The Smartphone App that Gets You Out on Two Wheels
Why do you ride a bike? Answers to this question vary, but it often comes down to two simple explanations: it’s fun and it’s easy.
But if riding a bicycle is so fun and easy, why don’t more people do it? Answering that question is not as simple—lots of time and research have been spent trying to understand the barriers to bicycling, and how to encourage more people to give bike riding a try.
Enter Love to Ride Tucson: an online platform and mobile app that understands the unique barriers a person has to riding a bike. With more than 168,000 users in nine countries, Love to Ride has logged more than 2.2 million trips and engaged 8,981 different companies.
Built around the enthusiasm of experienced riders, Love to Ride offers a fun, social space for people to learn from one another and encourage each other to ride a bike more often. New users on Love to Ride Tucson are greeted by a quick survey on how often they ride (and would like to) and what is stopping them from riding more.
Armed with this information, Love to Ride shares targeted, specific resources to help people overcome those obstacles. For example, a person who says safety concerns keeps them from biking more will be sent information on Tucson’s low-stress bicycle network and how to plan routes to destinations that avoid major roads.
Finally, the Love to Ride Tucson app reinforces behavior by providing technological support for people to record their rides, set goals, track their statistics and earn incentives and rewards. Living Streets Alliance is bringing Love to Ride Tucson here this October, with a goal of engaging 1,500 people, one-third of them new riders. Some 60 organizations will take part in the program through sponsor- ships and by encouraging employees to participate in the Tucson Bike Challenge Oct. 30-Nov. 5. But once the bike challenge ends, the Love to Ride Tucson website will stay live year-round, allowing users to post rides and compete for prizes with random monthly drawings for things like lights, helmets, tune-ups, movie tickets, restaurant gift certificates and even bikes.