In one of springtime’s springier promotions, Switzerland Tourism is teaming up with New York–based bike-share operator Motivate to give free bike rides during the month of May to cyclists in four metropolitan areas in the United States and one in Canada (cities to and from which, coincidentally, Swiss International Airlines flies).
Here’s how it works: Visit the Switzerland Tourism website and send an e-postcard to a friend (or all of them), who in addition to your love, will receive a ride code good for a full day of access through one of the five participating bike-share services: Citi Bike in New York City, Hubway in Boston, Divvy in Chicago, Ford GoBike in San Francisco, and Bixi in Montreal. The deal varies slightly from service to service, but the end result is the same: a free day in the saddle.
The postcard-sender will be entered into a raffle for a Victorinox Vx Touring Global carry-on bag, a Swiss-made Alpenchallenge AC01 bike, or a seven-day cycling trip to Switzerland, complete with round-trip air and first-class rail tickets. The country is eager to call attention to its bike-friendliness, touting a 5,600-mile web of cycling routes; 2,800 miles of mountain-biking trails, and a country-wide devotion to the pedal-powered rental scene. There are some 200 bike-hire stations in 15 Swiss municipalities, and in certain urban areas, including Zurich, borrowing a basic bike is free.