Eurobike is famous for its traffic jams but for up to 300 show visitors at last week’s show there was a quicker option. A rental bike scheme helped to relieve traffic congestion at the world’s biggest bicycle trade show.
Eurobike finished on Saturday. It is staged in the small German town of Friedrichshafen.
Eurobike is Friedichshafen’s biggest show and trade visitors almost double the population of this small tourist town. Traffic snarl-ups are therefore endemic: at peak times it can take half an hour or more for motorised traffic to crawl the two miles from the centre of town to the show grounds.
However, thanks to a deal with Next Bike of Germany, the twenty year old Eurobike show now offers visitors a quicker way of getting to the show. At show-time, a fleet of 300 bikes are provided at strategic locations in town and outside the exhibition halls.
Show visitors were allowed to register and use the bicycles for free. Normally, they cost €1 per hour or €5 for 24 hours.
Next Bike has city bike schemes in 20 cities, including in Austria and New Zealand. Unlike many city bike sharing schemes around the world – for instance Velib in Paris and the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme in London – Next Bike does not require fixed hire stations. Bikes are locked at set locations and registered hirers call or text to get combination lock release numbers.
This is the same method used by Scratch Bikes of Newcastle upon Tyne.