How Quaint – I Guess There Was A Time When Cyclists Actually Cared…

Source: San Jose Bike Party (2009)

How We Ride!

Written on January 7, 2009 at 1:11 PM by 

If you follow these eight rules, Bike Party will be safe and a positive place for riders, drivers, pedestrians, and the community

  1. Stay in the Right Lane NEVER ride the sidewalk. NEVER ride against oncoming traffic.
  2. Leave Nothing Behind
  3. Stop at Red Lights.
  4. Ride Straight, Ride Predictability.
  5. Roll Past Conflict.
  6. Leave No One Behind.
  7. Ride Sober! It’s illegal and dangerous to ride a bicycle inebriated.
  8. Communicate to Fellow Riders! (We need your help to remind those who aren’t following the rules!)

Remember, you are responsible for your own behavior. All participants ride at their own risk.

Stay in the Right Lane

When possible, routes take place down 4-6 lane streets. This allows for the use of one entire lane while allowing for cars to continue using the left lane to pass. This also means avoiding the right hand turn lane, parking areas, and the sidewalk.

Image borrowed from the Midnight Ridazz

Image borrowed from the Midnight Ridazz

With such a large group, we do not want to tie up traffic for hours. Let cars pass in the left lane.

In case you weren’t aware, the sidewalk is one of the most dangerous places to ride your bicycle and riding against traffic is STUPID. We don’t want to see you get killed. Please remind your friends who may not realize they are risking their lives to get on the right side of the road.

Leave Nothing Behind

There is nothing that will get San Jose more upset than a trail of trash following our rides. Please make sure you throw away your trash at all points and remind your fellow riders that it is NOT OK to litter.

Stop at Red Lights

Originally San Jose Bike Party stayed mute on the idea of red lights. However, after careful consideration, we decided it is important to stop at red lights because:

It Protects the Ride!

The number one complaint from the community against Bike Party is that we often run red lights. Don’t give the city, angry residents, or anyone a reason to try to shut the ride down.

It Avoids Tickets and Avoids Wrecks!

We don’t want anyone to get hit by a car or have to pay a $300 ticket for running a red light. Be safe and save your money by stopping.

It Models Bicycle Community!

As bicycle riders, we need drivers to respect our rights to share the road. However, in order to get respect, we must also give respect. As such a large visible group, we need to show drivers and fellow riders how to share the road by stopping at red lights.

See how beautiful stopping can be?

See how beautiful stopping can be?

It Gives More Time to Party!

While stopping at a light, say hello to your neighbors, make a friend, and dance on the street! There is no reason to be in such a rush when it just means more time to party!

Of course, if the police are blocking the intersection for us, follow their directions.

Ride Straight, Ride Predictably

When bicyclists are all around you, it is important to ride straight and ride predictably. Don’t weave, don’t make sudden turns, and don’t make sudden stops. If you do need to get out of the group, use your hand gestures, move slowly, announce it, and move to the right.

Roll Past Conflict

If you see an angry driver or pedestrian, roll past it. Don’t engage in shouting matches or violent people. Just enjoy your ride. If you see a fellow cyclist stopped in anger, remind them to “Roll Past Conflict.”

Ride Sober

It is illegal to drink and ride a bicycle. The law applies just like a DUI. In addition,many riders who are drinking cause bicycle accidents. They harm fellow riders and themselves. Not all parties need alcohol to be fun! Ride sober. Know your limit.

Leave No One Behind

When we first started the ride, we would stop everyone for a single flat tire or problem. However, with over 100 riders it is impossible to stop for everyone.

If you see a fellow rider with a flat, with a mechanical failure, with a problem please stop and help them. Have buddies on the ride, make a friend, get a cell phone number. Part of the purpose of San Jose Bike Party is to make friends. There is no better way to meet a new person than to help someone in need.

Also, be prepared when you come to Bike Party. Make sure your tires are pumped, your bike can shift gears, and brakes are working before you come to a ride.

While at the ride, make sure you or a friend has a flat kit and basic tools for emergency maintenance.

Communicating with Fellow Riders and Enforcing the rules

The handful of volunteers that organize the rides cannot be the only ones who enforce the rules. It is impossible. We need EVERYONE to speak up!

No one wants to be an authority figure but the only way to keep this ride going and safe is to be vocal about the rules of the road. A simple “Stay to the right” is often enough to remind a rider that he or she is slipping. If you see a knucklehead throwing a bottle or littering simply boo that person. It’s called community shaming. When everyone participates, it really works.

San Jose Bike Party was inspired by the Midnight Ridazz of LA, among many other amazing rides. Many of the rules of the road were lifted from the Midnight Ridazz website. Thank you.

As a large group we have to talk to each other to stay safe!