GOOD Video: Transforming Cities with Bike Sharing

GOOD magazine and 3rd Generation Prius teamed up for their Roadmap to Harmony project to produce this video about B-Cycle, a bikesharing service in Denver, Co. that we’ve already mentioned here, here, and here.

The premise of the video is about “how can we clean up urban transportation?” The idea is that bikesharing services like B-Cycle will get people out of their cars and onto the streets — lowering carbon emissions and clearing the air of harmful pollutants.

But there’s more to this than just saving the environment.

There’s the hip factor. “It’s like a New York pizza delivery bike meets urban cool,” says Dave Kingsbury, senior cognitive anthropologist at advertising firm Crispin Porter + Bogusky. (He’s the guy who wants to make commuting fun; the dude’s been biking — or skiing! — to work since 1990.)

There’s the technological innovation. “The bikes themselves are really considered smart bikes because they have bike computers on them, but they also have GPS, so we’re going to know where you go, how far you go, calories burned, you’re going to be able to know carbon offset…” according to Andrew Davidson, chief marketing officer for B-Cycle.

Then there’s the health impact. “It’s a solution to many of the problems we face,” including obesity, says Nate Kvamme, vice-president of government relations for B-Cycle. Did you know typical riders loses 13 pounds in their first year of commuting by bike?

Finally, it’s about getting around, conveniently, sustainably and on the cheap. “This is definitely not an anti-car message. The message here is, it’s the right tool for the right job,” Kingsbury says, alluding to the “last-mile solution” of improving mobility for short distances that don’t require carbon-intensive transportation, like cars. (Good thing he threw in this caveat, lest he upset GOOD’s sponsor, Toyota.)

Bottom line: B-Cycle wants to mainstream cycling, widening the two-wheeler social circle to people outside the Spandex-and-neon-helmut-wearing super-racer community. Says Kingsbury: “What we ant to see is grandmas on a bike, juniors on a bike, grandpas on a bike, everybody’s on a bike so it’s normal, it’s completely normal.”

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