crossbars, Nike’s bike share system is almost Dutch.
For a thriving sportswear giant, Nike has seemed oddly unplugged from the active transportation revolution of the last decade. But this week, things changed a little in its Beaverton backyard.
The fast-growing company is following many companies that operate on suburban campuses by launching a corporate bike share system that’ll help employees zip among its buildings, according to a reader familiar with Nike’s campus.
The reader, who asked to remain anonymous, explained the basics of the system in an email earlier this week, adding at the time that it was “not up and running yet.”
I snagged this pic (link above) yesterday of a station at the Mia Hamm building. Each bike has a number and a lock associated with it. Here’s how it works:
Users will sign up for an account that links their name/address/employee # to their cell phone #. If they want to use a bike, they text the bike# to a Nike automated system that will text them back with the combination to the lock. Once the bike trip is done and locked back up at another building with the same lock, the next person who texts in the bike number to get the combo takes “ownership” of the bike.
I’m not sure how far the network reaches but since they’ve been expanding out to Millikan Way and 158th, there could be a few hundred bikes spread out over ~10 square miles.
According to an email circulated to staff, both Nike employees and external temp workers are eligible for the free program, with the first 500 to sign up receiving free helmets.
Though the prospects for Portland’s civic bike share system remain dicey — many eyes will be on the similar Seattle system that’s supposed to launch in a few months — it’s great to get another reminder of how quickly the broader concept is catching on. And it’s nice that hundreds of the smart folks at Nike will be getting regular reminders of how gracefully the bicycle can enable life in a densely inhabited, creative community.