Meet your city on two wheels
Bike Buddies is a community of people sharing confidence and local knowledge on two wheels. By matching experienced city cyclists with those less confident or new to the city, it helps more people enjoy the benefits of cycling in their city.
The project was developed during my final months at the Royal College of Art and is still in development. Register your interest on bike-buddies.org, and follow progress on twitter and instagram.
After successful testing of the concept and proving demand from existing London cyclists through Bike Buddy signups, I am now looking for the right opportunities to test, iterate and co-design the service with a wider group of users. Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved!
Initial research involved mapping out and testing existing services for those new to cycling in London, including cycle training in my local borough, different bike hire, loan and purchasing options, visiting a range of bike shops, cafes and cycling groups and clubs. At the same time I interviewed the providers of these services including TfL, cycle instructors, Lambeth and South Kensington cycle officers, Sustrans, Mobike and Ofo, and staff in several local and chain bike shops.
Perhaps the most formative research was a user workshop, followed by several in-depth interviews with people who were considering cycling in London and those who had already cracked it, the success stories. This highlighted pain points in the user journey to adopting cycling, which in turn framed the key design opportunities for the project.
I blogged about my research and reflections during the project at http://transportforlondoners.blogspot.com.
The Wider Vision
In order to capitalise on cycling infrastructure investments, Bike Buddies could be used as a behaviour change tool in any urban setting where there is sufficient density of routes among cyclists willing to buddy up.
As our global population becomes increasingly concentrated in cities, the case for cycling as an efficient, low-cost, healthy, zero-emission and socially cohesive mode of transport has become obvious. In London, this is evident in the Mayor’s recent ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ programme. For cities that share and invest in this vision of active urban mobility, Bike Buddies has the potential to help mobilise people, save money, reduce pollution and congestion, and improve both physical and mental health.
More updates and details to follow!
year: 2018 (ongoing)