bixyToday I took my first Bixi ride, talk about a workout. Took about 20 minutes or so to get home, but that’s only because I had to stop half way. Seems the first Bixi bike I “signed out” had a flat tire, why the last rider didn’t flag the bike as damaged I have no clue, but I made sure I flagged it after walking 2 blocks to nearest Bixi station. walking 2 blocks to nearest Bixi station.

Now if you wanna “Bixi” (short for “BIcycle TaXI“) I would not recommend using your credit card at the Bike Rack, if you do make sure you have an extra $250 as they will put that amount on hold as a deposit in case you decide not to return the bike. Instead, sign up with Bixi at their site and get yourself a Bixi key. This little dongle will allow you to pay as little as $5 for 24 hours, or you can subscribe monthly or for the whole season, and no deposit. As I am a fairly large guy, and really our of shape, I decided to go with the $5 for 24 hours (takes right off my credit card once I insert they key into the Bixi dock).

So 4.4km in about in 22 minutes, not bad, thats close to 12km a hour, not exactly speeding, which isn’t really possible as once you hit a nice cruising speed you find out real quick you are out of gears (There’s only 3 speeds) so going as fast as a regular mountain bike or speed bike is not really possible, so be prepared to be passed by a few hard core cyclist on your trip. But it was a good work out, my legs felt all rubbery afterwards.

If you want more info on Bixi, head over to their site, as there are some fees if you decided to use the bikes for long periods of time (their version of a fair use policy), however there is a nice little trick to it, if you get to another station under the allotted free time (30 min if you pay at the station, 45 min if your keying it) all you need to do is park it, wait 2 minutes (which give another person a chance to sign it out) and then sing out the same bike or a new one (if someone took yours). If you are gonna do this, try and pick a staion with a few bikes still left to sign out. I actually had to walk a block to get my first Bixi as the one at my work was all signed out.

Oh, and if you don’t happen to live in Montreal, Bixi is available in my Home Town (Ottawa-Gatineau) which joins Quebec and Ontario as well as Toronto, Ontario. And there is an Android App as well which maps the stations for you.