Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on October 3rd, 2006 at 7:41 am
Everyone knows about carpooling, but what about a bikepool?
Transportation activist and BikePortland.org contributor Elly Blue thought it would be fun to start one, so for the last three Monday mornings she has invited folks to join her on her morning commute from Southeast Portland into downtown.
Elly says she thought it would be fun to try out carpooling by bike, “as a way to break up the monotony of going downtown, meet people, and reach out to new cyclists.”
In a recent message to the Shift email list, she recapped the first three weeks:
Week one: Three people showed up in the pouring rain. Myself, someone who rode to meet us before riding with us back to his house where he works, and one actual nine to fiver going to work. No new faces but a fun rainy ride.
Week two: Three people again. The nine-to-fiver again and myself had a nice cup of coffee. Just as we were about to leave, a woman came up and asked if we were with the bike group. She wasn’t actually going to work, either, but wanted to meet experienced cyclists. She had lived in Portland for a week and had never biked in a city before. We hooked her up with maps and gave her all sorts of conflicting advice. (We gave her contact info for the Bike Buddy program — hope she got in touch with you!)
Week three: Five of us zoomed down the hill together. Two were actually commuting to work. The other three of us headed to do some thrift shopping. There were two new people — the regular commuter is already pretty bikey but not yet on the Shift list; the other shopper had also just moved here and wanted to meet other bikey folks.
In summary: it’s fun to have a weekly morning ride, and we’ve been pretty successful so far with reaching out to new folks — two in three weeks. The same thing might go over pretty well in other parts of Portland, and for other commutes.
Elly also has some advice on how to start a bikepool near you:
This is super easy to organize, consisting of one email and one (very rudimentary, hand-scribbled) sign. The two brand new bikers who showed up both did because of the sign in the coffeeshop; everyone else heard via the Shift list. Maybe I’ll post on Craigslist too next week (and based on responses off-list, I’ll keep up Shift list reminders for another week or two).
This all sounds great to me…and riding with a group keeps you much warmer and more visible than riding alone. So, when do we get a special bikepool diamond lane?