City-wide bikeshare programs may encourage more adults to cycle, but most people really learn the joys of riding when they’re young. However, the rate at which children grow means that it can be an expensive pursuit for parents when their kids are suddenly too big for their frame. In Spain, we’ve seen the Orbea Grow bike come with an extending frame to cater to growth spurts, but now France is aiming to make cycling for kids more affordable with P’tit Vélib, which opens up Paris’ Vélib scheme to younger residents.
The program has intially launched 300 kids’ bikes across five locations on the existing Vélib network, mostly around Paris parks. The bikes are suitable for riders aged 2 to 10 and come in four different sizes. La Draisienne is a balance bike without pedals for those just getting started, while there are also 12″, 16″ and 20″ versions, the former two coming with detachable stabilizer wheels. Children’s helmets are also offered to all parents wanting to get their kids using the P’tit Vélib system. Two more locations are set to open in mid July and large city events will also be used to advertise the service. Prices are EUR 4 an hour, EUR 7 for a half-day, and EUR 10 for a full day.
Although there are some extra restrictions — kids can’t just return their bike to any docking station, they must return them — the popularity of bikeshares in urban environment means it makes sense to let everyone use them, not just adults. Could we see other programs following suit?