Flock of Cycles – modus operandi
I was checking out the site of the San Francisco Bike Party ( http://sfbikeparty.wordpress.com/ ), which has a mission similar to Flock, and I found a couple of interesting things (boy I hope Lolly is getting in on this and reports back).
They have had to address the problem of a large group separating due to widely varying abilities, and they are handling it a couple of different ways.
“During our rides we try to maintain a leisurely cruising speed. Routes are designed for a wide range of riders to keep pace. Though, with hundreds of riders on different types of bikes, some will find hills more challenging, or have flats and mechanical troubles. Therefore, after comments and suggestions from our participants, we have decided to modify the How We Ride.
We are replacing the “Leave No One Behind” mantra with “Ride Prepared…”
Also they establish and publish a route the week before. And they have a couple of “Party Stops” to rest and regroup, could be gallery openings, parks, or other interesting events.
Just some thoughts that may or may not be applicable to Flock.
I hope the other people dont think Im a jack ass for riding ahead. Truth be told I had to pee starting about an hour in and that Pepsi sure didnt help things, so I was ready to book it home once we got on the jail trail haha
I like the “Party Stops” bit, and posting the ride… If there are only 24 Flocks a year (midnight and regular), maybe we could come up with 24 mostly unique routes. But I know Nick has his thing, and it works pretty darn well.
(There is 36 Flocks a year.)
Flock is working hard to provide better and more varied rides, while making them safe, welcoming, and positive for all road users affected. Starting in May, there will be some changes to the rides to improve them. However, to make all of this happen, we need more help.
The biggest issue that Flock has is that everyone enjoys the rides, and many will criticize them, but there are few people who will step up help.
The other issue (though some refuse to acknowledge it) is when you organize a ride, you take on a lot of liability (legal and social).
As for routes, the biggest thing making many of the party-style rides repetitive is the terrain of this city. The rides are designed to be beginner-friendly, and by the nature of such, some people will out grow them.
Nick – what I meant was more a “don’t have to fix what’s so clearly not broken” rather than agreeing change was needed. Change is always an option, it just sometimes is a better idea than others. For All Things Cycling in this city that might benefit change, I’d keep Flock squarely out of the “change is necessary” category. You are doing awesome things with it.
But what’s this about volunteers needed? I’ve organized precisely two rides, one with another person (it was awesome), one on my own (I think it was overambitious, but people were gratious). I’d help more if I were more confident that I could do a better job – is there a site somewhere or set of guidelines on how to properly organize a ride? What other kinds of help do you need?
Nick, by posting this I didn’t mean to imply that there was anything about the way that Flock is done that needs to be changed, I hope the core bunch that organizes it didn’t take it that way.
It was just an observation about another similarly run event, and how they deal with inevitable problems. I know from previous rides that it is difficult to keep the ride manageable with people of widely varying abilities, traffic lights, etc., and with the riding season coming up, Flock will hopefully increase in size. Maybe there are ways other people have come up with to deal with the difficulties.
I’ve been out of the loop as of late as it comes to the group rides around town. The winter weather basically kept me away. If FOC is still the second Friday of each month, is there still the midnight ride on the fourth/last Friday? What about the original Critical Mass on the third Friday, does that even still exist?
Being out of the loop I just wanted some clarification on the dates and times of the regularly scheduled group rides.
I think you got all the dates wrong, sorry.
First Friday – Midnight Flock (11:59pm)
Second Friday – Flock all Night (10:00pm)
(sometimes there is an extra friday here… like this month)
Friday before the last Friday – Flock of Cycles party ride (6:00pm)
Last Friday – One of those other rides you mentioned. It might still happen but it has nothing to do with Flock.
There is a ride this friday, I just checked the facebook page and didnt see anything. I could really use a ride to cheer me up.
dback – don’t forget the ride to the ride standing offer. It’d make me better able/committed to go, and I’m totally up for it!
Havent forgotten, a friday ride would most likely mean riding to work then heading to oakland afterwards. and a strong chance of me heading to brentwood afterwards.
No Tax Flock? Flock of Taxes? Tock of Flaxes?
*sits on hands, patiently awaiting APRIL22, and the enhanced ability to read calendars*
I’d like to remind everyone that there isn’t a rule against organizing your own bicycle ride!
Hmmm…Death and Taxes would be a fun ride. Tour some of the city cemeteries and badmouth the IRS.
If I didn’t have family in town this weekend, I’d put that together for Friday.
I want to clarify that I am not offended by anything said previously (upon re-reading my last post, I can see how it could have seemed that way).
What I meant to say is, Flock was formed as an organization to better what it was doing already, while adding new projects as well. In order to do that, there had to be a few people willing to put their name on everything. Those people were picked based on who had shown previous initiative to help.
By no means what so ever does Flock have the intention to be run solely by myself, or anyone else. I often take the reigns for things because no one else does. Though, the goal is to get people involved.
As for organizing rides, I encourage everyone to do so if they feel inclined.
I can understand how organizing things like a ride can be daunting, and if you don’t feel like you are comfortable doing so, you are welcome to talk to me.
Once I can figure out how to do so (or get Rob to do it), we are going to have a form for Flockers to sign up to volunteers their skills and knowledge. That way, when something comes up it will be easy to match a task with a Flocker.
forget the tax ride. RAMONES ride.
friday will mark ten years since joey ramone’s passing.
i want to organize a ride to celebrate the man and the music. could i borrow a stereo system from one of you loud ones?
i’m serious though.
ramones blasting on the sound system.
i’m doing it anyway even if yall don’t join me.
@noah leather jackets.
ramones blasting on the sound system
That’s me on a normal ride.
Noah, if you do sort out a ride, please post. I have no leather jacket. I have jeans. I have no chucks. And I can sing along off key. The Ramones bring back fond memories of yearning for the first world, and trying to explain the lyrics to people who didn’t speak english. Euphemisms are tricky to translate.
A) I can totally see us riding around Pgh yelling “Lo-bot-o-my! DDT did a job on me!”
I can totally see ejwme explaining the above to Malians. She and she alone would have the awesomeness to be able to pull off that feat.
C) Soooo, like, when are we riding? Lobotomy And Taxes Ride 2011! Who’s in?
Yes Noah! I am for it. I have chucks andI have lots of pins to look punk rawk but no leather jacket.
i don’t have chucks actually. or a leather jacket. um.
I no longer have the leather jacket I wore to a Ramones show. I gave it to my nephew and his mama tossed it out.
thanks Stu. I’d have a story to replace my “why white chicks shave their legs” story.
Seriously, Noah, you leading a Ramones Memorial Ride on tax day?
Okay, hold on, isn’t tax day Monday now?
I think I’d like to do this ride Friday…
I though tax day was April 15th, unless it was a weekend then moved to the next business day. But my tax guy mumbled something about “over the weekend”. So I have no idea Noah. I was thinking Friday.
You really holding it? Where starting? When? estimated length? Weather is supposed to improve
Tax day got bumped to the 18th because the 16th is Emancipation Day (a DC holiday, I believe), but they observe it on the 15th. No tax day allowed on holidays = next business day = 18th.
Meaning, I’m getting my taxes done 5 days before the deadline instead of 3!
Thanks Kayla, that was confusing…
But the 18th is the start of Passover. So it should be the 19th. But that’s Passover. So the 20th. But that’s Ash Wednesday, so the 21st. But that’s…
I always wondered why I get 10 holidays, but the people paid by my taxes get at least twice that. I don’t begrudge them the holidays, I just want them too
wait, no? ash wednesday was quite back in march. march 9th.
FWIW, the state and city also accept annual returns on April 18th as timely filed this year, but I think not everything is pushed back. From what I can tell, PA-40ES estimated payments are still due on April 15th (if you’re required to make them). There might be others.
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