Sunday, June 26, 2005

Bicycling as a Collective Activity

I just finished a Sunday ride -- Kevin Timon's last as the Joffreys Sunday Ride leader. This is a low speed chat ride, Lowry Park (the Tampa zoo) to Channelside (where the cruise ships dock) at 12 -14 mph. Kevin has been leading the ride for 13 years, and is leaving because of Freewheelers club mismanagement -- they didn't bother to check with him about his plans, and now he's gone. We'll miss Kevin, a most excellent ride leader.

This highlights the collective nature of cycling -- it's safer, more fun and in all ways better to ride as a group. Groups ride faster (drafting), safer (they're more visible) and share resources better (there's at least a extra inner tube and tire pump in every group). So what's the secret to a successful group? I believe it is organization and planning and honesty about intentions -- Kevin's leaving is a text book illustration of lack of organization by the club, and lack of coordination in dealing with the ride leaders. There is a lesson here in management or mismanagement.