Bicycles have long been recognized as one of the most efficient means of transportation within a city, definitely more efficient than a car. Not only can you move faster within a city on a bike, but it is also much better for the environment since it does not rely on fossil fuels. That’s why big European cities such as Paris have mass bike rental systems that are initiated by the municipality. These programs are usually a great success.
But anyone who knows Israel and who is familiar with the laid back attitude prevalent in Tel Aviv knows that things move a little slower here. The day that the Tel Aviv municipality takes it upon itself to set up a city-wide bike rental system won’t be anytime soon.
Which is why Rafael Aharoni, a Tel Aviv cafe owner, took matters into his own hands.
Aharoni recently invested in placing rental bikes outside of 3 Tel Aviv cafes, which are made available to cafe customers. The term “rental” is a little misleading, however, since the bike users don’t actually pay for the service. They are only asked to leave a credit card number and sign a form, and then are sent on their way to use the bike to run whatever errands they need.
According to Aharoni: “People today think that vehicles are the most advanced, but in the city it’s the opposite. A vehicle is the most primitive thing and the bicycle is the most advanced. If people borrow a bike from us to run their errands, maybe their perspective will change.”
Each cafe has 4 bicycles to lend, which each come with 2 locks. When asked whether he was worried that bikes would not be returned or be stolen, Aharoni said that he believes people have good intentions.
Need to pick up some tomatoes at the market or mail something at the post office? Pick up a bike at one of these three cafes: Kabina (10 Herzl), Kabina (corner of Washington Boulevard and Salame), and Cafe Michal (230 Dizengoff).
Read more about urban cycling:
Cicleta Sprint Bicycle Messengers Take Over Tel Aviv
The Cycling Nightlife in Jerusalem
EasyBike Makes it Easy to be Green