By Joshua Schuetz
Residents and visitors to Hayfield now have a new way to take trips ‘round the town. The city’s new bike share service, work on which has been underway throughout this year, is now open to the public as of August 23.
Hayfield’s bike share service is free. Six new bikes were purchased through the funding from The Hayfield EDA, with the help of CEDA team member Rebecca Charles, led the way on the project, which was funded in part by a $10,000 grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF). A bike rodeo was held last year to raise awareness and additional community support for the project.
Bike shares, which allow residents and visitors to rent bikes for free or a small fee, are growing in popularity throughout Minnesota and the United States as cities look to promote physical exercise, reduce car dependency and give residents more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, there are 2,655 bike share stations in 65 cities across the United States.
SMIF, and work on the pergolas and bike racks was also funded through the grant. In order to make the service accessible and inclusive to all residents, the city chose to purchase bikes of varying sizes, including youth to adult frames.
The new bike share racks are located under two pergolas by city hall. In addition to sheltering the bicycles from rain, the pergolas will offer residents a place to rest in the shade when walking downtown, checking one of the bikes out, or bringing a bike in after a ride. Bicycles will be stored indoors during the winter months.
Residents and visitors are welcome to check out bikes from the city, which can be done at city hall. Weekend rentals are also available but must be checked out by 3:30 p.m. on Thursdays.