By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — Just in time for the summer cycling season, bike rental outfit Bike and Roll unveiled a new "hop on, hop off" service in which riders will be able to return rented bikes at any of the company's locations around the city.
Bike and Roll has a contract with the Parks Department to rent bikes at 11 locations, including the Tavern on the Green parking lot in Central Park, Riverside Park South and West Harlem Piers Park.
Starting Tuesday, the company will allow riders to "hop on" their bikes at one location, and "hop off" of them at any other Bike and Roll locations throughout the city, including Brooklyn's Prospect Park and Governor's Island. The company had previously required that riders return their bikes to the same place they were rented.
Bike and Roll's rental prices range from $12 an hour for a beach cruiser to $69 for a day for a Trek racing bike.
Aside from renting bikes, Bike and Roll runs community programs, including free riding lessons for kids and a good neighbor initiative that fixes flat tires for any cyclist who stops at a Bike and Roll location.
Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe encouraged the public to jump on a bike this summer, saying that the city is becoming increasingly bike-friendly, with new bike lanes and six miles of bike paths in Central Park.
Plans to add even more cycling to Central Park by letting cyclists to share crosstown paths with pedestrians this summer have drawn praise from bike riders, and criticism from an Upper East Side community board.