The Bike Bus

Some years ago some cyclists in Australia came up with the idea of the Bike Bus. A group of commuting cyclists rides the same route every weekday with the same schedule. Individual cyclists can join in and drop off wherever they like. A decade ago it was probably a bit of a challenge to plan and promote such a project, but with web mapping and social networks it could be quite easy these days.

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is doing it.

And the Aussies have this video on YouTube.

With enough riders a two-abreast paceline becomes feasible (though probably not as tight as for weekend club rides). This could really help novice cyclists along corridors with roads with narrow lanes.

The group can be self-advertising by having the ride leader (who rides in the back) wear a t-shirt explaining the purpose of the group. Motorists tend to be much more understanding when they realize the cyclist is riding for a “practical” purpose like commuting.

So where should Orlando’s first Bike Bus route go?

4 replies
  1. Keri
    Keri says:

    That would be so cool! We had a great time on Bike 2 Work day.
    Maybe from Maitland or Casselberry to downtown Orlando. Or, for the really ambitious, it could start in Tuscawilla. 🙂

  2. fred_dot_u
    fred_dot_u says:

    That would be incredibly fabulous to see on any city’s streets. Being self-employed means I don’t have a fixed route for my commute, but I certainly would enjoy to be a contributor to a Bike Bus route for those segments passing my area or on my way to a client. Most of the roadways on which I pedal are four lane or larger, so a bike bus fits just fine. The local law enforcement could be advised/informed/educated by an “organization” such as a Bike Bus, making it even easier on the riders.

    I’ve often thought how great it would be to have other vehicular cyclists on the same stretch of roadway, and the Bike Bus seems to be just the answer!

    Lucky Aussies!

  3. andrewp
    andrewp says:

    “The local law enforcement could be advised/informed/educated by an “organization” such as a Bike Bus, making it even easier on the riders.”

    Great point!!

    Also get the word out to all the local LBS.

  4. fred_dot_u
    fred_dot_u says:

    I had an interaction with an LBS and the mechanics (and owner) within regarding vehicular cycling practices. One of the mechanics rides to work and I observed him for a stretch of a couple of miles. He’s mastered the skill of driving within less than 12″ of shoulder and on a segment of roadway where there was no shoulder, showed great skill of driving on the three inch stripe of paint, which designated the right edge of an eight foot wide lane. A fellow technician at the same store was struck by the mirror of a passing vehicle and no longer rides to work, as best as I can determine.

    I was “energized” with adrenaline and endorphins from my daily riding and was perhaps too vociferous in attempting to suggest safer cycling practices. The stripe-rider told me he doesn’t want to be in the way of traffic, and ignored my suggestion that he is traffic and has the same right to the road. Another mechanic told me that when he drives, he doesn’t want to be held up by someone on a bicycle doing 20 mph and didn’t care to hear that such delays might amount to sixty seconds or less. It’s sad that these people are the direct contact for much of the bicycling public, in my opinion.

    The owner suggested quite firmly that his people had work to do and I should vacate the premises. I did and will not return.

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