Not to quote Brad Evans of the Denver Cruiser ride to much, but he hit it on the head with his honest and open post on Facebook prior to the first DCR last week when he said, "It's the night before the first DCR and I'm filled with anticipation for the kickoff of the new season".
I agree with this sentiment. It's this time each year when I wonder - What will I say during the pre-bike night discussion - what minutia will I need to mention. What announcements will I need to make. What important detail will I forget? Do I really need to cover the rules of Bike Night - again? I pray no one gets hurt this year. What if no one shows up?
There is a crazy amount of insecurity that comes out the night before any big event. I remember feeling this way before I'd go off to a football game in high school, prior to a cross country race in Jr. High, or even the night before the Boulder Marathon. What if? What if? What if?
What I realized is that stuff will make you crazy. Bike Night is a great event and draws people from across Longmont and from the surrounding towns. Whether you've found this blog because you're looking for an alternative to Boulder's ride, because your child is finally able to hold their head up and is old enough for a bike trailer, or may be you've recently moved to Longmont and are yearning to get out and meet like-minded people.
Bike Night is that outlet. We're not a booze cruise - entirely. We usually work a brewery or two in to the ride a few times a season. What we are is a community of cyclists out having fun. We don't obey every street sign and every rule of the road, but we do make sure everyone is safe.
I sometimes get an earful from folks who get upset when we don't stop for every stop sign or yield when we're supposed to. I have to remind those folks - do they ALWAYS come to a complete stop when driving their car? Do they ever roll through stop signs, change lanes or turn without signaling, do they ALWAYS wear a seatbelt? Probably not.
Bike Night is intent on drawing the greatest number of people to the greatest ride in Longmont. We do that through making the ride as fun as possible while keeping the group as safe as possible. To that end we want you to be aware - training wheels are highly discouraged. Tricycles and scooters are not allowed. Parents should know their kid's abilities when it comes to riding on streets.
Older kids tend to find there way to the front of the pack. I'm usually upfront with all the kids. I'm cool with it, really. However, if your child insists on racing ahead, I will politely ask them to remain with the group. If they race ahead more than twice I will ask them to rejoin their parents in the group. If your child poses a risk to themselves or to the group - I will ask the parent to discuss the problem with their child. I view kids riding in the front of the group as a fun thing. However, if they aren't able to handle it, I will ask them to rejoin their parents. If the behavior persists I will ask the parents to address the issue and perhaps forgo one or two rides.
Having said that we typically hold one or two kids bike nights each year. These are times where we have a bicycling instructor work with Bike Night Kids to be safe and to ride with respect. These nights are a lot of fun and help to build confidence.
So - After reading this - I hope you will join us tomorrow night. Bike Night is a lot of fun and we always meet at 6:30p and start riding at about 6:40. We meet at Roosevelt Park in Old Town Longmont - 700 Longs Peak Avenue.
I hope you will join us.