April 20 2010, 11:34 AM
A small kiosk sporting a fresh logo featuring the letter "B" recently sprung up on a street corner near my house. It’s a Denver B-cycle station, the landmark of Denver’s bike-share program, projected to be one of the largest in the nation. Hundreds of bikes will be stationed across the city on Thursday by noon, ready to rent for commute, errand running, urban exploring, and other purposes. You can pay for membership online, or at any of the stations, and the prices are incredibly affordable: An unlimited annual membership is just $65, daily rentals are $5, and one month costs just $30. The process is simple: Pay your membership, unlock your bike, and return it when you’re done. And be sure to return it: There is a $1,000 fine for “misplaced” bikes. Want to see if there’s a station near you? Check out B-cycle’s Web site for a map of kiosks or to search for one by address. All of the B-stations around town are officially launching at noon on Thursday. Celebrate at Civic Center Park starting at 9 a.m. with Mayor John Hickenlooper, Jonny 5 of the Flobots, a jazz quintet, and a 9:45 ride around the park. Bonus: The 2010 Denver Bike Map, which previously sold for $5, is now being offered free around town, and be sure to check out the new Google Maps feature for mapping bike routes.