B-cycle: The weirdest spots a bike has been found and more fun facts
An important piece of the puzzle in Denver's growth as a bike city -- outlined in this week's feature, "On a Roll" -- is the creation of B-cycle, the city's bike-sharing program, which today boasts thousands of annual users. Here, we take you behind the scenes at B-cycle, with a look at some of the weirdest spots the bikes have been left behind and other fun factoids from the Denver Bike Sharing team.
Big photos below.
The origin of B-cycle can be traced to the high-profile 2008 Democratic National Convention, when Denver launched a bike-sharing pilot program to help attendees get around. Then-Mayor John Hickenlooper championed the program and decided to push forward with the country's first citywide bike sharing program.
Today, B-cycle has 53 stations across the city and nearly 3,000 annual users who pay $80 for a yearly pass. There are also around 40,000 casual users who can pay $8 for a 24-hour pass. And B-cycle will add another thirty stations by next spring, according to Parry Burnap, executive director of Denver Bike Sharing, the nonprofit group that owns and operates B-cycle.
Sam Levin Parry Burnap, executive director of Denver Bike Sharing, with B-cycle bikes.
For the feature, we took a tour of the organization's Larimer Street office, where staff repair broken B-cycle bikes, monitor usage across their stations, help with customer service and more.
The staff provided us with some statistics on usage, as well as some insight into the stranger parts of the job -- the weirdest places the B-cycle team has retrieved left-behind bikes and the oddest objects found in the bike's handy baskets.
Here, courtesy of the staff, are the five most unusual places a B-cycle bike has been found:
• In a garage near the University of Denver when new fall students moved in
• Englewood RTD Stop
• In Cherry Creek
• The start line of the 2012 Denver Century
And the most memorable things found in B-cycle baskets?
• $1,200, a Colombian passport and an iPhoneContinue for more statistics on B-cycle usage.
• Endless pairs of cheap sunglasses
• An elf costume (elf ears and a hat made for putting on a car that someone attached to the B-cycle)
• Library books
• Coffee cups
• Jackets and scarves
• Keys and phones