‘Bike Parties’ Are Rolling Out in Boston
A national group that hosts monthly nighttime rides gears up for its local debut.
Boston area cyclists are trying to mirror what riders are doing in Washington, D.C., by introducing a monthly get-together that requires touring the streets of the city by bike.
Boston Bike Party, which derived from a ride in Washington, D.C., where the founder took a spin around the city with a group of 250 cyclists for eight to 12 miles, is gearing up for it’s own Boston debut, as state officials begin to promote “Bay State Bike Week.”
Bike Party groups have been popular in cities like D.C. and San Jose, where the “phenomenon” started, and later branched out to Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Baltimore, where participants and members have added theme nights to their monthly gatherings, such as “bike proms.”
The D.C. concept, where a large following already exists and is host to a range of different cyclists, from leisurely riders to people who retrofitted their bicycles with large speakers and other decorations, has now made its way to Massachusetts, and on May 28, the founders hope that other bike enthusiasts will join in on the monthly meetup.
Those attending the event will gather at 7:30 p.m. and spend two hours riding between Boston and Cambridge making multiple “pit stops.” The exact meeting location hasn’t been announced yet, according to the group’s Facebook page.
According to the group’s website:
The idea is simple. We have fun while riding around together on bikes. It’s a monthly social ride to make friends, hang out with fellow bikers, and promote biking in the Boston/Cambridge area by showing all the walkers and drivers how we have a good time. There is no cost to join us, and no obligation. It’s just an informal bike night out around town to have fun and socialize.
Bring your own bike, water and smile, and we’ll be good to go. This is not a race, our cruising speed should be 10 mph, so everyone can follow and enjoy the night.”
The formation of a Boston branch comes at the same time that state officials are preparing for “Bay State Bike Week,” a statewide initiative to get more people out on two wheels around Massachusetts. Launched by Governor Deval Patrick, officials are encouraging residents to bike to work and school from May 11 through 19. “Together, we can make Massachusetts a greener, healthier, and more sustainable state by decreasing traffic congestion, cleaning the air, and enabling people to get some exercise in the course of their busy daily lives,” Patrick said in a statement.
Earlier this year, Massachusetts was recognized as the sixth most bicycle friendly state by the League of American Bicyclists. Officials from the department of transportation hope that by 2030 they can triple the levels of bicycling, walking, and transit ridership throughout the Commonwealth, as part of the GreenDOT sustainability policy and project.
City leaders in Boston have also kept the growing bike trend on their agenda, and organized meetings with outside groups in an effort to maximize safety standards on the streets, and implement better bike infrastructure.
A similar group called “Critical Mass” already exists in Boston.
Below is a video of what the Washington, D.C., bike parties look like, which Boston organizers are trying to replicate: