Lakeland gets ready to roll. Swan City Cycles, Lakeland's new bike sharing system, launched in December and we couldn't be more excited about this alternative mode of transportation for both residents and visitors.

Seven bicycle stations, holding a total of 35 cruiser bikes, have just been planted all around downtown Lakeland. The City of Lakeland has partnered with Zagster to bring us Swan City Cycles. This bike sharing experience is simple, affordable, and most importantly- fun! Rides for members are free for up to an hour and a half, then $3.00 per hour after. An annual membership can be purchased for $25.00 and a monthly membership for $15.00.

Swan City Cycles at Polk Museum of Art
Swan City Cycles at Polk Museum of Art

Here’s the deal: first, download the Zagster Mobile App or sign up at zagster.com/lakeland. Then, it’s as easy as entering the ID on the bike you choose to ride, cruising around town, and securing the bike at any one of the seven cycle stations when you’re done joy-riding. But don’t worry, the directions are right on the App to help you along the way.

Swan City Cycles at The Lakeland Center
Swan City Cycles at The Lakeland Center

Swan City Cycles is a dream for the active tourist and appreciative Lakeland native. This town has so much to offer that a quick drive-by in a car just doesn’t do it justice. Here are a few experiences that only a bike ride can offer:

  • An up-close and personal experience with the swans that rest along the shores of Lake Morton. These majestic birds are highly cherished in our community, establishing them as a high priority must-see.
  • A ride right beside Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous architectural structures on Florida Southern College’s beautiful campus.
  • A stroll down the quiet streets of the South Lake Morton Historic District to view homes and bungalows dating as far back as the 1920’s.
  • And last but not least, a bicycle can transport you to any of Downtown Lakeland’s unique eateries such as Mister Fish, Fresco's Bakery & Bistro, Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille, and many more.
Swan City Cycles Lake to Lake Bikeway
Swan City Cycles Lake to Lake Bikeway

A “Bike-Friendly Community”

Great news for us- Lakeland is registered as a Bicycle Friendly (and people friendly) Community! In 2012, the League of American Bicyclists designated the City of Lakeland a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community. This makes Lakeland one of very few areas in Florida to have received this level of recognition. Lakeland earned this award with its commitment to biking as a means of recreation and transportation. Safety is a top priority, as evidenced by countless bike lanes and signs throughout the city. As a plus, Lakeland has a lake-to-Lake bikeway system that connects the charming lakes (Lake Mirror, Lake Morton, Lake Hollingsworth, and Lake Hunter) to historic downtown.

Be sure to check out other cycling opportunities throughout Polk County, including mountain biking, in our Top 10 section.