Those of you who have been following this blog know how much I love going to the market on Saturdays. Even better than hopping on the subway, though, is riding a bike. Unfortunately we don’t own bikes right now, as we don’t have a storage locker, bikes are getting stolen from the courtyard in our building, and storing two bikes in our small apartment is just not an option. That’s why the local bike share system is so great. There is no membership fee, and it’s free to ride a bike for an hour. After returning it, the next free hour starts after 15 minutes, etc.
There is a station just down the street from our house, which is very convenient. The only problem is that this station is often empty. There is a big hostel with several locations in our neighborhood, and the guests often take the bikes to go into the city. Which is fine; that’s what the bikes are for. The company who runs the bike share don’t seem to restock the stations regularly, but since the system is free, expecting flawless service may be slightly unrealistic. In DC, for example, I constantly saw the bike share company move bikes around to supply the stations, but there the membership fee is about 80 Dollars a year, plus you can only ride for free for 30 minutes.
Back to Vienna: The quality of the bikes is surprisingly good, particularly compared to the first try of offering free bikes around 15 years ago or so. And for my Saturday morning adventure of going to the market, going early is the secret. Tourists who stay at hostels typically aren’t exactly early birds, plus an early start also allows me to avoid the biggest crowds at the market. The perfect solution!