Biketown: Nike’s Solar Powered, App Driven Bike Share

While we aren’t quite sure how to actually pronounce the name of Portland, Oregon’s newest bike sharing system (more on that, later), one thing is absolutely certain: you can no longer walk, drive, bike or even unicycle through the Rose City without seeing the fluorescent-orange bikes of Biketown.

Having just rolled out this past July, Biketown is a partnership between Nike (the sporting goods giant that calls nearby Beaverton, Oregon its home and world headquarters) and the Portland Bureau of Transportation that has brought 1,000 brightly colored bikes to 100 stations throughout one of the most bike friendly cities in the US. The $10 million deal between the two is helping add to the city’s efforts to reduce traffic and create a more sustainable environment for its residents. Bikes in general take up about one-tenth of the space of a car, and for a city that’s already bursting at the seams with an influx of new residents, this could be a welcome change.

At the very least: their Nike-inspired design and color scheme are hard to ignore, proving that having the world’s largest sporting goods empire as the project’s chief sponsor is a good thing. Each bike boasts a basket, a sleek front and rear lighting system, a lock and of course: the Nike swoosh.

If you’ve ever lived in Europe or another large U.S. city, this may not sound revolutionary. And you’re right: cities across the world have access to bike sharing systems like this. That said, Biketown turns the prospect of renting a bike for the day into a stylish and, dare we say, cooler alternative to your daily commute.

Next time you’re in the Portland area, we highly recommend taking advantage of the most stylish bike share around. They’re located almost everywhere in town, and come with the convenience of a Biketown app that works directly with their solar-powered stations and the bikes themselves to make for a seamless user experience.

Interested in learning more? Check out biketownpdx.com for more information and how to sign up for their service.

PS. Curious as to how you should pronounce the name? While their launch event confirmed it’s supposed to be “bike town”, we’re fans of the catchier (and admittedly cornier) “bikey town”. After all, it is sponsored by Nike.