Here’s a table to help you understand what will be different about riding with Boston Bike Party in Summer Mode:
|In Boston Bike Party “Summer Mode”||In Past Bike Parties|
|There may not be an after-party venue.Our three outdoor party stops ARE the party. Summer mode is Bring-Your-Own-Boogie! Leave no trash behind and ride sober!||Our route had one party stop and ended at an after-party venue, usually a local bar.|
|Volunteers will NOT hold/block any car traffic and will stand on the sidewalk to direct you which way the bike party route is.||Volunteer Safety Marshals stood in the intersection and held car traffic at intersections so bike party could roll through altogether.|
|You will STOP at ALL RED LIGHTS and STOP SIGNS, and wait for the signals to change before riding.||Bike Party riders could ride through intersections even when the lights changed because volunteers held car traffic for the ride|
|You will ride straight until our Volunteer Turn Marshals direct you to turn. Look for our volunteers waving bike lights or glow-sticks on the sidewalk at every turn on the route. This way, even if you get separated from the main group, you will never get lost if you follow the turn marshals’ directions.||You rode with the bike party group and stuck together through intersections as volunteers held traffic.|
|Bike Party will feel spread out a lot thinner into many smaller groups of bike partiers with gaps between them, but that’s okay, because our marshals will be directing you where to go at every turn, and you’ll regroup with your friends at party stops.||Bike Party stuck together as a group, like one giant snake winding through the city streets.|
Some Frequently Asked Questions about Summer Mode:
What is Summer Mode? Summer mode is a more laid back way to enjoy biking in the city on these hot summer nights. We stop at red lights and we stay behind cars at red lights (aka: please no filtering between cars) so that cars have a way out instead of getting trapped by our swarm. Nobody likes to feel trapped, and the same is true for drivers…tempers rise and altercations can occur when people feel trapped… so let’s just avoid it by offering car drivers a way out.
Why Summer Mode, what’s wrong with corking? It’s mostly for the safety of our volunteer team. When Bike Party was smaller, the group could make it through an intersection in just one or two changes of the light… sure car drivers were mildly annoyed (and we were ok with that) but when we get 400+ riders, it can take 5,6,7 or more changes of the light, and drivers sometimes get road rage, and our volunteer intersection marshals would take the brunt of that anger. We had more than a few occasions where things got scary. Road Rage is the opposite of fun.
Now riding in Summer Mode, volunteers still might hold traffic briefly to let a large group of riders cross a particular intersection. Then, using their sound judgment, these volunteers will direct the rest of the bike partiers to wait momentarily to let cars go by. Please follow directions from volunteers to maximize Fun and Safety!
Note: If we come upon police officers, follow their directions. If they motion us to continue through a red light, it’s ok to go ahead! Be sure to say thanks, smile, and give them a “Bike Partaaaaay!” holla.
But I might get lost! You won’t! We’ll have a volunteer at all the turns! So just keep riding straight until you see a turn marshal telling you when to turn. We also have a dedicated sweep rider to keep the stragglers from getting dropped. The Sweep Rider will be carrying a broom. So just kick back and enjoy the ride without worrying about getting left behind.
Ride the wave! Stopping at red lights means that we’ll get divvied up into manageable “waves”. The average wave should be about 50-100 people, so it’ll still be a party! For maximum fun, find a music trailer, and stick with that wave!
What if my bike breaks down? We’ll make sure you don’t get lost, but we can’t stay long enough to fix your bike if you have a problem. You’ll have to support yourself in the event of a bike meltdown. But don’t worry, we never ride too far away from public transit, taxi cabs, uber, or a quick call to your mom if your bike falls apart. As always we encourage you to bring the stuff you need to fix a flat tire and do the ABC Quick Check before you ride.
And NOW, a graphical representation of how to enjoy Summer Mode!
Special thanks to Baltimore Bike Party for letting us borrow their graphics and stuff.
Staying behind cars waiting at intersections will allow them to stay out of our group. It’s not Boston Bikes & Cars Party, we want our group to be exclusive to us awesome bike riders.
Do not filter through the cars. This is a dangerous move in a group. Sure you might be able to cut in front of the car(s) but the 80 people behind you might not be able to. This runs the risk of having someone stuck next to a car in their blind spot when the light changes, and even more so splits up your wave of riders with cars in the middle! Just stick behind the traffic and stay together.
Even if you come up next to one vehicle on a multi-lane street, it’s best to stay behind the front of that car. You don’t know when they may accelerate or want to make a turn.
Don’t crowd around cars, blocking them in. Let the car have the ability to pull out in front of your group and not be trapped in the middle of the party.
Ride ONLY in lanes of traffic going your direction. If there is traffic going both directions, especially on streets with only 1 lane each way, it is EXTREMELY important to stay in OUR lane. Riding against traffic is one of the most dangerous things you can do. It may look like no car is coming at the moment, but someone could turn into that lane at any moment without seeing you. Just don’t do it, let’s stay in our own lanes and stay safe!
Stay off the sidewalks. They are for pedestrians, little old ladies, and kiddos playing hopscotch. There is no need for us to risk barreling over any of them. Even if the sidewalk looks nice and wide, we have enough numbers where it’s safe to be in the street, let’s leave the sidewalks for others.