Here’s what a crowdsourced bicycle looks like
This combination bike and scooter is nominally the work of fancypants designer Philippe Starck, but that’s partly because “everyone in Bordeaux, France” doesn’t have as much label cachet. (More than “everyone in Normal, Illinois” or something, but still.) Before Starck got his hands on the brief for the bike, which will be part of Bordeaux’s bikeshare system, the city government solicited comments from more than 300 citizens on how their ideal bike would look and function.
The result is a bike you can pedal or scoot like a scooter; a press release from the city of Bordeaux says this is because of the need for an easy transition between biking and walking, presumably when moving from roads to pedestrian areas. (It’s not, as FastCompany reports, the motorized kind of scooter — the press release calls it a “vélo-trotinette,” which is a bike/kick scooter.) It also has front and rear onboard storage, integrated lighting, and a lightweight frame.
The bike will be manufactured by Peugeot, which plans to have 3,000 units ready for the bike share by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Bordeaux is still taking suggestions from citizens about how to make the city more bikeable. This commitment to civic engagement about biking might help explain why the number of Bordeaux cyclists has tripled in the last 15 years.
Nota bene: I have so far resisted all jokes about how everyone has opinions about the town bike. Proud of my restraint? YOU SHOULD BE.