Joined: 05 May 2005
I'm working on (with some co-conspirators) planning a ride for Tuesday evenings. Essentially it'll be self-guided. Kinda like this:
1. Anyone welcome
2. Meet near Lake Harriet Bandshell (or similar noncommercial location TBD)
3. Hang out and chit chat for a SHORT amount of time (like from 6:30 to 7)
4. Head out at an an approximate time, in small groups or in as large a group as will stay together without blocking traffic, etc.
5. Do the Grand Rounds or a modified version thereof, but the same route EVERY WEEK
It's more frequent, so summer schedules can be flexible. I know I get into a bad loop sometimes when I have vacation or summer events every other week and they always happen to be on ride Sundays. It's also somewhere highly visible, so new riders can stumble upon us hanging out for 20 minutes before riding, or friends can tell friends "Oh you have a scooter? I always see scooters at Harriet on Tuesday Night" and thus bring in new blood.
Self guided? We can all leave at the same time, but there's no waiting for slow people, or having to keep up with fast people. Also, if the group gets split at a light or something, there's no upset. It's not so much a group ride, as a group of scooters leaving the same place, going the same direction, at roughly the same time. Ideally small groups would end up forming for each night.
As it evolves there may be periodic stops here and there along the route to collect up folks if so desired. I'm trying to print up a pile o maps of the route for the uninitiated, as well. I'll keep them in my glovebox and hand them out as needed. Or others can as well.
It will also eventually be non-dependant on any one person to lead the run. If it's a regular thing, and people just know where to go (or even if some people choose to do a new route by themselves) it won't be a waffle-match trying to come up with a route or someone to lead it.
Why the same route? I know some people are sick of it but.. It's a fun route. It's relatively simple and pretty. And if I know I can get in on the Tuesday ride for only half an hour and bail at suchandsuch a place, I'd be more likely to go for it. That, and if I'm late I can try and intercept the group(s) if I know approximately when and where they'll be.
Heck, if it works out, I'd even offer to say this could be a self-guided slow ride for the rally. Throw the map and a brief flyer about how to follow the route in the Rally bag o stuff. I've got a Stella now, so I'd want to go to Afton for the rally, but if one option for slower scoots was to follow this ride, I think it might help the situation.
My whole purpose here is to offer a low-stress ride, especially for people who don't have much group riding experience or even know about the club. But it's also an opportunity for those with a lot of experience to get to know new folks, mix it up, and get in some of those beautiful evening summer rides!
I'll most likely be start this Tuesday with an initial loop to see how long it takes exactly, etc. If people are interested, I'll post to confirm that when I know for sure. I think a catchy name might be needed, as well. And T-Shirts. And a theme song. And a mascot.
Joined: 05 May 2005
Last week there were two of us and it was a pretty good run. We were watching the gray clouds slide over us the whole way, and it started raining at the top end of Lake of the Isles.
I am planning on going again this Tuesday, but I'm out of town next week, so it'll be a nice test of the "can this run by itself" concept.
Here's the (current) route:
Based on last weeks run, which was kinda in the wrong direction due to rain..
I think the route is working out to be something like this:
Meet at the Lake Harriet bandshell.
From Harriet go round the lake to Calhoun, go clockwise around calhoun to dean pkwy.
From Dean go counterclockwise around lake of the isles, then up hennepin through downtown.
Catch the river road (west side) down the river to minnehaha, then follow the creek back to harriet.
Based on that route I'd guess we'd be somewhere along the river road by 7:30 or 7:45. I should have a MUCH more confident guess on locations/times after this next run.
Last week I got the map started, this week I hope to get the rest of the route so I can post a map. It's not as complicated as it looks, it's essentially the Grand Rounds with the top (memorial pkwy, etc) lopped off.
Once the route stabilizes it'll be the same every week.
Joined: 05 May 2005
Well, the second ride happened last night and I think it went well. Only two of us, but the route was good. 1:15 total riding time over 22 miles, I think.
Yeah, it's a little slow in spots, but you have to stop and smell the roses from time to time.
I think it's cool that the run goes through so many different types of ride. The lakes with it's crowds and people watching, downtown through urban traffic, down the river, up the creek, etc. It contains the longest stop-free stretch I've found in the cities (river pkwy, 2 miles), the coolest (down by the river, always 5 degrees cooler than the rest of the city), the prettiest (take your pick), etc.
I'm out of town next week, but the following week I'll be there again, with maps to hand out if people want them. I'll also try and get a map online, as well. I know most people don't need the map, but it can't hurt.
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