How Bicycl Started
For most of us in the group, we found our passion for cycling at a very young age and had fond memories of racing at the parks and playgrounds with friends. However, like many individuals, the passion of cycling dwindled as our lives get more complicated as we grow older but we are all glad that somehow this passion returned at some point later in our lives, again!
The seeds of the yet to be named Bicycl started in 2014, after a few of us had started on our journey back into cycling a few years back. Michael had bumped into Paddy over work and cycling came up. We met for rides to Changi Village from Orchid Country Club and gradually met a few more people along the way.
During a group ride with Love Cycling SG, we met Tony who had just started cycling on a road bike. A chat about cycling and our “Cycling Kakis” chat group later, we knew that we enjoyed each other company on the cycling rides and started organising more rides near our neighbourhoods.
In our endless discussions about the n+1 rule and much bike porn later, we came to know Jason who had a Specialized Tarmac and a Cervelo S5. Jason proved to be a great pacer of our groups who had a lot of experience in long rides and in particular a few overseas trips.
By then, Michael had also got into the road bike madness and got his hands on a Cervelo R3 which proved to be a really enjoyable ride on the first 100km ride with the Cycling Kaki Group
Our love for the ride, taking photos, eating McDonald's fries (there is some correlation between riding and fries we have yet to solve) starting the ideas for a way to share this beyond Facebook.
The original crew of this yet-to-be-named product met frequently over rides to think about how the service would look like.
However like any great idea, it took some time for the team members to gel together while balancing busy businesses and work lives. Not everyone in the original team remains but Paddy, Jason, Tony & Michael decided to forge on with the idea. Over the course of many rides round island, short rides, we chatted about what would be the best way to get started.
With Michael on board and also starting to discover more overseas rides in Australia, Malaysia & Indonesia, he saw that many like-minded cyclists also loved to take photos and share their stories. He suggested to the team that a Lean workshop to validate the ideas and help prioritise our many ideas would be a good way to determine if this was worth pursuing.
Our hypothesis was that consumers would benefit from having a crowd sourced knowledge on bicycle stories to help them discover new routes in their travels.
We started working on validating our ideas through lots of conversations with fellow cyclists in our groups and also in our travels.
Our first name for the product was Cyclasia (inspired by Cyclavia in Los Angeles). Together with veteran designer Nono, the concept was quickly fleshed out for the ride sharing application and everyone who saw it loved it. This meant that we could move into fleshing out a few more broad strokes on the roadmap while starting to research the tech needed to put everything together.
The first prototype was a simple app, to post and view stories from each of us testing the app.
A small group of us tested this during travel and group rides and saw that the idea had indeed come alive. It was time for a bigger rollout.
The whole team (with Andre T taking over design) met for the first time with Andre R in Singapore. We chatted more about progress and also planning out how the app would be rolled out.
During this time we continued to work on developing the stories that would be part of the launch and also recruiting more than 100 users to the application to begin testing. Feedback so far has been positive and we are looking forward to seeing more stories being shared. At this time, we also discovered that Cyclasia sounded too much like a event that was running and with another round of brain storming we came upon “Bicycl” which so far has tested very well with everyone we have spoke to.
On one of our favourite type of ride “Ride to Nowhere”, the team help Michael prepare for a long self-contained cycling trip in the US amidst the design and development work and continuous testing. During this period, most of the design work had been fleshed out and the team was focused on getting the app to the app store. Unfortunately Apple proved to be a blocker with our app getting re-submitted twice for fixes to their policies. Thankfully, on September 26th 2015, we finally had a live app in the store that we could share with friends and the public.
The Bicycl development team is based in Jakarta and the team has worked hard over the last year to deliver a product we have been proud to use and share our rides on.
Bicycl is now available on iOS at http://bicycl.asia with Android being developed. Our plans included providing more options to indicate the bike used for each ride and also tagging friends who have been part of the ride to create a bigger story behind each ride. We hope that this building blocks shape up to helping other discover new routes as they cycle and their journey into the wonderful world of n+1.
Andre R, Andre T, Asep, Dhani, Irvan, Jason, Michael, Paddy, Syamsi & Tony