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.