Red Bike Program wrapping up first year; Committee asking for return of bikes

Published 10:09 am Wednesday, October 12, 2016


You rode, you respected, now you must return.

The first season for Austin’s Red Bike program is coming to a close. Now that winter is approaching, the red bikes lent out in Austin’s red bike program are in need of return.

Email newsletter signup

Currently, the program has about half of the 30 initial bikes it lent out in its possession. Vision 2020 Biking and Walking Trail committee Chairman Steven Kime said now is the time to return a red bike if you have one.

“If you have a red bike in your possession, you can either call Rydjor Bike shop or the Austin Park & Rec and they will pick it up or you can physically take the bike into Rydjor,” Kime said.

The project began on April 15 as 30 refurbished red bicycles were placed out on specific red bike racks throughout Austin. This project had the intention of providing a free mode of transportation for those who wanted or needed it.

Kime found inspiration for this project in a newspaper he was reading.

“I saw something similar to the red bike program going on with yellow bikes in Willmar, Minnesota,” Kime said.

Once Kime had the idea, he got in contact with several different people and groups he thought could help him bring the program to fruition, including Rydjor Bike Shop, the city of Austin, Austin Park & Rec and even the Riverland Community College auto body students, who assisted in painting the bikes.

The goal of the Red Bike program is to encourage healthy living and reduce traffic congestion. Making biking free and easy encourages residents to try making routine trips by bike and some will see the benefits and choose to ride more often.

This also builds on the community’s efforts for trail development, bike designations on the roadways, bike fix it stations, and moving toward becoming a Bike Friendly designated community.

The Red Bike program is looking to expand before next year by rolling out up to 60 bikes in 2017.

The public is asked to join in on these continued efforts by donating bikes in rideable condition at Rydjor Bike Shop. Cash donations are also encouraged to help offset the costs of converting and maintaining the bikes.