B-cycle clocks 202,731 rides in 2011, nearly doubling last year's numbers

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B-cycle wrapped up its second season last Friday, and the official numbers are in: 202,731 total rides from when B-cycle rolled out in March until 11 p.m. on December 9. That's nearly double last year's numbers, though a teeny bit short of the bike program's goal of 206,000 rides -- something the brains at B-cycle blame on the recent snowstorms. Thanks a lot, snow. You ruin everything.

Here are some more B-cycle-related numbers:

Short-term memberships (24-hour, seven-day, thirty-day) purchased: 42,318

Annual memberships purchased: 2,659

B-cycle rides: 202,731 rides

Miles ridden: 431,817 miles

Average ride: 2.13 miles

12,954,510.9 calories burned

3,701.3 pounds lost

618,041 pounds of carbon emissions avoided

19,034.5 pounds of toxic air pollutants avoided

31,420.5 gallons of gasoline not used

$104,316 (estimate) saved on gasoline

$612,491 (estimate) saved on car parking

B-cycle will be in hibernation until March 2012. When it reopens, it will be bigger and badder. As reported in Westword's City Limits this week, two grants totaling $1.1 million will allow B-cycle to add another thirty stations and 175 bikes to the program, mostly in the areas of City Park, Capitol Hill, the Golden Triangle and Highland.

More from our Follow That Story archives: "Should Denver Zoo elephants be renamed after Toyota vehicles in light of $5.4 mil donation?"

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Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Melanie, is the function of the news to inform; to engage with all points of view and all the facts, or is it to make people content with decisions they have already made (or with decisions already made for them)?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Replace B-cycle with a system of free bicycles checked out with a Denver Public Library card.  Denver needs real bike-sharing, not $1000 bicycles available only to those with credit cards who pay a membership fee and escalating rental rates after the first half hour.  Using donated and low-cost bicycles maintained by volunteers and vocational students, we can put far more of the City on bikes for far less money


That same model worked poorly for Fairview Highschool in Boulder. 

Brian Bee
Brian Bee

Robert, your idea has been tried and inevitably always fails.  Your Donated and low cost bikes will not be as adjustable and not kept up in decent shape as the B-Cycle Program bikes. You will never have the money to support the electronic kiosks required to keep tab on who has what bicycle.  To top it off, without having a credit card on file with an agreement that if I destroy or steal this bike, the person checking out the bike has little motivation to care for and return the bike in a timely manner. 

Also, you mention escalating "Rental" rates.  When you check out a B-Cycle, you are not renting it, you are sharing it.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Your pretence that using a B-cycle is sharing rather than renting a bike is contemptible.  No one can use a B-cycle without a credit card, the purchase of a membership, and, if the bike is ridden for more than thirty minutes, escalating RENTAL rates so exorbitant that people who keep a B-cycle for nine hours are charged $65!  The idea of a network of stations from which bikes may be obtained and returned makes sense, but there is no reason why its use should not be extended to all citizens as a general public good, because an inexpensive system not requiring that users be credit card holders is entirely practicable.  Amsterdam has an extensive system of bikes (considerably less shiny than B-cycles) for which people are required to make a two-Euro coin (now only ~$2.60) refundable deposit.  Denver has many people (I'm thinking primarily of young graduates and non-graduates of DPS) who might benefit from learning to become bicycle mechanics, a vocational school in the Downtown, an anarchist bicycle cooperative not far from it, many bicyclists, and many volunteers -- I think that we can make a universal bike-sharing program work in Denver, and that with a modest investment of public monies, we can all reap enormous benefits.

Your corporate scheme of bike rentals puts a tiny fraction of Denver on bikes, does not impart useful skills, and uses both the bicycles and the public right-of-way to advertise other corporations, but it doesn't cost us anything, so that's what we got.  I am sorry that you imagine that you already inhabit the best of all possible worlds and that fielding inexpensive bicycles and keeping them there is impossible -- the Dutch manage to do it, but this is Cawleraduh.  B-cycles are boutique bikes for those with credit cards -- Denver needs real bike-sharing!


Why would you keep a B-Cycle out for 9 hours? It sounds like you may not be sure of how the program works. It's designed for quick, short commuting trips. I've had a B-Cycle membership for a year, and I've never paid a fee because if I think I'm getting close to a half hour, I check it into a station and check it back out. It obviously isn't for everyone, but it's a valuable program and I hope they expand it.


Programs like that work in Copenhagen and Amsterdam because in those cities nearly EVERYONE has a bicycle already - stealing another one doesn't mean transport, it means another bike to trip over in your apartment. Have you seen what constitutes for bicycle lock in those countries?

Your view is great in theory, but it's already failed multiple times in multiple locations all around the world. If you don't want to pay $65+ for a B-cycle, then don't keep it out 9 hours. This really isn't rocket science.

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