Montréal’s public bike system – the first launched in North America – features over 5000 self-service bikes available 24hr across the city at 450-plus stations, from April to November. Montréal researched similar bike programmes in other cities, including Paris and Barcelona, to emerge with the well-oiled, wonderfully accessible Bixi (w bixi.com; the name comes from “bike” plus “taxi”). Renting a bike is simple: at a Bixi stand (which are all solar-powered, and liberally scattered across the city), swipe your credit card and ride off. A 24hr access pass is $5; during that period, you can borrow bikes as often as you like, and the first 30min is free. Beyond that, you pay additional charges. A 72hr pass is $12. Also on offer are 30-day ($30) and one-year ($85) subscriptions.