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  • An update on solar station problems

    by Kevin Bell | Sep 29,2017

    Those of you who have ridden with us for more than a year likely know by now that when the weather starts to turn cold and cloudy, it can impact our solar-powered stations, which total 26 of our 43 active stations. However, this year the problem has presented itself earlier and far more aggressively than anticipated. Of course, you don’t need us to tell you how bad it’s been—you’ve likely been personally impacted by these issues over the last week:

    Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 9.57.35 AM

    The purpose of this post is to explain what we know about the cause of the issues, as well as what we’re doing to fix them, including possible changes we’re looking to make in our operations going forward.

    First, here’s what we know about solar issues: each solar station houses two twelve volt batteries, which are intended to be charged by the solar panel over the course of the day. Absent any solar power, we expect those batteries to last approximately 48 hours. While the current string of overcast weather we’re seeing—nearly a week without prolonged direct sun—is certainly rare for Boulder, increased system use is also placing extra demand on solar-powered stations, as Boulder B-cycle riders are on track to take 100,000+ trips in 2017!

    Typically, we’re able to stay ahead of solar issues by adjusting solar panels and charging a bank of batteries in our office to swap into stations as they run low on power, though there are limitations based on the power supply of our non-industrial office/shop space. Even though we’ve recently invested in fresh batteries and a larger charging bank, our capacity to charge only eight batteries at a time leaves us unable to fully respond to the scale of issues we’re currently seeing.

    Based on the outcomes of pending conversations with our equipment provider and other bike sharing programs around the country, we’re also exploring the possibility of investing in some longer-term solutions, which could include some combination of the following:

    • Replacing some of our current stock of batteries with high-capacity, fast-charging lithium iron phosphate (LiFePo) batteries

    • Locating an offsite space where we can operate more battery charging points simultaneously

    • Sourcing higher-efficiency solar panels or upgrading solar power controllers to better draw power in overcast conditions

    As always, we’re working to run the best bike sharing program possible with the resources that are available to us. To that end, we have found ourselves unable to provide a satisfactory level of service this past week, and we apologize for the inconvenience that we know this has caused.

    As always, you can keep an eye on the BCycle mobile app or our website for live station and bike information.

    Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns:

  • Volunteer at the Boulder County Craft Beer Fest and get in free!

    by Kevin Bell | Aug 14,2017

    The Boulder County Craft Beer Festival is coming up this Saturday, 8/19 from 1 to 5 PM. Want free tickets? We've got you covered.

    As in years past, we're running the bike valet at the Craft Beer Fest, and we still need two volunteers for 90 minute shifts each. Each volunteer gets a free ticket.

    This opportunity is available on a first-come, first-served basis, so jump on it:

    Sign up for a shift

  • Made in Nature Giveaway All Week Long!

    by Kevin Bell | Aug 09,2017

    3.7-MIN-figgywall (1)

    We're thrilled to have Made in Nature, headquartered right in the heart of Boulder at 1708 13th St (right next to the 13th & Arapahoe B-cycle station), as a new sponsor of Boulder B-cycle.

    Like Boulder B-cycle, Made in Nature is all about health, community, and having FUN!

    That's why this week, from Monday, 8/7 to Friday, 8/11, between 11:00am - 1:00pm, all B-cycle riders can stop by the Made in Nature office for some free, delicious Made in Nature goodies:

    Made in Nature Map-01

    Plus, you'll get the chance to win a 'Snacky Hour' at your office! So, hop on a B-cycle and say hello!


  • Ride this week for your chance to win Boulder Craft Beer Festival tickets!

    by Kevin Bell | Jul 17,2017


    Our first ridership contest of the summer is here! This week, we're giving away a pair of tickets to the Boulder County Craft Beer Festival, and all you have to do is ride!

    Here's how it works: Every trip you take between today, 7/17 and Sunday, 7/23 automatically gets you one entry into a random drawing for a pair of tickets. We'll contact the winners on Monday, 7/24. It's that easy!

    About the Festival:

    Sample the best local craft breweries and a handful of local cideries on Saturday, August 19th at the 4th annual Boulder County Craft Beer Festival! Ticket holders will enjoy live music, yoga, lawn games and a variety of food vendors (food for purchase).

    If you don't win the contest, you can still score a deal on advanced tickets: $35 general admission and $50 VIP (early admission, specialty tastings & souvenir item). Limited tickets available. 

  • Station relocation alert: 27th Way & Broadway moving to Table Mesa Park N Ride next week

    by Kevin Bell | May 10,2017
    Hey, riders: Here's a quick heads up to keep you in the loop: Next Wednesday, 5/17, we'll be relocating the 27th Way & Broadway Station to the north side of Table Mesa Park N Ride!

    Table Mesa Relocation-01

    But Why?

    When we installed this station in 2014, funded in part by RTD, it was intended to serve regional bus routes coming to and from Denver—At the time, the B, BX, and BMX routes.

    When RTD discontinued the B routes and introduced the Flatiron Flyer, those buses no longer stopped at 27th Way & Broadway. As a result, use of this station dropped dramatically, and it has become one of the least-used stations in the system, seeing only a handful of trips per day.

    We're relocating the station to Table Mesa Park N Ride so that it can resume its original function serving regional bus routes.

    While we understand that this may inconvenience the handful of riders who have continued to use the 27th Way & Broadway station, we're confident that the station will do much more to ease commuting stresses in its new location.

    As always, feel free to reach out with any questions.

    Happy riding!
    -The Boulder B-cycle Team

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