With bike-share programs now in more than 850 cities worldwide — up from just 11 cities a decade ago — and more than one million shareable bicycles in the global fleet, cyclists on colorful, logo’d two-wheeled steeds are popping up more and more — in everything from the day to day to special occasions, from mayoral commutes to commercials that will melt your heart. Here, eight fun examples of bike-share woven into city life that will make you smile.
1. Why bother renting a limo?
(Video by Jeff Rueppel)
This couple borrowed bikes from Indego, Philadelphia’s bike-share program, to ride from their wedding venue to their reception. Jo and Nick Aster told Philly Mag that they fell in love with bike-share in Paris, and thought riding two miles on a trolley bus to the reception was cliché.
“Indego presented itself as a completely viable option,” said the groom. “If I could convince people their finery wouldn’t get soiled.” Indego dropped off and picked up bikes for 30 riders in all, including the bride, who said, “Thank god for Spanx — they’re like bike shorts.”
2. Not invited to the wedding? Then crash.
This bike-sharer was caught accidentally photobombing a wedding party. The photographer caught his great apologetic shrug and it went viral, much to the surprise and delight of Fort Worth’s B-cycle.
3. Making bike-share throwback sexy
Bike-share CHiPs style (via White Line Fever)
Cycling gear company White Line Fever set out to make sharing alluring — by re-imagining two of Brisbane, Australia’s CityCycles as California Highway Patrol motorcycles from the classic ’70s TV show “CHiPs.” Cue the retro sunglasses.
4. Sharing is caring.
This cute commercial for MYBYK, a bike-share program in the Indian city of Ahmedabad, reminds us that sharing is contagious. And life’s good when someone else does your math homework.
5. Mayors share too!
OK, so you’ve seen an endless stream of photo-op-snapped mayors on two wheels when a bike-share system launches in their city. But in this candid vid, Mayor Charlie Hales, of Portland, Oregon, explains how riding can help in the political world: “It’s important to be on time.”
6. See the heat with this cycling map.
What do you call that superpower that springs forth when you combine mapping savvy and cycling geekdom? This. SoBi Hamilton, in Canada, made this heat map of how cyclists move through the city, using smart-bike, trip-tracking technology designed by Social Bicycles.
7. Making music: symphony in the key of B
Musician Yuri Wong used a cycle from Barcelona’s Bicing system to create this catchy little cover of Yael Naim’s song “New Soul.”
8. Poppin’ a wheelie
Despite their hefty weight, looks like Philadelphia’s Indego bikes are pretty adept at busting a move. But please don’t try this without a helmet — or if your age doesn’t end in “-teen.” Wonder if this cyclist will ride a bike to a wedding someday.
The Works is made possible with the support of the Surdna Foundation.
Jen Kinney is a freelance writer and documentary photographer. Her work has also appeared in Philadelphia Magazine, High Country News online, and the Anchorage Press. She is currently a student of radio production at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. See her work at jakinney.com.