I have been reading the book Pedal Power: The Quiet Rise of the Bicycle in American Public Life, and by reading it, I mean it I skip around and then google whatever they are talking about. Anyhow, I finally started in on the “Pushing the Envelope” chapter, and discovered what I have been looking for. There is a group in Portland called SHIFT that “revels in expressing Portland’s creative bike culture through performance events and bike fun..”, and even more awesomely “as a loose-knit and informal bunch of bike-loving folks, we ask for no membership, nor dues, only a shared passion for the bicycle in all its glory: as a toy, as transportation, as a tool for social and environmental change!”
Ok, here is the part that totally got me was the calendar. Apparently anyone can put anything bike event on the bike calendar. In this way, I think it is the like the Chicago Bike Winter Calendar that I have as one of my first bookmarks, and still look at it all the time, even tho this one is from 2005. I really want to get together with a group of people to put a web calendar together, figure out a way to have rides or events submitted and let people go at it. I think it could include a pretty large area, like all of Northern New Jersey, down to Rutgers or Princeton or maybe the entire state. What is awesome about the web calendar is there don’t have to be meetings! You can just email things and still get things done! It’s totally great!
It would be awesome to know about a mimosa ride, which I am looking for or a sushi ride, and while I think bike clubs are awesome, I like the idea of no dues or whatever and anyone can post whatever goofy idea they come up with. I am sure someone somewhere in New Jersey is playing bike polo, or have an endurance race around their one block, or deciding right now do something I would have never thought of on a bike. I love it that places have Bike Sewing Bees and Midnight Rides and Legal Clinics and Vegan Cyclist Pub Crawls and Bike Life Drawing Classes. I would love to be living in a place where someone had a Spoken Word Ride, with poetry breaks, or to see a Kidical Mass on a playground.
Anyhow, I think these things are happening already in New Jersey, but it would be awesome to put together a calendar or site where it could all come together. I think we all heart our local bike shops and clubs, but I think I am talking about something a little bit different. It also seems really good that something anything can add to makes it a real community effort and takes any sort of control freak tendencies out it, which I will freely admit to occasionally having. Does something like this exist already in New Jersey? If it doesn’t, anyone want to help put it together?
It won’t hurt my feelings if noone replies, but it does make me feel a bit like Jean Teasdale asking the questions that noone is ever going to answer.