Here is an interesting idea in the vein of bike pooling or group riding for the daily commute, especially now that it gets dark so early…safety in numbers.
The blog: on-your-left.tumblr.com says it’s time to get on the train…
All Aboard the Biketrain!
Want to keep bike commuting in fall and winter but aren’t sure about riding at night?
Do you bike commute on the Hudson River Greenway from midtown to (way) upper Manhattan or points in between?
Want company and safety in numbers on your ride uptown?
Join the Westside Manhattan Biketrain (suggestions for catchier names are welcome) from midtown to Inwood.
WHY A BIKETRAIN? To promote winter bike commuting, especially for newer, less experienced riders, benefiting from safety in numbers and growing enough participation so that no one need ride or exit the greenway alone on dark fall and winter nights.
WHEN? We begin Thursday, November 3. Tuesdays & Thursdays only for now.
Westbound to Hudson River Greenway will leave NE corner of 55th St. at 7th Ave. at 5:15pm
Exits at end of Greenway at Riverside/Dyckman in Inwood, then up Seaman Ave to 215th St.
Iâ€™ll add days, locations, and adjust times if interest demands â€” if the initial times or starting points & greenway exits don’t work for now but you’re interested, let me know and include best times/locations for you. Iâ€™ll be in touch once Iâ€™ve heard from others who need similar locations & times. Let me know if you are interested in a morning biketrain, too.
We leave on time and ride safe.
SOUNDS GREAT! HOW DO I JOIN THE BIKETRAIN?
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Write a note that includes the following:
The DEPARTURE location you’ll meet (so far, just the one) at AND confirm that you know the time we leave.
Your DESTINATION, i.e., where you need to exit the greenway and the closest intersection to your final destination. This will help us connect folks who are going in the same general direction once they head off the greenway.
A CELL AND/OR OTHER # to reach you should we unexpectedly need to change times or cancel.
WRITE a few words telling me how long you’ve been riding, how comfortable or experienced you are riding at night, if you’d be willing to coordinate a biketrain stop near your office, or from your residence in the mornings, etc. Also tell me if you’re interested but current times/locations don’t work for, and which ones would.
I’ll respond with a confirmation and answer any questions not answered here, but please read on first!
You ride at your own risk.
An important goal of the biketrain to allow less experienced cyclists to gain experience and confidence and provide safety in numbers riding at night during the darker fall and winter months. That means it needs to be accessible to newer and possibly slower riders. If you’re speedy be prepared for a more leisurely pace: we probably wonâ€™t exceed 10 to 12 mph for most of the ride. If we have enough participation, we can always break into faster and slower packs.
Helmets are strongly encouraged. Bells and front and rear lights are required by law.
Always worth repeating: You ride at your own risk.
RESOURCES FOR WINTER COMMUTING
Bike New York just launched a Winter Commuting 101 course. And they have great advice on night riding and safe cycling that’s always worth reviewing if you’ve been off your bike for a while or aren’t accustomed to riding at night.