Our teammate, Joel has been keeping busy with a whole lot of bikey goodness. His Reasons2Ride concept has totally blown up and he’s here to tell you all about it.
After close to three years of taking a vision, turning it into a workable plan and building strategic alliances, it’s with great excitement I announce Reasons2Ride is officially open for business! Our shingle is out, registered with the Colorado Secretary of State as, Reasons2Ride LLC. A federal tax ID issued and deposits in the bank, it’s happening! While preparing for an upcoming local radio interview, I’ve taken on the “Classic Journalist’s” questions, (Who? What? When? Where? How? Why? Who benefits?), approach to explaining the organization. I thought it might be a cool idea for a blog to share my notes, in preparation for the interview.
Who is Reasons2Ride?
Reasons2Ride is a grass roots effort inspiring a happy healthy community by motivating people to connect with businesses and each other through bicycling.
What is Reasons2Ride doing to make that happen?
We’re creating an internet-based social-network of Cycling Destinations, combining a map and thumbnails. The map displays pins that are suggested destinations for a bicycle ride and the thumbnails show a picture and provide a link to a page dedicated to that particular destination. On any one of the dedicated destination pages users can add pictures, leave comments and share with friends/family. If users choose, they can even add a destination of their own. Current destinations include museums, parks, trailheads and the likes. We are engaging businesses in the community to use this platform as a form of advertising. The model is to enhance the network, adding businesses willing to offer discounts on goods and services to people who ride bicycles to their place of business as destinations. Offers might include free appetizers or BOGO’s at pubs or restaurants, maybe an extra half-hour on a massage table. Whatever the offer, the idea is to motivate people to hop on a bike, save money, have fun and develop healthy habits along the way.
When is the official launch going to take place?
It already has, we’re small but starting to get noticed.
Where is Reasons2Ride operating?
Currently our efforts are concentrated on the Denver-metro area in Colorado, however we plan to and are ready to grow nationally.
How is this going to grow?
It’s important for this to grow organically to have the desired impact. Stage one is our ad-hoc sign placement around the city to increase website traffic. The signs have a QR code, NFC chip and URL link to Reasons2Ride Destinations. Stage two will be branded messages using point of sale and trail signage, stickers and direct mail to broaden our reach and further encourage users to interact with comments and sharing. Stage three will be a collaborative effort to include branded public service announcements on radio and television, live interaction on the streets, contests and prizes, all to reinforce the message of, “Go ride your bicycle”.
Our founder, Joel Phillips was tired of sitting on the sidelines and doing nothing, watching the obesity rate (More than one third, 35.7% of us adults are obese) rise and sensing people becoming more and more unhappy (ONE in FIVE adults are on behavioral meds), he was one of those statistics himself. Then he re-discovered his bicycle and it transformed his life. His logic was that if it worked for him, it could work for anyone. Curious about others, during the summer of 2011, Joel spoke with and documented the responses of 1,887 cyclists. He found 60% rode a bike less than twice a month, but an overwhelming number, 94%, freely stated they would ride more frequently if they had a good reason.
Other than health benefits, which are numerous and very well documented, saving money topped the list. Suggesting getting a discount or a free upgrade/size at a local business was exceedingly popular. So there you have it, Joel took on the challenge of getting more people to ride bicycles more often, and this was his response.
Who benefits from Reasons2Ride?
For people, choosing to ride a bicycle benefits you and everyone in your community. In doing so you’re reducing your carbon footprint, decreasing traffic congestion, increasing your physical fitness, saving money, inspiring others plus it’s just plain FUN! For businesses, it’s a way to connect with customers, where they “get” you are genuinely interested in and concerned for their health and happiness. These benefits go a long way in building a healthy and happy community.
All I can do now is what I’ve been doing for the past three years. Continue to be committed to making a difference. It may work, it may not…at least I’ll know I tried. Whenever I doubt myself or what I am doing I remember these words of wisdom from John Lennon, “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality”.