Denver's B-cycle stations were buried under snow and subzero temperatures this week as real winter weather finally arrived, but there were still hardy bike riders out there. Come Friday, though, they won't be battling the elements on a B-cycle.
While Denver Bike Sharing had hoped to keep its 52 stations open on a limited basis this winter rather than shutting them down like last year, that plan didn't work out. "We had applied for a grant to provide a financial cushion to help us operate throughout the winter," says Denver Bike Sharing spokesman Ben Turner. "We received the grant, but not in the funding levels we needed." So B-cycle will collect its bright-red bikes at a party at the Meadowlark on December 9 and then keep them safely stored until March 18.
While the organization didn't collect enough money to stay open this winter, it did secure two other grants totaling $1.1 million that it will use to add another thirty stations and 175 bikes to the program. City Park, Capitol Hill, the Golden Triangle and Highland will get the majority of them; Cherry Creek and the Art District on Santa Fe will also get a station or two.
Final numbers on B-cycle's second year won't be compiled until Friday, but Turner says the program should roll past 200,000 total rides. B-cycle was hoping to double last year's numbers and reach 206,000, "but the snowstorm this week left us in a very cold place," he adds.
The end-of-the-season B-cycle celebration starts at 5 p.m. Friday at the Meadowlark, 2701 Larimer Street, which is two doors down from B-cycle. Anyone who rides up on a B-cycle will get a free beer, and the first 85 of those will also get a voucher for a bus or light-rail ride back home. Everyone else is on their own...at least until the B-cycle racks come out again right before spring.
Speak out: The no-profit NOH8 campaign is a cleverly titled California fundraising effort initially created in 2009 to fight the passage of Prop 8, which outlawed gay marriage; it featured photos of everyone from celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Larry King to regular Joes and Janes, all with paint on their faces and tape over their mouths to show how their voices would be silenced by the measure.
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Although Prop 8 was later struck down (and is still being appealed), NOH8 has since grown and spread to other states, including Colorado. That's where activists Norman Dillon, of Dillon Photography, and Christopher Fish held their own NOH8 photo shoot last year to benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation. The national group sanctioned that event, but when Dillon and Fish tried to do it again, NOH8 served them with a cease-and-desist order demanding that they not use NOH8's name.
"No hard feelings," says Dillon. He and Fish have created a new campaign that plays off of NOH8's duct tape, even if it doesn't use the NOH8 name. "Say It Out Loud" will be at Compound Basix, 145 Broadway, from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 17. For $20, participants will be given a white posterboard on which they can write any message concerning gay marriage — as long as it doesn't include hate speech about either side of the debate. The money collected will be donated to Horizon House Denver, which provides home-care services to people with AIDS. Burlesque dancer Cora Vette has already had her photo taken for a poster promoting the event.
NOH8 had its own photography fundraising event last month at the Center. But there's no hate about that. "If they had contacted us, we would have been behind them 100 percent," Fillon says.