11 stations.

How did this project come to Fargo?

Great Rides Bike Share was championed by a number of committed community leaders that have worked together for nearly three years to find partners, sponsors, and funding to bring a bike share to our community. Mike Williams and Cam Knutson (pictured left to right at the top) have been the voice for this idea and became the first proud founding members. Check out their smiles while holding fifty pound bicycles over their heads.

What are the benefits for the community?

A bike share can help alleviate traffic and parking issues, provide active transportation options, engage and encourage cyclists of all skill level to ride, as well as bring vibrancy to community. Did we mention that it will be a ton of fun!? These sweet rides have all the bells and whistles you need to get around.Well, literally one bell, but it also sets you up with a lock, basket, lights, and you bring the smile. Its a bike available when you need it and gone when you don’t.  Memberships and guest access to this resource will make it handy for residents and guests of our fair city. Plan a first date on Great Rides Bike Share, take a client out for a spin to a favorite downtown spot for lunch, or just ride for the heck of it! These bikes will get you around and spread some joy.

How do I use the Great Rides system?

To ride with Great Rides Bike Share you need to either purchase a membership or guest pass. Once the system is live you can buy passes at the 11 stations or sign up online for a membership.

  • Annual memberships $75 (remember we’re running a discount of $65 until March 15th)
  • Monthly memberships are $15 and you can cancel anytime
  • Guest passes are available starting at $6 a day.

Members will slide their card over the docks to release a bike and then they choose where they pedal. They can return the bike to any of the stations. Remember we want to encourage sharing so the first 30 minutes are free and small fees are associated with additional time the bike is out (think about late fees on a book from a library). This doesn’t mean you only get 30 minutes to pedal a day, just return the bike to a station and grab another bike to keep riding.