Meet your city on two wheels
Bike Buddies is a concept community service where more experienced cyclists are matched with those less confident or new to the city, helping more people enjoy the benefits of cycling in their local area.
The project was developed during my final months studying the service design masters programme at the Royal College of Art. The idea has since been picked up and scaled by the London Cycling Campaign Cycle Buddies initiative.
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.
Testing and prototyping
Website for signup (quant) - test demand on both sides
Test with stakeholders (qual) - sustrans, other quotes
Test with users (qual) - Rapha cafe, real test, user diaries...
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.
IMAGES: billboard mockups, numbers
Systems change = data feedback loops
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.
LCC new service
Covid as a cataylst - new Active Travel minister, pieces are coming together - system of things, timing is important, but this project reflected the opportunities I had for change at the time, how to influence policy, investment by creating a new data set (qual + quant) to tell a compelling story for investment in cycle infra in the right places.
year: 2018 (ongoing)