2010 was very successful for Burning Man’s Yellow Bike Project (the shared community bikes that are NOT supposed to be locked up, but rather used then released). Repairs to the fleet and resources have improved over the last few years, allowing the crew more opportunity to offer services to the public who have problems with their personal bikes. It has been a great way for the DPW volunteer staff to interact with the people of BRC in a way that doesn’t happen much.
2010 was not a great year for our bike statistics, however. Lost Yellow Bikes totaled about 75, which is 10% of our remaining fleet. This number is up from 40 in 2009, which was 5% of the fleet.
Painting and duct taping of Yellow Bikes was nearly double 2009, with around 100 bikes vandalized.
As for people’s personal bikes, abandoned bike collection numbers were down slightly to about 850 in 2010, and returned bikes from these were down sharply. The number of bikes reported lost were high (400+ reports), and these bikes are rarely recovered. This tells us that bike theft is still very prevalent in Black Rock City. Lock your bikes!
Bike donations post-event has been working well, with 2/3 of bikes donated to non-profits directly from playa, and the remainder to be shipped in spring.
There are plans in place to improve some of the issues with bikes at the event. Most of these will take the form of public announcements addressing current policies, the lost and found program, and encouraging community involvement to reduce theft.