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Using a Twitter Hashtag to Get People on the Bike

10:30 AM EDT on April 12, 2010

Screen_shot_2010_04_12_at_9.22.57_AM.pngIf you are a Twitter user, you may have noticed a new hashtag in the last couple of weeks -- #30daysofbiking. It's pretty self-explanatory. People all around the country and the world have pledged to ride their bikes every day for the month of April, and they're tweeting about it. (Around the block counts.)

We had been wondering what the source of the 30 days campaign was -- and now Streetsblog Network member Bike Blog NYC has answered the question for us. Today, they've got an interview with the two Minneapolis guys who started the Twitter meme -- Patrick Stephenson and Zack Schaap. Here's what Patrick had to say about the response to the 30 days initiative (the abbreviation of profanity is from the original):

We haven’t had to do much work in promoting #30daysofbiking at all. It’s like hundreds of people were waiting for a push to bike, and then tweet about biking, and all this has done is give them that push. It’s been immensely viral. We have bikers in China, in Korea, in France, in England, in Indonesia, in Australia, and in tons of other places. I haven’t kept a record. I’m continually surprised by how far this has reached.…

People fill up the stream with #30daysofbiking tweets on a daily basis -- hundreds a day, bunches every hour. Our site had almost 1,000 hits on the very first day and it’s been exploding ever since. The proudest accomplishment of this, for me, is that it inspired my dad, who is 58 years old, to bike to work for the first time this morning. He left me a voicemail, “Hi, I rode my bicycle to work! Bye.” It’s giving people a reason to ride with their families. Family-time shit, away from the TV and the computer and the fkn iPods. It’s a push to get out and do something, like eat at a restaurant or see a show, when you would’ve stayed home -- because you need to get those miles in.

You can find out more about #30daysofbiking on their website. And no, it's not too late to join in.

More from around the network: Hub and Spokes discusses the problem of cyclist stereotypes. Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage has an innovative solution for those whose car keys are providing an irresistible temptation. And Biking in LA questions the usefulness of the proposed Backbone Bikeway Network.

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