CHICAGO -- After his own bikes were stolen, courier Kerdia Roland started using Divvy to make his deliveries, racking up over 6,000 miles in eight months. That's far enough to go to Alaska and back.
Going that distance earned Kerdia the title of Divvy's Top Rider of 2017 — by far. Employees at the bike sharing headquarters said the sudden spike in activity after Kerdia started riding caught their attention.
"When we looked at our January numbers there was one rider who far and away blew away the mileage count," said Divvy Marketing Director Kelly Goldthorpe.
Chicago's bike share program is available year-round, but typically doesn't see many customers when temperatures drop in January. But since January 1, Kerdia has pulled a Divvy bike out of the rack 189 times already.
"It's not for everybody," Kerdia said. He said the reactions from customers are usually of disbelief. "They come outside and they're like, 'You're on a bike...What? Dude! You're crazy!'"
Fascinated, the team at Divvy started looking closer, and found he was not only riding a lot, but also canvassing the entire city, making stops at 255 different stations.
"That first delivery can take me anywhere," Kerdia said. "I could find myself one minute all the way up in Lincoln Park, and then 20 minutes back in the Loop, and as far south as Hyde Park," Kerdia said.
Not bad for a guy paying just $10 for a monthly membership.
"[It] takes a lot of the stress of finance out of my mind. Don't have to worry about the weekly, monthly maintenance or having tools on me to repair my bike. None of that is a thought," Kerdia said.
Chicago streets are known for being a little rough on bikes, so Divvy keeps a dozen mechanics on hand throughout the week. Kerdia says he's grateful for the smooth ride that allows, especially when he gets outrageous delivery requests. Like the one time he had to ride with an uncovered sundae in one hand, complete with a cherry on top. He says he likes days like that, when life hands you something unexpected.
And even though Divvy wasn't built for speed, or even the distances he puts in, he says that's half the fun.
"I get to see the city the way a lot of people never get the chance, to so I'm extremely grateful for that," Kerdia said.
On Wednesday, Divvy announced they are adding even more flexibility to their ride options, including even longer windows for people to ride. It's great news for the diehards like Kerdia, who averages seven to eight hours in that bike saddle.