Riding bikes and playing games. They’re two much loved pastimes, but until now it wasn’t easy to enjoy both at the same time.

Coca-Cola has partnered with not-for-profit organisation the Bicycle Network to create a fun solution, an app called HappiCycle.

Available for download from Apple’s AppStore and Google Play for smartphones, HappiCycle includes two games that encourage teenagers to get on their bikes and turn their adventures into a game.

The first game, Just Ride, uses a smartphone’s GPS technology to track the rider through the neighbourhood.  By ticking off different distances, times and elevations, riders earn badges and build their status within the Happiness Cycle community.

Meanwhile, Block Rider also uses the GPS and Google Maps to divide Australia into 1km blocks, allowing teens to claim blocks as they ride. The more blocks they ride through, the more they can claim and the higher they climb through the community’s social ranks.

Bicycle Network’s General Manager for Behaviour Change, Tess Allaway, says the app is a great way to influence the next generation of cyclists. “We’re always looking for the next wave of bike riders, and for ways in which we can improve physical activity levels in our communities,” Tess said.

“The earlier we encourage people to make a change in their lives and increase their physical activities, the more likely they’ll form healthy habits that will carry on throughout their older years.”

Feedback sessions held with teenagers during the development phase showed just how quick they were to embrace the friendly rivalry on offer. The sessions were also important as they gave app developer Wunderman valuable ideas for overcoming early obstacles, such as limiting the amount of mobile data used by the app.

“Built and designed natively for both mobile and tablet platforms, the team pursued a streamlined aesthetic for The Happiness Cycle”. Says Shanan Goldring, Creative Director at Wunderman,

“We took learnings from other apps aimed at teens while referencing cycling culture, which has a tradition of cool retro design,” explains Wunderman’s Creative Director Shanan Goldring. “Each badge earned has a particular style and design that’s consistent with the purpose of the badge.”

To support the launch of the app, Coca-Cola and the Bicycle Network are also partnering with local community groups and holding riding events across Australia where teens can come along, learn bike safety tips and cool tricks to improve their riding skills. Better yet, every teen that attends earns a free bike.