‘Free’style biking

Irvine Company makes bicycling easy with bike-share programs at 12 properties

IRVINE, Calif. — The sun is shining. The trails are waiting. And the bikes are free to borrow.

So whenever Rick Timms finds a spare hour in his workday, off he zooms.

“If I’m between meetings, I’ll jump on a bike and pedal to the Back Bay,” says Timms, who rides five days a week, thanks to Irvine Company’s bike-share program. “It’s a great workout, and I’m back in less than an hour.”

Timms was about to buy a bicycle last year when Irvine Company teamed up with bike-sharing company Zagster to provide urban cruisers at three apartment communities and nine office communities.

“It’s great for me,” says Timms, a computer programmer who works from home at Park Place Apartment Community in Irvine. “It takes 30 seconds to get a bike, and I don’t have to carry it up to my apartment when I’m done.”

Shopping, dining and entertainment venues.

“We’re always looking for creative ways to enrich the lives of those in our communities,” says Sally Fowler, Irvine Company’s director of Portfolio Operations. “Our bike-share program is a nice way to connect fun, fitness, work and play.”

Bikes are available at nine office properties: one in Santa Clara, two in San Diego and six in Irvine, including the Discovery Business Center. Those bikes are free for four hours, and then cost $1 an hour up to $20 a day.

Bikes are available at three apartment communities: Park Place, The Park and Los Olivos, all in Irvine. Those bikes are free for two hours, and then cost $5 for the rest of the day.

The bikes are so popular that Irvine Company plans to bring its ride-share program to other office and apartment communities as well.

To borrow a bike, a rider simply uses a smart-phone app to unlock one from the rack. Each multi-speed bike comes with a front basket and U-lock.

Irvine riders, like Timms, gain immediate access to 54 miles of off-road trails and 301 miles of on-street bike lanes.

“I couldn’t be happier,” he says, zooming off to see the ocean. “I’ve taken more than 200 rides and I’ve never paid a penny.” far, more than 4,500 people have signed up for the program, giving them access to a host of trails, open space and wildlands—as well as shop.

—October 2016