Top 10 Things to do When Planning a Bike Party

Photo by  Volker Neumann

Imagine 300 people biking through San Francisco with music, lights and costumes. That was my first San Francisco Bike Party and it totally changed my perspective on what a bike ride could be.

Since then I've planned many of my own group rides. I am currently in the process of designing the route for the SF Tweed Ride next weekend.

Here are 10 rules for designing a great group ride:

  1. Make safety the priority.
  2. Design for your audience. Imagine your least skilled rider and design the route around their needs. This will vary significantly by audience.
  3. Find great spots to stop at. I favor beautiful views and sunny parks.
  4. Plan a route that safely connects your spots. Avoid left turns and consider intersection safety, tracks, pavement conditions, lights with a short green phase, etc.
  5. Use Google Maps. It's a great way to plot the distance, elevation changes, and waypoints of your ride.
  6. Do the research. If your city publishes cycling injury data then take a look. Some intersections just aren't worth the risk.
  7. Don't go with the first version! Always test ride first. You will find problems.
  8. Be honest with yourself. Do you have concerns about a certain intersection or stretch of roadway? Change the route.
  9. Every time you change the route test it again. You will be surprised at how many times your assumptions are proven wrong on a test ride.
  10. Test your route the day before the ride. You never know what might be under construction today that wasn't during your last ride.

BONUS RULE: Have fun!