Thursday, August 06, 2009

Get To Know Your Bixi Rider

Nevermind about dogs you can ride, let's talk Bixi. Montreal's own bicycle-taxi system, The Bixi, has been keeping me laughing since I first saw one of those things, and recently, I've become a bit obsessed with the Bixi Lifestyle. So much so, that I'm about to go all Midnight Poutine and develop a new feature called Get To Know Your Bixi Rider, in which I adopt the traditional man-on-the-street approach and interview Bixi lovers, novices and afficianados alike about the Bixi: its culture and history, and the impact of the Bixi on the lives of those who ride Bixi.

Who is your typical Bixi rider? Is there even an average Bixi rider, or does the convenience and spirit of the Bixi transcend all barriers between people?

If Arrested Development were around today, Jeb would not ride a Segway. No. He would zoom around Orange County in comfort and style astride his Bixi.

Ex-patriate Frenchman cultural critic and blogger Fabien Loszach (of the Almost As Cool As Fighting blog) and I were taking the air, as it were, biking to see the MSO perform a number of crowd-pleasing favourites in Parc Ahuntsic on an overcast Thursday (that turned foul hours later), when he told me of the seminal indie-rock band, The Bixies and their sleeper-classic, Where is my Bike? A week later to the day, my bicycle would be gone - stolen from outside of my house, not 50 feet from a Bixi docking station. If it were a particularly slow newsweek, I imagine my conversion from 10-speed Plateau-ish cyclist to a full-on Bixi rider would earn me a place in the Montreal Gazette's lifestyle section - a wide-angle photograph of me crossing my arms by the spot where my bicycle was stolen under the headline, "Bike Bandits have this Boy Whistlin' Bixi."

From now on, whenever you think about Bixi (and trust me, you will), visit Goldkicks. In the coming weeks, we'll be talking to the people that make Bixi what it is, representatives of the Bixi subculture, Bixi detractors, and get to the bottom of the painfully unsuccessful and bizarre Bixi thefts. Bixi Branding - what is it, and does it work? Do you find the Bixi is compelling enough as a concept? Does it emotionally resonate with you, or is the Bixi Identity too utilitarian? Can a Bixi be sexy? All these questions will be answered, and new ones will undoubtedly arise, as we chart the exciting life and times of the Bixi.

Other Notes

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