B-cycle launches an iPhone app to help you find and return its big red bikes

B-cycle, Denver's cool, month-old bike-sharing program, has up and gone all technological. This week, B-cycle rolled out a free iPhone app that tells users how many shiny red B-cycles are available at each station, ready to rent. It also tells users how many B-cycle docks are open for when it's time to return the bikes.

The perfect ratio, according to Brent Tongco, communications director for Denver Bike Sharing, the nonprofit that owns and operates B-cycle? Two-thirds full and one-third empty.

"We monitor the system from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day so if we see a station getting too full or too light, we have bike technicians that go and circulate the bikes," he says.

Tongco says they haven't heard too many complaints about stations being too empty or too full. And now with the iPhone app, which Tongco hopes will soon be available for other smart phones like Blackberry and Droid, they hopefully won't hear any at all.

So now, B-cycle lover, you have the app. Want to make B-cycle even more badass?

Then vote for it to win Pepsi's Refresh Everything contest, which gives away $1.3 million each month "to fund great ideas." Denver B-cycle has entered to win a $250,000 grant to fund a media campaign and the printing of educational materials, among other expenses.

"Unfortunately, we're a little far behind," Tongco says of B-cycle's standing in the contest. Only the top two finishers get $250,000 grants, and B-cycle is currently in 175th place. But if it can break into the top 100, B-cycle will have a shot at winning again next month.

Watch B-cycle's futuristic promo video below. Next up: B-spaceships.

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar