Whacky scheme to help ppl start commuting by bike



A

Andrew Reddaway

Guest
I tend to come up with hare-brained ideas on holidays. I was riding
the Otago Central rail trail in NZ last month (very good btw), so this
one is cycling-related :) Dunno if it's been thought of or tried
before...

There must be heaps of people who are interested in riding a bike to
work/uni/school, but need advice, help and moral support. This
newsgroup provides some of that, but maybe more people can be helped in
a more structured way.

How about a volunteer "cycling buddy" scheme, with input rewarded by
"brownie points" (BP) in the form of vouchers for cycling gear?
Newbies would start at a website with a discussion forum that links
them to volunteers. Possible kinds of input that would earn BP:
- General advice: posts, links, articles (rated on usefulness).
- Add to/update a mapped, annotated database of commuting routes.
- Accompany a newbie who commutes on the same route as you.

There would be costs for infrastructure, admin, publicity and BP. I
guess the funding would have to come from the government - perhaps
funded as an anti-obesity initative? Cycling groups too.

The biggest practical problem I can see is people claiming BP for bogus
input, especially for accompanying newbies. But that's probably the
most valuable part of the scheme. Can't think of a good way to
administer that - maybe digital photos could help somehow...

What do you think? I don't have any plans to organise this myself by
the way, just an idea for someone else to run with!
 

cfsmtb

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Apr 11, 2003
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Sounds simliar to a BUG, ie: a work or suburb based Bicycle User Group. Like the buddy system though, many people just simply need basic support/local knowledge when starting out.
 

flyingdutch

New Member
Feb 8, 2004
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cfsmtb said:
Sounds simliar to a BUG, ie: a work or suburb based Bicycle User Group. Like the buddy system though, many people just simply need basic support/local knowledge when starting out.

some sort of designated commuter 'angels' (apologies to BV) or people willing to meet and ride in/out with newbies to show em all the tricks/routes/things-to-avoid would be good. might steal the idea and run it past the BBUGer's.

hmmmm, or put out a copy of 'the map' showing members' favourite commuting routes...

The easiest bonus to commuting is how much money it can save you (as long as you avoid CF thingies :D ).

After emailing Cateye in the US a few years back to query a problem with my light, the sales guy mentioned he was getting paid $20US a week to ride to work from cateye!!! This was government subsidised.
 

cfsmtb

New Member
Apr 11, 2003
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flyingdutch said:
some sort of designated commuter 'angels' (apologies to BV) or people willing to meet and ride in/out with newbies to show em all the tricks/routes/things-to-avoid would be good. might steal the idea and run it past the BBUGer's.

Yeah, I prefer to the keep the information presented to ppl as simple & effective as possible, ie: local routes, traffic behaviour, tips on the local LBS (good & bad, or indifferent). Not forgetting - vital info like setting up a bike & geometry. One criticism I have of bike literature and some websites is that it tends to be too technical or text based for someone starting out. Give people begining cycling some support - and let them learn at their own pace.
 
D

DaveB

Guest
flyingdutch wrote:
> some sort of designated commuter 'angels' (apologies to BV) or people
> willing to meet and ride in/out with newbies to show em all the
> tricks/routes/things-to-avoid would be good. might steal the idea and
> run it past the BBUGer's.
>

I'd be willing to ride with newbies and explain how it is easier for
them to ride just in front of me all the way to the city. :)

DaveB
 

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