Disrupting The Cycling Industry Through Technology
In 2016, we developed blackriver, a cycling app that stood out in a highly competitive ride tracking landscape. Since then, blackriver has partnered with PeopleForBikes, a non-profit aimed at making riding safer for everyone. That partnership meant additional resources to put towards the app’s next iteration — Ride Spot — and a chance to disrupt the entire digital cycling industry in the process.
In the age of online shopping, many bike shops have experienced a noticeable decline in revenue and have pivoted their business models away from product-based, distribution only retail. The blackriver team — bike industry veterans Eric Lynn and Tobie DePauw — wants to make Ride Spot one of those pivots by helping retailers provide customers with the best ride experiences. Their aim is to help bike shops turn new customers into lifelong ones and build a cycling community around their retail establishments.
Connecting Riders With Bike Shops
Other ride tracking apps target avid cyclists, but Ride Spot takes a different approach. Instead of focusing on performance gains and metrics, Ride Spot connects riders of all experience levels with new routes while offering a platform to share photos and memories from the ride. Where do those new routes come from? A rider’s friendly local bike shop of course.
While shops and other affiliates had the ability to share routes in the original app, Ride Spot takes it to a whole new level. Now, shops can upload their favorite routes and order professionally printed RideCards to distribute to customers. Customers can either use the card’s turn-by-turn directions or scan the route into Ride Spot using the in-app QR code scanner.
Meet The New Team, Same As The Old Team
Since a few years passed between projects, the MentorMate team from the original blackriver app moved on to other projects. This meant an entirely new team was assembled for Ride Spot. With a condensed timeline and a lot of moving pieces ahead of them, the team got to work immediately. In addition to the Ride Spot iOS and Android apps, we also designed and built a website with a user portal, affiliate site with an e-commerce platform, and a help desk portal.
Gaining Forward Momentum One Ride At A Time
Things have moved quickly for the Ride Spot team since launch. The app received an Honorable Mention in the Mobility category of Fast Company’s 2019 Innovation by Design awards. Additionally, the company’s list of registered Affiliate accounts has rapidly grown to 750. Most are bike retailers but a few of them are Fortune 100 companies that use the platform to increase employee engagement. Ride Spot’s users are moving quickly as well. In the first year alone, users have logged more than 100,000 bike rides worldwide.