Nice Ridin’ Minnesota!


The tweet that launched a thousand bikes!

Nice Ride coming to Minnesota.

It appeared some time back in my twitter feed. Having just moved to Minneapolis from Boston and without a car, I had been contemplating getting a bike for the nicer weather (yes, there is nice weather in Minnesnowta—uhhh, I mean Minnesota). I started following @niceridemn and visited their website (which at the time was under construction).

Then I went to the Living Green Expo, and to my utter surprise, there she was: with her sleek, sinewy green body, big round wheels that hug cruves and padded seat, I had to take her for a spin! I also met and spoke with Bill Dossett, Executive Director of Nice Ride. Not surprisingly, Bill is extremely nice. An upbeat and friendly guy, Bill told me all about how this project started, the bikes, the solar-powered kiosks that are appearing all over the Twin Cities, and the amazing artwork and branding by Minneapolis ad agency Duffy and Partners.

According to Bicycling Magazine, Minneapolis is the number 1 biking city in America! It’s no wonder so many people showed up for the launch this past Thursday, June 10th. Hundreds of bikers riding on Nice Ride bikes paraded down Nicollet Mall (I got there late and hopped on a green hybrid city bus), culminating in front of Peavey Plaza for the big press event, with balloons, cake (a delicious chocolate with lime-flavored green frosting) and a ribbon cutting!

So how does it all work? Quite nicely. There are some 700 bikes in 60 locations throughout Minneapolis and Uptown, with still more stations on the way. The kiosks are solar-powered, adding to the eco-friendly nature of this non-profit venture. This initiative is partially funded by the government (with huge support from Mayor Rybak), and a slew of corporate sponsors, with Blue Cross Blue Shield as the lead sponsor.

“Use this instead of a car. That’s what it’s here for. Most importantly, have fun!” ~Mayor R. T. Rybak

Nice Ride is a sister and subsidiary to the Montréal bike company BIXI. The company has also launched the Melbourne Bike Share in Melbourne, Australia, with a system of 610 bikes, 52 stations, and 1,000 bike docks. The ever-growing list of cities on board with BIXI includes Washington DC to launch this fall, and Boston and Toronto next in the pipeline, with launch dates to be determined.

The Nice Ride website, designed by Minneapolis agency ClockWork Active Media Systems, is fantastic. It really outlines the program and how easy it is to start riding a Nice Ride bike around the city. The pricing for taking out a bike, either for a couple of hours or for a yearly subscription is very reasonable. I can’t wait to start riding during my lunch breaks!

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Photos taken and used with permission from Bill Dossett, Nice Ride.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Comments
2 Responses to “Nice Ridin’ Minnesota!”
  1. Nice Post! Much more informative than mine.

    And welcome to Minnesohtaah! But your not “without a car” but instead Car Free! I dream of a Car Free life, but am currently on more of a Car Diet, using it as sparingly as possible.

    Der ya goh!

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