Keep Westword Free
| Media |

B-cycle's A-Maes-ing ride

Republican gubernatorial "nominee" Dan Maes brought a lot of attention to Denver's B-cycle bike-sharing program earlier this month when he theorized that the program was really some sort of hidden propaganda for a secretive United Nations plot. ("This is bigger than it looks on the surface!")

The story made national news and landed Maes in a web of mockery, from the New York Times to Salon's "This Week in Crazy" to Countdown with Keith Olberman. Not to mention Boulder's Alchemist Threadworks, which will start selling a cycling shirt in late September that reads "Bike Share is the Gateway to Sinister World Domination."

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

It also brought a lot of attention to B-cycle, a nonprofit entity run by the city of Denver, which is close to breaking even for the first time since it started in April.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

But Denver marketing manager Steve Sander says the Maes mess didn't lead directly to a better financial picture. "The one thing it did was create a groundswell of support among hardcore bicycling community and people who weren't as supportive before," he explains. "We were encouraged by level of support we go throughout the community."

Instead, Sander credits the fact that after four months, B-cycle is beginning to gain traction. "User fees are close to covering our monthly overhead," he says. In addition to its 2,000 annual members who each paid $65, B-cycle has also logged 20,000 24-hour memberships and a total of 50,000 rides.

Running the program costs about $70,000 a month, but that will decline in the fall when fewer people ride the red bikes; B-cycle will be shut down entirely on December 1 for the worst of the winter and start up again on March 1, 2011.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.