Friday, August 22, 2008

Boston Bike Friday Again

Today was the 2nd Bike Friday thing. Again, I started in Lexington and rode into Boston with the group. Last time was lots of fun, but definitely room for improvement. And I have to admit, that just about everything I suggested to the organizers was improved upon this time!

Here are my suggestions from last time, and the improvements:
  • Get escorts who know the route and the area: Same police escorts as last time, so, while they still aren't local area experts, they clearly learned a lot last time
  • Plan a better route thru Harvard Square: Or avoid it entirely! Which is what we did this time. We followed my usual commuting route over the bridge from Somerville Ave to Beacon Street
  • Have a plan for keeping the group together: The escorts were much better at stopping traffic at lights and making sure everyone was going in the right direction
  • Train escorts in leading rides: I think there was some coaching there, without a doubt. They also got many more ride leaders, many of whom are very experienced in this sort of thing (though they clearly came from a bit of a activist/advocacy perspective, telling riders to "take the lane" - the police escorts were more concerned with keeping us all to the side and keeping traffic moving). The policemen were also very explicit about each rider's responsibility to shout out obstacles and that sort of thing.
  • Publicize the ride better: Perhaps the least improvement here. There was a nice piece in the Globe last night, but that's a bit late to really get the word out for most newbies. It seemed like most riders were regular commuters, like last time. The Globe article was pretty good, though, and I'm in the picture that came with it!
  • Communicate the ride better in advance: Again little improvement here. The emails were still a little convoluted, though the Google map with start times made more sense this time.

The festa at the end also seemed livelier than last time, with more interesting bikey stuff to see. Had a nice bagel, and got a free T-shirt.

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