Face Time

Bike commuting in the suburban hinterlands can be somewhat of a solitary affair. It’s probably hard to comprehend for riders in cities with high bike shares like Portland, Davis, and Boulder, but bike commuters in outlying areas can sometimes feel isolated in a sea of automobiles. These solo commuters aren’t typically members of a bicycling community such as those found in bike-dense urban areas, and they don’t enjoy the benefits of the moral and physical support offered by such communities.

Besides being an opportunity to get out-of-doors, enjoy the day, and have a little fun dressing up, recreational rides like Sacramento’s recent tweed ride provide an opportunity for these lone wolf bicyclists to meet up with like-minded riders. I was amazed by the number of dedicated bike commuters, bike advocates, and fellow bike bloggers we met at yesterday’s event, many of whom would not normally be together in one place to meet up, share ideas, and encourage one another. I think this kind of face time is critically important, and these rides provide a perfect venue for these activities. I can’t imagine another type of ride that would attract such an eclectic mix of riders who share the common goal of promoting transportational bicycling. So, if you’re a solo bike commuter and there’s a tweed ride coming up in your area, keep in mind that it’s not just about having fun (though you most certainly will have a blast), but know that you’ll also have an opportunity to meet other dedicated transpo bicyclists who share your interests and goals.

9 Responses to “Face Time”

  • Fritz says:

    Alan, Sacto barely edges out SF in bike share according to the latest Census community survey for 2008 (released last summer). Sacto is 4th among large cities; with both SF & Sacto at around 2.7%, and Sacto has grown much faster than SF for the period 2000 to 2008.

  • Alan says:

    Hi Fritz,

    Thanks for the info. Sac is indeed putting up some good numbers.

    I was pleased to meet a number of suburban commuters yesterday, bicyclists who are probably not counted in the above statistics and who generally fly under the radar in the discussions about urban bike commuting and culture. It’s these folks I was thinking about when I wrote the OP.


  • Andy E says:

    Now we just need a handbuilt bike show here!

  • Sacramento Tweed Ride says:

    […] the day outside, meeting up with like-minded riders, bloggers and twitter friends was a fantastic birthday […]

  • Fritz says:

    @AndyE – There are a number of Norcal bike builders and Sacto sounds like a pretty reasonable place to hold a show like that!

  • Tammy says:

    Great post! It was a pleasure meeting both of you on the ride! I hope we can connect soon.

    You took some great pic’s too. :)

  • Alan says:


    Ditto, ditto, ditto. :-)

    Let’s get in touch, soon.

    All the best-

  • Scott Wayland says:

    Holy cats, did you describe me, or what? Lone wolf? Yup. I’m the ONLY bloke who rides to the bus that I use to connect with work. Many of the other bus riders are young college students who could easily manage the same, but I’m by myself, rolling up to the bus stop. I socialize there, and the ride to the stop is short, but otherwise, I’m on my own. And on the days I due the uber commute 48 miles to work, I am truly a lone cyclist, hardly seeing any cars let alone cyclists on the remote roads I travel. Twice, however, I’ve run into touring cyclists on some long outing, which was a treat, but mostly it’s just me cranking away out on the lonesome wide open. That’s okay. I’m a romantic dreamer and often revel in the solitude. Still, it would be kick to see more people out there. I can only hope I set a good example, especially for my students less than half my age–the slackers! :)



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