Here are some basic guidelines for the types of rides and walks I lead. If some of these points seem obvious to you, I have been asked about all these things at least once, so I feel it’s best to lay it all out.
- Most of my rides require registration via Eventbrite. Registration is generally free, but in the case of a ride like the Pizza Ride, there will be a charge collected at time of registration which goes towards the food. I decided to go this route, for several reasons:
- It keeps the rides small. I cap ridership to about two to three dozen participants. It’s hard to talk when the ride is bigger and keeps the feeling more intimate. There’s a time and a place for big party rides, but that’s not what I typically do.
- It means I know who’s coming. After leading rides for almost twenty years and putting a lot of work into them, it’s disheartening to have no one, or just one person show up.
- I can easily communicate with riders if something comes up, like a cancellation/rescheduling, or the start time and location has changed.
- My rides are low-key, casual affairs. They’re not about “let’s ride 30 miles in 2 hours at a fast pace”. My rides mostly fall into the 3-20 mile range at a slower pace. Spandex not required. We don’t leave people behind.
- Since some of my rides are about history, geography, or other interesting tidbits, there are lots of stops. Keep this in mind if you are an anxious rider and need to always be pedaling. Also keep this in mind if you have young children, because it has happened in the past that some kids get too bored and cranky with all the stops.
- Rides are built around the idea of a modest amount of self-sufficiency. This means at the minimum you need to carry your own stuff. There is no SAG wagon, no support. Carry it in a backpack, courier bag, rack, pannier, trailer, basket, whatever. But you’ll be the one who has to carry it. Bringing the basic stuff to fix a flat is always a good idea. But don’t feel like you can’t come if you don’t have the tools or know-how. There will most likely be someone to help you out, and if the problem is not field-serviceable, you should be able to hop on transit.
- Some of my rides end in the twilight hour or after dark. So it’s always a good idea to bring your lights with you.
- Bringing a lock is never a bad idea, in case we need to go inside a store, or end at a restaurant.
- And bringing water is also a good idea, especially during the warmer months.
- I design it so that most of my rides start in the central city, close to a bicycle route, and quite often near a MAX station. I strongly encourage people to get to the start point via bicycle or transit. I DO NOT take into consideration parking or driving needs unless the ride is outside the city, so keep that in mind.
- Pretty much all of my rides are not loops, so we don’t end up back or even near where we started. If you do need to get back to the start point, I will give you guidance and directions as long as you let me know.
- And most importantly, I keep my route a secret. For the most part I won’t be telling you what the next stop is. If you need to be somewhere at a specific time, please ask and I’ll do my best to accommodate. And I will help you if you need directions home, back to the start point, etc. And if you need a bathroom break, let me know! But I don’t share maps and cue sheets, nor will I tell you where the next stop is. I know this can make some people feel anxious, but I ask that you give my style of ride a try!
The walks generally have a good mix of walking conditions: sidewalk, street, grass, dirt, mud, and the occasional stairway. Bear this in mind. Good walking shoes is a must. Something waterproof is recommended for the rainier months, since we can expect to see some mud.
Bringing water is a good idea, since we may not see many water fountains (if any) along the route. A snack is recommended as well, though I always try to find a good place for refreshment along the route.
Dress for the weather. Rain is a possibility in the winter, so a rainjacket is a good idea. And remember it can get a little cold out there. Once we’re moving, it’s fine. But when we stop, you can get cold–fast!
Updated 9 March 2022