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New Biko app allows cyclists to pay for beer by biking in Vancouver

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Jenni Sheppard Sep 16, 2016 7:00 am

Biko, a new app launching in Vancouver on Friday, will allow cyclists to collect points by biking around the city – then spend those points on beer, gear, coffee or charity.

The free app, available for both Apple and Android devices, rewards cyclists with one “biko” point for every kilometre biked.

The bikos can then be redeemed at a range of breweries, stores and attractions around Vancouver, including Big Rock Brewery, Rocanini Coffee Roasters, and Reckless.

Molly Millar, Biko’s Vancouver City Manager, told Daily Hive it’s not all about the beer.

“It’s going to encourage people already cycling to cycle more, get new riders on the road, and connect cyclist with local business owners,” she said.

“You’re already biking around the city, why not get rewarded for it?”

Win $25,000 for your favourite charity

If you’re more interested in donating to charity, Biko is beginning a one-month challenge this Friday, to encourage cyclists to collect points for their favourite cause.

Pacific Blue Cross has pledged to share out a donation of $25,000 between seven charities – but how much they each receive depends on how many bikos their fans donate.

The seven charities taking part are:

  • Imagine1day – provides Ethiopian children with access to quality education
  • HUB Cycling – runs cycling education programs in Metro Vancouver
  • Zajac Ranch – hosts camps for BC kids with chronic, debilitating conditions
  • Children’s Wish – grants wishes for Canadian kids with life-threatening illnesses
  • Beauty Night – develops life skills of impoverished women and kids in Vancouver
  • Paws For Hope – promotes animal welfare education and animal protection
  • United Way – funds community programs to give kids in poverty a better start

To take part, just download the app and start biking. Then when it comes to spending your biko points, just choose the option to donate them to your chosen charity.

Biko’s beginnings in Colombia

Biko was founded by entrepreneurs Enrique Cuellar, Emilio Pombo, and Tomas Bleier in Bogotá, Colombia and it’s already expanded to Medellin and Mexico City.

Enrique Cuellar is one of the founders of the Biko app (Biko)

Enrique Cuellar is one of the founders of the Biko app (Biko)

So far, the app has 74,088 users in Latin America, who have cycled 7,759,000 kilometres – equivalent to 194 trips around the world, according to Pombo.

The app also gives users the ability to map and find safe routes, measure their average speed, and see the carbon emissions they have saved by biking.

Millar says collecting all that information for Biko users will enable them to work with the City of Vancouver and offer them real-time 24/7 cycling data.

“We want to help further Vancouver’s goal of becoming the greenest city by 2020,” seconds Pombo.

“Incentivizing cycling through rewards can help reduce the city’s carbon emissions and we have the data to prove it.”

Pombo says that by choosing to ride instead of drive, Biko users have already collectively reduced carbon emissions by 1,008 tonnes.

What can your Biko points buy you?

At the time of writing, Biko points are accepted in Vancouver at the below locations, although the list is growing.

Here’s what you can get for your bikos after racking up those kilometres:

Breweries

Big Rock Brewery

  • Free snack – 20 bikos
  • Free brewery tour, beer sample and tasting glass – 60 bikos
  • $25 gift card to spend on food and beer – 100 bikos

Granville Island Brewery

  • Free Boylan Soda or Good Drink with a meal purchase – 15 bikos
  • Free growler when you fill it up at Granville Island Brewery – 15 bikos
  • Free brewery tour – 30 bikos

Steel Toad Brewery

  • Free, handcrafted steel bottle opener – 50 bikos
  • Custom brewery tour – 30 bikos
  • $2 off all beer – 25 bikos

Yaletown Brewery

  • 20% off lunch – 40 bikos

Red Truck Brewery

  • 15% off all food – 30 bikos
  • Free growler when you fill it up at Red Truck – 15 bikos
  • 20% off all t-shirts – 40 bikos

Restaurants

Nuba

  • Free appy when you dine from 2 to 4 pm, Monday to Friday – 50 bikos
  • Free juice when you order any menu item – 40 bikos

Zend Conscious Lounge

  • 50% off second order of pancakes – 25 bikos
  • 50% off second shareable menu item – 25 bikos
  • Free Zend Signature Elixir with a meal purchase – 25 bikos

Cafes

Rocanini Coffee Roasters

  • Buy a cortado, get the second one free – 30 bikos

Off the Tracks Espresso Bar & Cafe

  • Order a sandwich and salad, soup or yam fries for free – 25 bikos
  • Free mini carrot cake with the purchase of a 12oz specialty drink – 20 bikos
  • Order breakfast and get a 12oz drip coffee for free – 30 bikos

Trucks

The Juice Truck

  • $1 off any juice or smoothie – 10 bikos
  • Buy two juices or smoothies and get the third for free – 15 bikos

Bike stores

Two Wheel Gear

  • $25 discount on $159 Pannier Backpack Convertible – 60 bikos
  • $40 off $249 Classic Garment Pannier – 100 bikos
  • Win a Heath Messenger Bag – collect the most bikos by the end of September

Bike Doctor

  • $5 Shifter Surgery – 25 bikos
  • $5 Flat Fix Fast – 25 bikos
  • $5 Brake Health Checkup – 25 bikos

Reckless Bike Stores

  • 15% off on an accessory – 30 bikos
  • Upgrade to a Standard tuneup from a Safety Check tuneup – 45 bikos
  • Extend two-hour bike rental for extra hour – 10 bikos

Hotels

The Burrard Hotel

  • Free breakfast with room booking – 60 bikos

Carshare

Modo

  • $50 in credit when signing up through Biko – 300 bikos

Attractions

Vancouver Art Gallery

  • Skip the line and get fast track access on Tuesday nights – 20 bikos
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Jenni Sheppard
Jenni is a former Senior Staff Writer at Daily Hive. Happy Vancouverite. Traveller, snowboarder, foodie, film fan, feminist, geek, cheesemaker, curler.

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