Hey all you happy people! We aren't far away from putting together our annual social ride calendar! Generally we try and nail things down around the end of January or beginning of February so that we can have it all published and shared around the interwebz throughout the year. Here's how things usually work:
- We usually do a planning "meeting" at a pub; show up and hang out even if you don't have anything for the calendar. It's fun to see how things are planned, talk about what worked or didn't work the year before, etc. We'll post it up here when we have a date.
- Our goal is to avoid overlaps in our schedule; that way we aren't "competing" for everyone's attention.
- There are a few rides that have fixed dates; for instance the Summer Solstice ride happens on the Saturday closest to Summer Solstice
- First choice of dates is given to rides that had that weekend scheduled in previous years - if you had an event on the 3rd Saturday of August in 2016, you get 'right of refusal' to that date first before we'll put something else on the schedule
- We absolutely encourage new folks to come out and join us! Have an idea for a ride? Even better! Just want to meet some folks and enjoy a brewski or two? That's great too!
Generally we're looking for social rides primarily within the Greater Vancouver area. I'm happy to publish anything bike related in our calendar though our promotional efforts will primarily go towards social rides which are accessible by SkyTrain.
You can find past events on our calendar here:
So say you want to put a ride on our calendar... You might be wondering "What does that mean? What am I supposed to do? What are my obligations?" Good questions! Essentially:
- Route planning: Think about where you want to ride in detail. Riding with a big group is much different than riding solo - in particular planning how you will cross major streets is important. Choose bike routes wherever possible - they usually have lights to cross busy streets. You can turn on the 'Bicycling' layer on Google Maps to help you out; this link should take you to a map with it turned on already: Google Maps Bicycling Layer. If you want some help feel free to Contact Us and we'll be glad to give some input.
- Stops: As soon as you have a dozen or so people you'll start finding your group gets spread out. Folks who ride daily tend to be much, much faster than folks who come out once in a while. While it's reasonably easy to regroup say before crossing major streets it's quite nice to have a few scenic stops along the way. Places like parks close to bike routes are awesome. Take a moment to think about the space though - a kid's playground isn't really the best place for 20+ adults who plan on cracking a beer. Likewise that baseball diamond you saw with the bleachers? Guess what? On a summer Saturday it's gonna be in use! There's lots and lots of park space around the city that works just perfectly as long as you keep those simple things in mind.
- How Many Stops: Typically a big group social ride will get about 20-40 minutes of riding between stops depending on the size of the group - obviously you can plan a more ambitious ride than that but make sure folks know in advance. Costume rides usually don't work out too well if you're expecting people to ride for 60+ minutes at a time. I've rarely seen a ride hold together for more than 4-5 stops unless it's something like a roving dance party, too many planned stops doesn't work out so well either.
- Promotion: We're here to help! Ultimately we do expect you to do your bit too; invite your friends for instance. If you have the skills to put together a poster or some graphics that'll help hugely. The more you do the better your event will turn out! Active on social media? Post it up!
- Show Up: Seems strange that I'd need to post this, but SHOW UP for your ride! If you can't then Let Us Know and we'll do our best to spread the word.
Still with us? Not scared off yet? Looking for some ideas? Here's a few orphan rides who no longer have organizers!
- Moustache Ride (everyone has to have a moustache!)
- Superhero Ride (dress up as your favourite superhero!)
- Klunker Ride (bring out your early mountain bike!)