Lansing Bike Party ... What It's About
September 19, 2013
[bump from 6/8]
It's a Bike Party! We mostly organize it on Facebook, but not everyone is "on" that, so here's a regular web overview.
We're creating public/social space in Lansing! We go on fun group rides here'n'there around Lansing. You can suggest something! Announce a ride! (It's *your* scene and this is a home-base to use.) Mostly, we meet Fridays at MSU's Beaumont Tower at 5:30pm to ride our bikes a few miles east, west, north or south. (We depart at 5:45pm.)
What makes urban biking great is that in a few minutes of fresh air fun we can cross most of town and visit a few neighborhoods on the way. Three more huge bonuses: safety in numbers, learning, and new connections!
Our pace is moderate-yet-zesty (~12mph). We'll go somewhere for a TGIF refreshment after work, or to an art opening. Or both! It's a community ride of a few to a dozen, depending. Join in or peel off as it suits you. We do some themed and destination rides, like: tweed, croquet, and Halloween, and visits to such places as a bike museum and a custom carbon ebike workshop. We also tie in with community events and Fests. It's fun, scenic, diverse, sociable and refreshing. Indie and free. C'mon!
We stop to regroup as needed. But it is self-supported and freelance/voluntary. Riders should be fit (enough), have safe riding skills, have air in their tires and know the basics of their bike. Regular riders have plenty of mechanical skill to provide assistance if needed.
This scene grew as the "next phase" of our monthly Critical Mass. It's been happening for several years.
Why plan bike rides? Because when they happen they're fun! And they synergize. And the good ones we've had make us want more. The time seems right to see what the public wants.
Some see that by tying sociable bike rides in with city features and events we can uplift a city. We've seen this happen in other cities nationwide. Yet it doesn't happen by itself.
Our organizing, online efforts and other PR -- and word of mouth -- helps get the word out, not just for our ride's sake, but to uplift those who like fresh air and the idea of liveable cities but who don't know about Lansing's scene, or they just plain realize we're not there yet and they see that group rides fast-track the process.
The "Aftermass" documentary of Portland gives huge credit to their free-spirited Pub Crawl for general bike growth and city center renewal.
Did I say our rides are free? Yeah! ...In every sense! We group-up for the usual group reasons, but no other. No excess rules or worry. Ride what ya like. Find out what our group is like -- if it fits, join it! That is, we don't have a helmet rule, no waivers, no bosses. Sure, it's not chaos. In fact it works smoothly. Yeah, we have organizers who try to keep plans rolling out in bitesize chunks. (If you want to pitch in, let us know! ...By your actions firstly and foremostly, of course. This is a "Do" not a "Talk" scene.)
And it's all voluntary. If some ride or date doesn't work for you, use our resources -- our FB page -- to announce another that works better.
I suppose we do have standards. Etiquette. Sustainability. Inclusion. ...Yet folks do have other druthers and needs. If you want a "helmet rule" ride -- do it!
If you want a Kidical Mass Family Ride -- we have a FB page for that, too! And we'd hope you'd still tie-in to our Bike Party page. Sometimes families will easily mesh with our rides. Sometimes maybe they want to ride to a playground in the opposite direction. It all works! It's a Big Tent!