I was taking this picture of rental bikes when Jared, who describes Chicago’s bike center as his former baby, came out of the uber-spanking-modern bike shop at the front of the Cincinnati Bike Center just to say hello. I was immediately ushered in for a full tour, of the facilities. Boy are they swank. The shop offers bike tuneups and repairs. Strangest of all, while the staff was obviously hip, they lacked the dour, “you’re not worthy of staring at my tattoos” attitude one comes to expect from bike mechanics these days. Jared took me back to the lockup room and even let me load my bike onto the second level rack. It only took me two tries and resembled, on the whole, the bike carriers on the bus, except that instead of a bunch of angry busriders giving me the stink eye as I hold up their commute, I was aided by some friendly bike station staffers who told me they liked the color of my ride. Secure lockup in a soothing, well-insulated bike-cave is great, but the jewel in the crown of this bike station has got to be the showers, as well as its overall greenness. Jared explained that the facilities feature geothermal heating, solar panels, and flush-less toilets. I overcame the insipient creepiness of taking photos in a bathroom to share with the world the niceness that is the Cincinnati Bike Station’s showers.
Look at that hardware! Is that a detachable spray head? Gaze upon the future of your de-sweatified, post-mid-summer-cycle-commute, and be amazed. Jared explained that something called “water” comes shooting out of this thing that helps cyclists arrive at the office looking less like a “greasy messenger”. I resolved to arrive sometime in my full length Victorian-style bathing attire and give the setup a try.
What’s that you say? All this must be super expensive? Crazily enough, an annual pass will get you daily use of this state of the art cycler’s paradise for the low, low price of $12–that’s one twelve pack of beer–a month. Daily use is $2 and $2 for a towel. I forgot to ask whether you can bring your own. Their brochure includes a great cycling map… studying this, I realized how perfect their location–a hub, if you’ll excuse the term–between the soon-to-be completed lengths of Ohio River Way and Mill Creek Greenspace trails. -Ed Scripsi