Vancouver Biko app cyclists donate 37,843 km to charity

Oct 19 2016, 7:13 pm

Vancouver cyclists have donated a staggering 37,843 Biko points to charity since the new app’s launch in September, helping share $25,000 between seven local charities.

The Biko app allows 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.

To mark the Biko app launch, Pacific Blue Cross pledged to donate $25,000 to seven charities – how much they received depended on how many bikos their fans donated.

Left to right, Biko app co-founder Enrique Cuellar, Pacific Blue Cross CEO Jan K. Grude, and Biko app co-founders Emilio Pombo and Tomas Bleier (Biko/Pacific Blue Cross)

Left to right, Biko app co-founder Enrique Cuellar, Pacific Blue Cross CEO Jan K. Grude, and Biko app co-founders Emilio Pombo and Tomas Bleier (Biko/Pacific Blue Cross)

After one month, HUB Cycling, which runs cycling education programs in Metro Vancouver, won out, earning 35% of all bikos donated.

That equates to 13,572 donated biko points, and a $8,966 share of the $25,000 prize money.

In second place was Paws For Hope, which promotes animal welfare education and animal protection. The charity received 24% of biko donations and earned $5,936.

And in third place was Imagine1day, which provides Ethiopian children with access to quality education. It received 15% of biko donations and earned $3,643.

The rest of the prize money was split proportionally between the other four charities as follows:

  • Children’s Wish – grants wishes for Canadian kids with life-threatening illnesses – received 9% of biko donations and $2,347
  • United Way – funds community programs to give kids in poverty a better start – received 6% of biko donations and $1,619
  • Zajac Ranch – hosts camps for BC kids with chronic, debilitating conditions – received 6% of biko donations and $1,564
  • Beauty Night – develops life skills of impoverished women and kids in Vancouver – received 4% of biko donations and $926

Note – figures have been rounded to nearest full number.

Bike for beer, save the world

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)

Since its launch in Vancouver, 1,476 users have signed up to collect bikos, which are redeemable at a huge range of local stores, attractions – even breweries.

Globally, the app now has 75,000 users, who have cycled nine million kilometres; one in three users choose to donate to charity instead of cashing their points in.

As well as giving cyclists the ability to donate to a good cause or grab free swag by redeeming points, the founders hope it motivates more people to get biking.

“The app helps promote individual health and wellness while improving overall air quality,” reads a release issued on Thursday.

“Biko users are also driving Vancouver closer to its goal of greenest city by 2020, collectively slashing an impressive 1,008 tonnes of carbon emissions.”

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.

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:


Dish & DUER

  • $10 off next purchase – 30 bikos

Onsight Equipment

  • 50% off purchase of a messenger bag – 100 bikos

Urban Machina

  • $10 off Bookman cupholder – 30 bikos
  • $100 off purchase of electric scooter – 200 bikos


  • Buy 1 Tea Box, get the 2nd for free – 40 bikos
  • Buy 2 Tea Tins, get the 3rd for free – 40 bikos
  • Buy 2 Tea Bag Boxes, get the 3rd for free – 50 bikos


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



  • 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


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


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


The Burrard Hotel

  • Free breakfast with room booking – 60 bikos



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


Vancouver Art Gallery

  • Skip the line and get fast track access on Tuesday nights – 20 bikos



  • 20% off Solo Plan – 15 bikos
  • 20% off Smart Plan – 30 bikos
  • 20% off Pro Plan – 50 bikos

Kilian Chiropractic

  • 50% off initial exam – 150 bikos