This month marked a huge turn for Bike Party. While our decision may not have been popular for some, something had to be done. For months now, we’ve been trying to figure out the best way to reconcile the overwhelming concerns of riders and community members alike.
Dangerous and illegal activity are in direct conflict with Bike Party’s mission – to build community through bicycling. Legitimate concern about the vitality and safety of the ride were on everyone’s mind, and the question of how to rid ourselves of these problems while keeping the ride vibrant and fun drove the final decision. No one knew how it would work but we all anticipated the results.
And what happened? There was confusion, there was initial resistance to the idea, yet still, 2,800 people took to the streets for a wonderful evening. The behavior that’s plagued us was almost non-existent. BIRDs draped every major turn, both familiar faces and new volunteers who so graciously stepped up to support the ride. And not only was the route itself great, the communities and police departments along the way were very supportive. A lot of riders commented that this was there favorite ride in months, and it definitely had the spirit of the older days: more costumes, more community, more fun. So although the added challenge to getting the route was frustrating for some, and yes, a few kind-hearted folks surely missed out, this decision was, for the longevity of Bike Party, a good and necessary one.
Bike Party is an inclusive event but it also needs to remain sustainable to continue to thrive. Thank you everyone for trying out a different experience this month and thanks to all the volunteers and BIRDs who continue to rock this thing into action.
Next month marks our three year anniversary and there’s going to be a lot in store, so help out to make it a great night. There’s more ways to get involved now than ever. Hope to see you before the next ride!