Our Bike Manifesto

Once upon a time, far from now, bicycles were a novelty. Claimed as a gift of science to man, these human-powered machines charmed the adventurous. At the turn of the 20th century, men strapped on their suits and women pulled up their bloomers to ride. These vehicles transformed one’s puny strength into something greater—mankind finally found its’ superpowers, and women in particular found their freedom machines. The bicycle saddle became a lot of people’s primary seat for getting from the suburbs to the inner city to do work.

Today, for some people riding a bike from the suburb to the city center is plain out impossible. Today, American cities are built for the automobile. The concrete streets and interstates that link neighborhoods have, in many cases, caused unsustainable and lousy living. Today, we are so much ingrained in the car culture; it’s hard to imagine having it any other way.

Thank goodness, New York City is different. New Yorkers heavily rely on public transportation and their own two feet to get around. Thanks to the efforts of Janette Sadik-Khan, our city increasingly becomes more bike-able. As Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, she has been painting New York with beautiful green bike lanes since 2007.

We are determined to help Sadik-Khan paint our city. Well. Not literally with green paint all over our hands. However, we are head over heels dedicated to get more people riding on the streets. Instead of using paint, we are giving New Yorkers a color to track their rides on a map. Seeing your own bike rides on a map reveals your bike habits. Seeing your friends bike rides on that map, makes you want to beat them. Or join them. You decide. Either way, you’ll be surprised by how far you can go, as well as inspired by all the places you have yet to conquer.

We’ve heard all the excuses. Seriously, all of them:

“I don’t want to give up my morning bagel routine.”
“I have to wear a suit to work.”
“I don’t want to mess up my hair.”
“It’s so much effort to pack gear everyday.”
“I don’t have room in my apartment for a bike.”
“My bike is so nice, I don’t want it to get stolen in the city.”
“Manhattan terrifies me!”

Honestly, we don’t disagree with any of them. Getting in to the habit of biking is hard at first. We know, we’ve been there.

“Can I really do this?” This was the question we first asked ourselves. We were open to it, curious and felt a little challenged by it. Or a lot. It is this very curiosity that will lead you to discover your human superpowers–just like the men in suits and women in bloomers at the turn of the 20th century. Once you just try it out, we can assure you that you’ll never regret a ride.

Your rides have a color, they record your personal story, but they are also a voice in the grander scheme of biking. You and only you own your data. However, by sharing your rides anonymously, you will along with the entire bike community have the power to make New York City more bike-friendly.

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