BAM is “bringázz a munkába” which translates to “go to work by bicycle”. It is a joint project of the Hungarian Cyclists’ Club and the Ministry of National Development. Every spring and autumn – this time between 4 April and 8 May – people who ride a bike to work at least eight times are eligible to win prizes.
People can log their journeys on the website, join up with their colleagues to form company teams and compete with each other. Cyclists can indicate if there was rain on a particular day or if they got a flat tire.
Admirable the initiative may be the website itself is barely passable. The menu system and site structure is convoluted and unintuitive, the whole thing looks a decade old. The social aspect is severely lacking, for example I can’t check on my own teammates or find out how much they ride every day. There isn’t any option to invite people either, or at least I haven’t found one. Social media integration is limited to a Facebook app but its functionality stops at offering bragging rights for distance traveled. It’s ugly as hell and I couldn’t make it work either.
A shame really, because there are so many great possibilities here, as the Chromaroma project proved. If anything, riding the bicycle to work makes a perfect candidate for gamification. The whole project has been running since 2007, it’s high time to make it more enticing. Prizes are great but there could be an achievement system with award badges. Foursquare integration also comes to mind where routes are calculated from start and endpoint check-ins. People with smartphones could opt to use GPS apps to track their journeys. Monetization would be possible via targeted cycling accessory offers, etc.
Anyway, so far this month I traveled 128 km by bike which burnt 2580 calories (so little, compared to running). If I’d had a car I wouldn’t have needed to buy 10 Euro worth of gas and would have prevented 24 kg of CO2 from getting into the air.