Friday, March 4, 2011

The first red B-cycle of (nearly) Spring

Denver B-cycle number 157 was my steed for much of the day.
Denver has a new indicator of the arrival of Spring. Although the season of budding flowers is still days away, today I was fortunate enough to be one of a small number of people who got to test ride the Denver B-cycle system as it prepares to emerge from hibernation for the 2011 operating season. It seems like these sleek crimson beauties have been absent from the streets of Denver for a long time. I was glad to have them back, at least temporarily. However, lest anyone think these bikes have been quietly languishing in some warehouse since the system closed on December 6 of last year, the good people of Denver Bike Sharing have been anything but idle. They've been working tirelessly to improve and upgrade parts and functionality. Each bike has received annual maintenance and a variety of new parts to keep them performing at their best.
The new single-legged kickstand is more stable than the old design.
New grips, re-dingered bell, and new brake lever.
The stations have also been fitted with improvements, and now feature color screens with a much improved touch interface, as well as a more streamlined checkout procedure. The objective of all the changes is to improve the user experience and assure reliability of the system.
John and Keith conducting tests.
Although today was a bit chilly and at times seemed to threaten some sort of precipitation, spending a few hours riding around always beats sitting behind a desk. My ride testing partners for the morning were Keith and John. We diligently tested the system, repeatedly checking out and checking in bikes according to prescribed directions at several stations. A few issues surfaced, which were recorded and reported, and are targeted for resolution.

With continuing hard work and a bit of luck (not the least of which concerns the weather), Denver B-cycle will be ready for the public once again on March 14, after which there will be a lot more sightings of the red B-cycles of Spring.
Testing concluded, I'm on my way back to the Denver B-cycle mothership.


  1. I saw you three riding around the Capitol Building that day, I wanted to join! Can't wait for the system to reopen.

  2. It was encouraging to encounter several people who were happy to see us. If you want to get in on the next round of testing, it will be this week. Just let me know and I'll put you in contact with the right people.