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WE-cycle and Carbondale Arts gear up for Art in Motion

With WE-cycle set to become available in Carbondale late this summer, Mirte Mallory and her team visited the Town Trustees Tuesday night to present updates on the roll out and a special announcement. KDNK’s Hattison Rensberry has more.

"Rensberry:
WE-cycle is a Bikeshare nonprofit that had its pilot program in Aspen. The riots are free with the first 30 minutes and are aimed at providing locals and visitors with a car-less commuting option. The process of putting together the program's implementation in Carbondale has taken approximately 11 months. Last night's presentation to Carbondale Town Trustees kicked off with Mirte Mallory, co-founder of WE-cycle, who spoke to the trustees about the updates on the process.

Mallory:
We have a new system info beacon that you'll see throughout the region this year, and it's this orange info beacon where we'll be showcasing the station names as well as the station sponsors. In addition, exciting new ways of accessing our system. This year we have developed a web app to allow you to check out a bike directly through WE-cycle.org
So anywhere in the valley you can sign up for. We cycle through the website. You signed up in minutes. Check out a bike through that same platform and check all of your rider data, your stats, your rider profile to make it really accessible and, um, easy to and nimble to move throughout the valley and check out a bike with the same platform.
Regional connectivity is our goal. We also recognize it in order to be able to make our system accessible to more individuals. How important it is for youth to be able to get around independently within communities. So this year we have adjusted our age limit, and so you can now ride being 14 years or older with consent from a parent or a legal guardian, and we realize that by having this privilege also comes with responsibility. And so that is a message that we are communicating with partnering with schools as well as through all of our materials and through partners, that riding a bike is a privilege. We hope that you'll use them wisely and we are making sure to communicate as such for an English and in Spanish on all of our materials. We will have a station here in Carbondale adjacent to, um, Carbondale High School.

Rensberry:
Quite a few WE-cycle staff were in attendance to show their support each with their own bicycle parked outside of town hall. One staff member is James Curry, the system director who spoke as well.

Currie:
We will have 15 standard stations. All of the stations are solar powered. Standard station is on the left. It has a smaller solar panel. Uh, it just. The solar just charges the station to keep it functional. The unit there is a Sky Hook solar unit, a Carbondale base company, uh, first of the kind here for solar and e-bike charging. So the e-bikes will not have to be returned to the shop to be charged or have the battery swapped out something.
Big cities have had significant issues figuring out logistics, so we're happy to say that this keeps spikes functional and operational for people to be able to use while they're being charged.

Rensberry:
And in regards to her special announcement, here's Mallory again.

Mallory:
Bikes for me focus on the freedom, independence, joy, wonder. Bikes have long been part and artistic traditions, and Carbondale has both those traditions both have what art can do in terms of public spaces in terms of inspiring, one sense of connection to place. A sense of awe, a sense of observation, a sense of slowing down to take in the beautiful surroundings and the art itself. And as we anticipated bringing bikeshare to Carbondale, I couldn't think of a more incredible way to honor the artistic heritage and the bike heritage of this community, and trying to bring a program together that would celebrate those movement and beauty in multiple ways.
And we couldn't think of a better partner than the stewards of art in themselves here in Carbondale.

Rensberry:
The collaboration with Carbondale Arts has been aptly dubbed 'Art in Motion'. And another attendee of the meeting was Jamie Abbott, executive Director for Carbondale Arts.

Abbott:
It provided this opportunity, I think, for Carbondale Arts to look at an opportunity for a local artist. For us to look out through our network of local artists to be able to pay them because of a gift from Alpine Bank are a commissioned opportunity for, to work with this cycle on this. And we see it as a way of really connecting the creative district of Carbondale.

Rensberry:
Michael Stout of Carbondale Arts also gave some insight on the partnership.

Stout:
It provided a really great opportunity for our artist who we've selected and have been working with. A lot of you may know Bailey Haynes. She's a longtime, uh, local Carbondale resident, a wonderful artist.
We think that her work really just embodies this idea of movement, and when we were looking at all the. Really great submissions that we got from really great local artists. It was really tough to choose, but she really surfaced to the top partly, and because of the way that she communicated to us in her letter of intent of how she kind of used the role and what she hopes to, to help achieve through the work on these.
So her work will be featured on 17 of the stations, five of the E-bikes. So we're really grateful that, um, You know that again, that ethos of creativity in Carbon Hill will be really evident through the WE-cycle partnership. This is unique to the entire WE-cycle system, and the idea that it's launching in Carbon Hill I think is really, really fitting.
So really excited for that and yeah, look forward to seeing that soon. There's, there's some designs that are in the works and we're really looking forward to sharing those when we have a little bit more finalized work.

Rensberry:
WE-cycle's bike share in Carbondale will be the first to stay open year round. Carbondale residents, commuters, and community members can sign up for. WE-cycle passes early on their website in preparation for their official launch in August of this year. For Katie and K News, I'm Hattison Rensberry."

Hattison Rensberry has a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design and Drawing, but has worked for newsrooms in various capacities since 2019.
She also provides Editorial Design for the Sopris Sun.