SXCycles: An awesome SXSW bike share program

SXSW bike shareIf you don’t already know, SXSW is an epic film, music, and tech long-weekend festival that happens in Austin, TX every year. However, the descent of so many uber-geeks on the small-ish city (about 700,000 people) creates a notoriously horrid transportation issue every year.

Enter SXCycles.

About the bike share program

SXCycles is a program sponsored by a new brand of folding bikes called Tern. Tern has only been around since about October of 2011, but they seem to be revolutionizing the folding bicycle industry.

I spoke with a representative from Tern yesterday afternoon and he told me that, “Folding bikes have — until this point — been known as contraptions. Tern is all about building a bike that folds — not a folding bicycle-like contraption.”

You can pre-register to wait your “Tern” for a SXCycle at Velolet.com, but it’s unclear as to what that pre-registration actually gets you. Velolet makes it clear that, “This is NOT a Reservation! This is a Pre-Registration Only!”

In the meantime, I have a call in to someone else at Tern to find out exactly what a Velolet pre-registration actually gets you. Stay tuned.

[UPDATE: Sean at Tern told me today that, “The bike fleet is “first come, first serve” every day (8am-2am) — meaning pre-registration just allows you to set up an account for a faster checkout (above the non-registered), but not reserve a bike. There are absolutely no reservations. So, the best way for someone to secure a bike, is to be down at the lot early in the morning. Simple.”]

Who is eligible?

Not all who wander are lost. And not all who attend are eligible. The SXCycles program is available to the first 150 SXSW attendees who:

  • Hold an “Interactive” badge
  • Hold a “Film” badge
  • Hold a “Gold” badge
  • Hold a “Platinum” badge

Terms and conditions

Those qualifying SXSW attendees who are lucky enough to snag a SXCycle will be  riding a Tern Link D8.

Velolet.com says,

A $200 deposit will be pre-authorized for each Tern Bicycle you register throughout the conference. A $100 Daily Late Fee will be charged to attendees that DO NOT return the Tern Bicycle by 2:00 A.M. (up to $500). Loss/Theft/Irreparable Damage of the Tern Bicycle Will result in a $500.00 Charge. i.e. Don’t Lose the Bike! In addition you must show proof of SXSW Interactive attendees with “Interactive,” “Film,” “Gold,” and “Platinum” registration (badge or other proof) at the point of pickup.

Sure, the Tern Link D8 isn’t a cyclocross bike that you’d want to go hopping off curbs and beating around a bit, nor will it come equipped with sweet wheel-mounted LED safety lights, but it’ll be an ultra portable, ultra sexy, and ultra nice way to get around Austin, TX while everyone else is waiting for the shuttle.

Unfortunately, I’m not headed to Austin this year for SXSW. Are you? Would you consider a SXCycle as your means of transportation if you were going?

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About Jeffrey Davis

Yo, I'm Jeffrey, founder of and editor in chief here at Eco-Snobbery Sucks. I live in Nashville, TN and am a writer, personal trainer, web designer, and wookie hugger. I hang out on Twitter some but you can find me more active on Facebook. Enjoy the site!

  • Yaniv Loewenstein

    ~nervous cough~ What’s revolutionary about this bike?