Looking for Ideas to Build the Biking Community: What would you do?
I’m trying to come up with some engaging ways that people can volunteer for Bike Pittsburgh to help build the biking community in Pittsburgh.
So far I’m getting a lot of responses to our barter membership program and I want to have plenty of ways that people can volunteer their time and skills.
Some things I was thinking:
writing letters to the editor (together!), making Bike Pittsburgh buttons, maybe knitting some little covers to go over bike racks, creating some biking “news” stories and traffic reports to upload to our Bike Pittsburgh youtube channel, …
I’m wondering what you, dedicated message board users, would like to do if you were trying to fulfill 10 hours of volunteering to become a member?
I’m a cook, so something with food. I’ll be living right near where all the action happens soon, so it wouldn’t be too hard for me to cook stuff and transport it, depending on where/how many people I’m feeding.
So, for example, it you were having a button-making night, I would bring little snacks for everyone (veg friendly if needed!) and we could make buttons while eating.
I think there should be Bike-fest style theme rides all year long, with points for organizing and leading them. It’s about riding, right?
Organizing a ride or leading a ride are two ways to earn credit for the barter membership.
Two people have already done that.
Member-led workshops or demos that don’t overlap too much with free ride…
-DIY Bike Panniers
-An evening where newbies can show up and get feedback on nighttime visibility
-Presentations to the bus driving unions (how to share the road with cyclists) and/or to some of the people who teach others how to drive. Private driving schools & high school driving instructors.
[edit: these are just ideas…they’d need to be led by more experienced riders than me…]
Sitting in one of PennDOT’s driver license centers for an hour this morning, watching as several 16-17yo took their driving tests or signed up to get permits, I thought it would be great to have a little video kiosk set up off to one side, probably with headphones, where all these newly minted drivers can get some tutelage on how to deal with cyclists. I’d bet most of them haven’t been on a bike since they turned 11, and at least out in the suburbs, won’t know how to handle cyclists in traffic unless someone tells them, and where better than a PennDOT office. Oh right, a driver’s ed class, but not every school district has them, and not every kid takes the class. But if we could come up with some fairly brief (30- to 90-second) videos describing what to expect, how to pass, etc., that would go over very well, methinks.
Not sure this is on topic, but I think it is close. I have been thinking about this since I read about the all the busses getting bike racks. (something I am very excited about since as much as I enjoy riding with everyone there is no way im riding from oakland or pittsburgh to Penn hills at night after the rides (my choice for the ride home is bad neighborhoods or ARB in the dark.)
but I would say to all you people who ride your bike everywhere, stop doing that and throw your bike on a bus rack at least once in a while. I would like to think that doing that would really raise the awareness of the drivers. seeing more people using the racks will help get it in their heads that we are out there.
like i said just thinking off the top of my head.
creating, and then implementing, a student rider/driver education program for area elementary, middle, and high schools. help get the word out to kids how to be save on a bike and around bikes.
Add-on to ejwme’s idea – educate PARENTS on how they can ride with their kids safely – on and off trails. Further, I think any programming or events that opened the door to newbies is going to help build the community – a lot of what happens on the boards is preaching to the choir. We gotta get more people into the church!
(As far as volunteer ideas, im still thinking on that…)
Adding again to that idea – If anyone is involved with a PTA at any school, or works at a school, maybe organize age appropriate group rides with students and other parents or faculty members, giving kids hands-on education on how to ride with traffic.
Back in late September I was riding west on the south side of the river trail and overtook a large group of HS aged riders. When I inquired, the girl I asked said they were from North Allegheny HS and half the group were German students visiting. They stopped at their bus at the trail end.
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