Monday, June 09, 2008


White bikes are cropping up in Portland starting today. A local effort to introduce bicycle transportation to the area. The local rag has an article about it here.

The bikes are all older models, donated and repaired and painted by local shops. Each bike is locked up with a helmet attached. I presume the helmet sizes are mostly one-size fits all.

All bike lock codes are the same and the code and more info is available at WHITE

Historically, programs like these have a short life span. I remain hopeful that the program will grow in popularity and bikes available.

**update** June 23**

Portland Green Streets may be using my photo at their web site. The site
"is a grassroots effort to encourage the use of alternate transportation - and is comprised of people who commute through, live, work, study, or send children to school in Greater Portland."
It has a bunch of great resources. If you live in the Portland, Maine area take a look and see what you can do to green up your life.


  1. Hi Joe,
    That's interesting.
    Out of old, they make some usable bikes and let the public borrow them...though thefts are a problem.

    Here in Paris, it's all commerical.The Paris townhall that has bikes available. But, you have to rent them with your credit card, or open an account.
    The bike is called the "Velib"( a contaction of the words "velo", a bike and "libre" ( free ,as in freedom).

    Have a nice day.

  2. "Historically, programs like these have a short life span." If they tried that here in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, the life span would be short indeed. All of the bikes would be stolen and repainted the first day.


  3. Interesting experiment. Yes, it will be interesting to see what percentage are stolen. 5% or 50% ? I'd bet on 5% in Portland, Maine. Oh, maybe 10%.

  4. I learned yesterday that sadly there are only 5 bikes out there right now. So a loss of 1 bike would be 20%.

    To really do the program right they need like 500-1000 bikes out there.

  5. 5 bikes?! why do they bother?

    here in South Africa we had a huge campaign going to minimize power usage... for months they bombarded us with tv ads and radio ads... but it's astonishing what the results were... i wish someone would take the initiative and do the same thing about bikes or motorbikes even, it could make such an impact in the long run :)

  6. Hi Joe, someone tried this in Portland about 6-7 years ago. The bikes were yellow, though. An altruistic young man did all the work of refurbishing the bikes. They disappeared very quickly. So sad.

    Alison in Arizona

  7. It is an awesome idea! Here in Long Beach, CA, those bikes would be gone in less than the time it took me to write this comment! SAD!

  8. Hi Joe:

    May I copy your photo of the white bike for use in our monthly Portland Green Streets ( newsletter? I took some photos of one I spotted at City Hall but am having trouble downloading them from my phone. Thanks in advance for letting us know - and for getting the word out about the White Bike program,


  9. Sarah.
    Yes you may use my photo.
    I would just like a photo credit and web site link.
    Thank you.

  10. Hi Joe:

    Thanks so much for use of the photo and for the plug about Green Streets. Here's the link to the post with your photo:
    Hope to see you out there in green this Friday!

    Have a great rest of the week,