PikeRide launched in June of 2018 as a program of Downtown Ventures, the charitable nonprofit arm of Downtown Partnership in Colorado Springs . In 2019, PikeRide transitioned to a full fleet of electric-assist bikes. As of January 2020, PikeRide transitioned to operating under its own 501c3 and now operates more than 35 stations and over 250 bikes. The bikes are super simple and easy to use.
One simply opens an app to start a ride, hops on, and rides! They’re built exactly like a regular bike, with e-assist in place to make it a more relaxing experience. PikeRide has always been extremely active in the downtown Colorado Springs community.
Riley Bratzler is the community outreach manager for PikeRide. “We (PikeRide) received a grant from Better Bike Share Partnership and Peak for Bikes and with that grant we were able to do PikeRide School with Springs Rescue Mission (a homeless shelter/community resource). Residents of the Mission have a short class on bike etiquette, how to use and etc. – we really want to get them mobile and autonomous. Low cost membership is also provided for those experiencing financial hardship.”
This was critical to provide as an asset to the community as COVID became prevalent earlier this year.
Jolie Nesmith, Executive Director of PikeRide, commented on how COVID impacted them. “We are more than a bike share program. So we ask ourselves – how do we serve our community? Especially with COVID. We have so many people that can’t leave especially during our lockdown. Thankfully Governor Polis decided that recreation and physical activity was still important. We understood that we weren’t just serving our community physically – but also with their mental health.
After receiving the PPP loan mid March, PikeRide decided to give everyone in the community free 30 minute rides. Knowing people may be stuck and needed a way to get around and be safe, this provided an avenue for anyone to use the bikes not just for recreation but for necessity. At the same time they started a “Adopt a Bike” program. This provided free membership and bikes to healthcare works at UC Health and Penrose Hospitals.
“We’ve had 150% increase in our ridership over the last 6 months. We are a local nonprofit who didn’t close our doors and have been able to continue to serve our community,” Nesmith proudly states.
Pike Ride has a map of their boundaries and stations on their website.
Meet the Photographer
Gray Filter Photography
Photographer for PikeRide – Being a member of the Ponca Nation, Gray Warrior of Gray Filter Photography always wanted to do something great for his people. “I remember going to pow wows every weekend and being mesmerized by the movements of the dancers, the smell of frybread, and the laughter of my elders in the stands throughout the night. When COVID hit I knew there wouldn’t be any pow wows for a while. This hit me pretty hard knowing my people wouldn’t be able to celebrate and share their culture.”
This, he says, is one of the many reasons he became a photographer – to capture moments that others may never see. Having been in photography for a three years now, Warrior loves to see how photography and storytelling collide.
“Regardless of COVID or not, it’s photography that keeps me pushing forward even in uncertainty.”
His moto is explore the unknown, capture the moment, and create memories that last a lifetime. No matter what.