E-bikes zoom across Montgomery County

New River Valley News

Courtesy: Gotcha Mobility

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Put the pedal to the metal with some new e-bikes zooming around Montgomery County!

Seventy-five e-bikes will be speeding their way across Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Christiansburg, and Montgomery County as part of a bike-share program from the Roam NRV, who teamed up with Bolt Mobility.

“Bike share is a healthy, convenient, and affordable way to get around. Since Roam NRV’s launch in July of 2018, it has helped increase our community’s mobility and connectivity,” said Nick Quint, Transportation Network Manager for Virginia Tech’s Alternative Transportation Department. “The bike share system has also helped reintroduce former bicyclists to bicycling as a form of transportation, in part, because it reduces the barrier to entry by allowing someone to rent or try out a bike before purchasing their own.”

Each bike has adjustable seats, front lights for early morning and evening rides, and baskets. The e-bikes batteries are swapped out to keep the fleets always charged. The bikes will have a maximum speed of 20 mph on Virginia Tech’s campus and a reduced speed of 15 mph on the Huckleberry Trail.

How do I reserve an e-bike?

  • Download the Gotcha Powered by Bolt app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  • Create an account using your phone number.
  • Select a pay-as-you-go or annual membership plan.
  • Enter your payment information.
  • Scan the bike’s QR code with your phone.
  • Go for a spin.
  • Return the bike to any Roam NRV hub to complete your trip. 
  • If you are running errands or making stops on the bike, do not park and leave the bike on sidewalks, ramps, roadways, or other areas traversed by pedestrians or cars. 
  • End your ride in the app.

Before you ride one of the e-bikes, you will want to follow these safety tips:

  • Before riding, give the bike a quick look to ensure there are no issues and adjust the seat height if needed.
  • Brake early, use gradual pressure and avoid quick squeezes.
  • Automatic lights make you more visible and less likely to hit something.
  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Make sure everything is stowed properly in the bike’s basket to avoid randomly flying objects.
  • Properly lock and unlock your bike to keep moving parts away from other moving parts.
  • Be vigilant and follow all local traffic laws.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for things like traffic cones, potholes, and pedestrians.
  • If running errands or making stops on the bike, do not park and leave the bike on sidewalks, ramps, roadways, or other areas traversed by pedestrians or cars. 

There are two different membership plans for riders. There is the pay as you go plan: $1 to unlock and $0.35 per minute.

There is also an annual plan, which is $99 per year and includes a waived unlock fee and 30 minutes of free ride time every time you unlock a bike.

You can even use promo code boltblacksburg for a $5 credit.

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