Welcome to Changwon, South Korea, where bicycling is everything.
Bicycling in Changwon is equivalent to soccer in Brazil (too soon?) or bull fighting in Madrid. There is even a case to be made that cycling is more important to Changwon's population than the Red Sox are to Boston. Colin Marshall of The Guardian is currently on a quest through South Korea to find the world’s best bike-sharing service, but he might as well just end the trip now. About 115 miles south of Seoul in a city of one million people is what appears to be the Holy Grail of bike-sharing. Roughly 3,000 residents of Changwon use their bike-share service, called Nubija, each day, according to Marshall. And for good reason: it’s dirt cheap.
For just under $35, Changwoners receive an unlimited annual membership and access to over 240 stations across the city. Cycling has become so popular since the service launched that a costume-themed Changwon Bike Party is held each month. Nubija can also boast the title of being the world’s only bike-sharing service that is wholly owned and operated by the city it’s servicing. But if you’re still not beginning to feel a little insecure about your local bike-share, Nubija bike-sharing even has an official theme song. ‘Most wonderful bike capital Changwon City.’