Ring, ring, passing by with exciting news! A fleet of bicycles are now available for free, same-day checkout at Belmont Library thanks to an exciting service we’re proud to introduce — Book-A-Bike.
Book-A-Bike is a pilot program making a fleet of four bicycles available for checkout, whether you need transportation for a quick errand or outdoor exercise. Bike rental, which includes a helmet, lock and other accessories, is available for all adult patrons with a library card and signed waiver.
San Mateo County Libraries are excited to become one of just a handful of libraries nationally with bicycles available for free checkout. This service further expands upon our robust collection of non-traditional library materials available to our patrons.
How to Book-A-Bike
Bikes will be loaned out on a first-come, first-served basis for same-day checkout. Adults with a valid library card are welcome to check out a bike. Before you hit the road, you’ll need to sign an online waiveropens a new window. You'll receive a bike lock key and helmet from the front desk, and will unlock the bike from the bike rack in front of the library.
Then, you’re off! Remember to wear your helmet at all times and follow the rules of the road. Return the bike 30 minutes before Belmont Library closes by locking the bike at the rack and returning the lock key and helmet to the front desk. Check out our FAQopens a new window for more information about Book-A-Bike procedures.
With an eye for easy-to-ride, reliable bikes, we purchased a fleet of four low-maintenance bicycles. Many of the bike’s components, including a carbon drive belt, three-speed internal gear hub, and flat-free tires, should ensure a smooth ride for patrons and less maintenance for staff. Other accessories include a helmet with a GoPro mount, a basket for cargo, bike light, bike lock, and first aid kit.
Every year, San Mateo County Libraries hosts an annual Pitch-It program, where library employees pitch new service ideas and vote to implement their favorite ideas. A bicycle checkout proposal was a winning pitch last year!
This proposal was popular for a few reasons. First, bicycles will grant our patrons access to transformative experiences outside of our library walls, which aligns nicely with our vision and strategic plan. It also demonstrated a commitment to sustainability as well as equitable access to free materials. Lastly, it opens the doors to new library programming opportunities!
Making the Most Out of Your Ride
There’s great bike infrastructure in place in San Mateo County, with bike lanes, trails, racks, and great scenery. Not to mention, most public transportation (like city buses, BART, and Caltrain) allow bicycles. The possibilities with two wheels are endless!
Some might use the bikes to take a short study break and get fresh air. Others will use their bikes for transportation, cruising down Ralston Avenue to run an errand. And some might use the bike for exercise after making a New Year’s resolution. Personally, I’m excited to pair Book-A-Bike with our Discover & Go service. Imagine riding a bike to a local museum and then using your Discover and Go pass to cover admission!
Here’s a list of resources, from bike trail maps to safety guidelines, that you might interest you.
Great Bicycle Resources Worth Checking Out:
- Silicon Valley Bike Coalition Mapsopens a new window
- C/CAG of San Mateo County Bike Mapsopens a new window
- CA DMV Bicycle Safety Tips & Lawsopens a new window
- "Urban Bicycling Basics: Rules of the Road" videoopens a new window published by San Francisco Bike Coalition
- “How to Choose a Cycle Helmet” videoopens a new window by the Global Cycling Network.
What's your favorite place to go for a bike ride in San Mateo County? Please share it with us in the comments below!