Sunday, March 17, 2013

The riding of the green... and the red

Rolling on my green Surly Cross-Check.
Scout and I started off the day with a ride, per usual. It was only a bit more than coincidence that today, St. Patrick's Day, I was on a green bike. My Bean Green Cross-Check happened to be the closest bike to the door of the bike barn, so it was most convenient to be pressed into service.

A bit later, I was off for the fourth annual distribution ride to shuttle Denver B-cycle bikes into the system. About 300 people signed up to deliver bikes from the Denver Bike Sharing office North of downtown to the 56 stations currently operating in the city. While waiting for the official signal to go, I hung out with a lot of local bike people, took in some fine entertainment, and had some excellent food and drink, including the best kind of breakfast burrito: hot, tasty, serendipitous, and free.

Phil, Denver B-cycle's head mechanic, is always hard at work wrangling bikes
Proud B-cycle riders lined up for a photo.
Jared is an intrepid Denver B-cycle mechanic, elite bike polo player, and prodigious facial follicle cultivator.
This Worksman brand three-wheeled hauler is equipment for a new pedal-powered entrepreneurial enterprise, and owned by Jeff, another fine Denver B-cycle mechanic. 
This lucky lady was the winner of three hefty packs of high quality bacon as a door prize. 
After a while, everyone had been assigned a bike and a station to which it should be delivered. Following a bit of fanfare and some posing for the official photographers, we were off in a sea of dinging bells. The system opens for business tomorrow at 5:00 am. I, for one, am extremely happy to have the red bikes out and about once again.

If you live in the Denver area, get a membership here for a reduced rate until April 22nd. If you're going to visit Denver, a 24-hour subscription is simple to buy, and there is no better way to see the city. I hope to see you out there!
A crowd of people in red shirts on red bikes.
Yep. That's me.
Nearly under way.
Eric from Fort Collins, my riding buddy for the day, and I were the first ever check-ins at the brand-new Auraria Campus station. Along with many others, I've been working for nearly seven years to help Auraria become more bike friendly, so this station is a big achievement. 
Docked and ready for the next rider.
Lucky Number 234 was my steed for the ride. 
Unrelated extra photo: On the way home I saw this social media inspired sticker graffito.


  1. The party shirt makes another appearance.


    1. I'm the farthest thing from stylish, but I get compliments whenever I wear my polyester Wrangler shirt. Perhaps people view it as fashionably ironic, but I see it as somewhat of a nostalgic reminder of growing up in '70s era Wyoming. In any case, it's comfortable for riding and has made it into my regular rotation.

  2. Boring people on normal bikes is much more interesting than boring people on expensive bikes. +1 for normal people on red bikes! Welcome to spring, B-Cycle. Consider staying open all year in 2013-14. Denver is completely rad!


    1. I, too, enjoy seeing normal folk on the red bikes. From a sociological standpoint, there's something very equalizing about everyone riding the same bikes, especially among bike people who tend to congregate according to various bike types. To a large extent, the B-cycles remove barriers and preconceptions people have about themselves and each other. If you're on a bike, you're in the club.

      Boulder stayed open successfully, so hopefully Denver will take what was learned and adapt to year-round operation as well.

  3. I was in London recently admiring all the Barclays Bikes (or Boris bikes, as they're also known, after the Mayor) buzzing about the capital. Hard to imagine the city without them now.

    Surely bikeshare schemes like these must be integral to the functioning of any modern metropolis. I look forward to trying the red bikes some time.

    1. Any time you are here I'll give you a tour. Our system is growing in size and is not yet as prevalent as I presume Boris Bikes to be in London. I haven't been to London since before they were installed, but I am hopeful that shared bikes and transit will allow cities, whether large or small, to evolve a post-automobile-dominant future.