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The world of shared community biking has come to Cambria after four years of planning.
Imagine pulling a beach-cruiser-like bike out of a rack on Moonstone Beach Drive, pedaling out toward Fiscalini Ranch Preserve, then into West Village, East Village and out to the high school and back.
When you’ve had your ride and maybe stopped for lunch and a spot of shopping, you can return the bike to the rack at the Castle Inn, Cambria Skate Park or Bluebird Inn.
And the Zagster bike-sharing program isn’t just for tourists.
For less-skilled riders daunted by the prospect of navigating a bicycle through Cambria’s narrow, twisting residential roadways and hilly terrain, the business-district Zagster rack locations offer a way to get the exercise without ever having to crest a steep hill or speed down one.
It’s all done through the magic of the internet.
Download the Zagster app from the app store, input your contact and credit card information and, once it’s approved, you’re on your way. The bike rentals cost $4 an hour, charged in 15-minute increments, so the ride can be as long or short as needed, according to Gayle Jenkins, whose pursuit of the program from her days serving on the Cambria Chamber of Commerce board brought it from concept to reality in Cambria.
Jenkins said that, as of Wednesday, Cambria had three racks and 15 bicycles. She has one more rack and the bikes ready to assign to a location, perhaps one in East Village, she said. Interested parties can contact the chamber of commerce at 805-927-3624 for details about the contractual agreement and what it entails.
What’s more, if you’re in other areas, Zagster may be there, too. The company says its bike-share program “lets you find, rent and ride a bike anytime on demand. Start riding at over 140 locations across the country with convenient locations and affordable passes. Every trip includes a bike, bell, basket and 24/7 support.”
In other words, if a rack is empty or too full, or a rider gets a flat tire or has another issue, a quick notification to the company will send a Zagster contract employee out to fix the problem. There are no plans to bring Zagster’s other travel modes, such as scooters or e-bikes, into Cambria, Jenkins said.
The bikes have to be returned to the rack for the charges to stop, so there’s real financial incentive to turn the bikes back in when you’re done.