December 26th Bike Party

ugly sweater bike

Grab your warmest sweater and your most ridiculous holiday hat and come join us on the streets once more as we look to bring 2015 to a close with one last hurrah!

Remember we will leave St. Mary’s Park at 7pm SHARP to make sure everyone keeps warm!  If you are interested in volunteering, check out the opportunities here!

This month we will be ending at The Greene Turtle in Locust Point for the usual drinking, eating, dancing, and merriment!  Stay tuned for more details soon!

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November Bike Party – November 28th

pj

Hey Bike Partiers! Here’s everything you need to know for this month’s ride!

1) Here is the ROUTE!  And the CUE SHEET!

2) We will be riding under WEST COAST RULES, stopping at red lights. What does that mean? Read THIS PLEASE!

3) START: Meet as usual at 6:30 at St Mary’s Park in Seton Hill and roll out at 7pm SHARP. No one wants to wait for you in the cold! Did you know that every month Seton Hill Community Association provides BATHROOMS for us? Head to the backside of the small building in the park.

4) Check out what you need to bring here!

5) We will be ending this month at Pratt Street Ale House for food, drinks, photos, and dancing! There will be NO drink ticket system at Pratt St, just a good ol’ fashioned bar.

6) For the winter months, there will be NO BIKE CORRAL. You are responsible for bringing a good lock and knowing how to use it. There is plenty to lock to around the Ale House, including inside their courtyard. Please DO NOT lock to the Convention Center stairs across the street!

7) We will have our new hoodies (and some t-shirts) for sale at the after party! Get your Black Friday Bike Party Christmas presents while they last!

Can’t wait to see you in your finest sleepwear!

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Trick or Treaters

hall

Hey Bike Partiers! This Friday we will be riding through areas with many little trick-or-treaters, looking to have as much fun as we are! DO NOT RIDE ON THE SIDEWALKS. PERIOD. ALSO, be VERY vigilant of small kids who may walk into the street in front of you! They may even be dressed in dark costumes like ninjas or adorable bears, but there is NO EXCUSE for running into a child! Keep your eyes peeled!

If you haven’t already, read all the details of this month’s event here: http://baltimorebikeparty.com/2014/10/28/halloween-bike-party-info/

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Halloween Bike Party Info!

pumpkin-ride-illust-2

Hey Bike Partiers! Here’s everything you need to know for this month’s spooooooooooky Halloween ride!

1) Here is the ROUTE!  And the CUE SHEET!

2) We will be riding under WEST COAST RULES, stopping at red lights. What does that mean? Read THIS PLEASE. (seriously, read it)

3) START: Meet as usual at 6:30 at St Mary’s Park in Seton Hill and roll out at 7pm. Did you know that every month Seton Hill Community Association provides BATHROOMS for us? Head to the backside of the small building in the park. Also, Race Pace Bicycles will be on hand to help pump up tires and other small tweaks!

4) Check out what you need to bring here!

5) PARKING: We encourage everyone to BIKE to the event, but if you are coming from out of town, consider parking near the after party and biking up to the start while it’s still light out! There will be *limited* parking at the Museum of Industry (see the green spots near the BMI on this map) or some parking along Key Highway. Otherwise, consider using the lots at McHenry Row or the garage by the Harris Teeter!

6) AFTER PARTY: This month we will be ending at the Baltimore Museum of Industry for all the usual fun with beer, wine, food trucks, the photo booth, and DJ. As always, you need a ticket to get a drink ($4 each, 3 for 10), and you need a wristband to get tickets (free) so bring your ID! Also, a big thanks to the Downtown Sailing Center for their support! (they also use the grounds)

7) When you arrive at the after party, please PUT YOUR BIKE INSIDE THE CORRAL. Bikes locked up out on Key Highway are MUCH more vulnerable to theft! Read more about how to lock up here.

8) There will be a COSTUME CONTEST during the after party with EPIC PRIZES. To participate, you must be given a nomination badge by one of our dozens of volunteers that will be throughout the ride! The badge will have all the info on it, and the contest will take place at 10pm!

9) We will have brand new HOODIES for sale at the after party! Only $25! Be sure everyone knows you are the coolest kid on the block with one (or two!) of these sweet threads. (pics coming soon!)

10) AFTER-AFTER PARTY: We have to close down at the BMI at 11pm, but that’d be a lame Halloween, so for the AFTER-after party, head over to Little Havana’s next door to continue the fun! Be sure to take your bike with you and lock it up by LH. If you leave it in the BMI lot after ~12am you won’t be able to get it back until the next morning.

11) We STILL need some volunteers to make this month awesome!  Help us out HERE!

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How to Lock Your Bike at Bike Party!

Hey Bike Partiers! Another IMPORTANT message here!
(there’s been a lot, we know!)

As most of us know, Bike Party has become a target for those looking to steal bikes. While there is no excuse for this behavior and steps need to be taken to deal with those individuals (see our community meeting on 10/25…), there are a couple easy things ALL of us can do that will GREATLY reduce the amount of theft at Bike Party.

As long as we continue to create an EASY TARGET, Bike Party will continue to be plagued by theft. We spent $1500 last month on 4 police officers, a sergeant, and 5 private security guards, all of whom are there to monitor the grounds and primarily protect the bicycles. However, HUNDREDS of bikes continue to be locked OUTSIDE the party grounds, often around a corner or down the block, outside the visibility of our security. Just as often, these bikes are “secured” with inferior locks, easily cut within seconds by a sharp pair of cutters.

I have written on the subject before, but here I will reiterate the 4 EASY STEPS to still having your bike at the end of the party:

1) BUY A U-LOCK. And not the cheapest U-lock. A bike-specific hardened chain will also work, but is bulkier and heavier. NO CABLE IS SAFE, no matter how thick.

2) LOCK YOUR BIKE IN THE PARTY. During every outdoor after party, we strive to provide a secure bike corral, roped off, often with racks, and ALWAYS patrolled by security. Even if you can’t get your bike in the corral, having it IN THE PARTY GROUNDS means that our security will be able to keep their eyes on it, and definitely know if someone tries to take it.

3) LOCK YOUR BIKE TO YOUR FRIENDS’ BIKE(S). The purpose of locking a bike is to make it immobile. This does NOT mean it has to be locked to a pole, fence, wall, etc. There will never be enough “rack-like” items for 1500 people to lock to. Within the event grounds (or even better, the corral), lock your bike to your friend’s bike. Locking 2 or more bikes together effectively immobilizes them. No one can roll them away, no one can ride off on them. If anyone tries to walk off with a pile of locked bikes, it will be very clear to our security and everyone else.

4) PARTY ON! Go have a good time. Trust us, for those who have followed these simple rules, we have yet to hear of a single incident of bike theft.

To help you remember these 4 steps, we have attached a handy-dandy comic strip! Not only is it a great reminder, but also functions this month as a coupon! Wooo! In order to help you complete Step 1, Race Pace Bicycles is offering 15% off ANY BIKE LOCK at any of their locations from today through next Friday! This way you don’t have to skimp on your lock because of budget!

If we, as a group, begin locking our bikes in a more secure fashion, Bike Party will cease to be an easy target and those looking to steal bikes will likely head elsewhere. Remember, you can’t control the actions of anyone else, only your own. So let’s be smart, be safe, and have a blast! See y’all on Halloween!bike lock coupon-page-001

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BBP Community and Safety Meeting- October 25

Hey Bike Partiers! We Need Your Voice!

Over the past year, Bike Party has experienced an increased number of incidents of unsafe biking behavior, theft, and, most recently, violence at the party.

We, as a community, need to address this and we need everyone’s voice to help figure out exactly how to do so. We encourage anyone to attend this meeting who has been to a Bike Party and is concerned about these issues, has first-hand experience from these situations, and/or is interested in getting involved in proactive solutions to keep Bike Party an inclusive, safe, and AWESOME experience.

We have brought in the Community Conferencing Center to help facilitate a conversation to address these concerns.

The “DEETS”
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25th, 1PM
St. Mary’s Park (600 block of N. Paca)
(in case of bad weather, we will meet in the building in the park)

- Everyone will have a chance to speak.
– Everyone will have a chance to listen.
– The group will decide together how best to move forward.

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An Important Read

HEY BIKE PARTIERS!

As many of you know, the “rules” of the Bike Party rides have been a little in flux over the past year as we continue to grow as an event and evolve in our relationship with the city. I know it hasn’t always been clear what we will be doing month to month, so I am going to take a moment here to lay it all out.

Here are some facts:
– If we have a police escort, as a permitted event, we usually will have permission to stay as one group, in a grand processional through red lights.
– If we do NOT have a police escort, we, ALL of us, are expected to yield right-of-way to cross traffic at red lights as we would if we were regular bikers on the street.
– Police escort for each ride costs $2500, per event, for Bike Party, at bare bones minimum.
– The organizers of Bike Party are adamant about it always remaining a FREE event, open to all.
– Through after party beer and wine sales, we usually bring in $2500-3000 a month. After security, bathrooms, insurance, permits, and other expenses, that is about what it costs us each month to put the event on. As you can see, this leaves no room to pay for a police escort for the ride.

“So what can *I* do about this?” Well I’m glad you asked! Here are a few options if you like the idea of us riding in one large group, uninterrupted.
– You can give us $2500 a month (how generous of you!).
– You can email us at baltimorebikeparty@gmail.com and say “Hey guys! I would love to offer my services to help you pursue grant and/or sponsorship opportunities!”
– If you really want to, you can write your city official(s) and say “Dear so-n-so, this is why Bike Party is so amazing and while I understand that you have a big job to do and resources are limited, this is why I think it’s important to support it in any way you can.”

In the meantime, however, THIS IS WHAT WE NEED from all of our riders for the October ride and through the winter months. We need EVERYONE to abide by the “West Coast Rules.” Trust us, it’s not that bad. Thousands and thousands of people ride this way in other Bike Parties in other cities every month and still have an awesome time. If you don’t remember, or have never seen the “West Coast Rules,” I’m going to lay them out again right now!

1) Stop when you have a red light. Yield to the traffic that has the right of way. Getting hit by a car would definitely put a buzzkill on your evening. Don’t worry, the group ahead of you will not get too far, and the people with you at the light are certainly pretty awesome. Just look at that ridiculous costume!

2) Check out the route. We always post a map and cue sheet on the event page and website in case you need to catch up.

3) If you come up behind vehicles stopped at an intersection, stay behind them. Otherwise once the light turns green they are going to have their bumper on your back wheel, not a great situation! Let them go ahead first when the light turns green.

4) Don’t crowd or block-in moving vehicles. Most drivers, once they see us massing up behind them, will choose to turn left or right and take an alternate route. Be sure to leave them that opportunity!

5) Ride ONLY in lanes of traffic going the same direction you are. You are never going to win a game of chicken with a car, and you may not know when a car will suddenly turn towards you on the street.

6) Don’t ride on the sidewalks. Leave those for the kiddos and little old ladies. We have plenty of room taking up the whole street.

7) If we DO have any police officers helping us along in a particular area, always defer to their guidance. Often they will hold up traffic for us to continue, which is always appreciated!

8) Hold each other accountable to these rules. There are 3 of us who organize this event. Even with help from our friends, there is no where near enough of us to manage the entire length of the ride. Don’t let other people ruin the fun!

To help you remember all this, we have a handy infographic attached here. Remember, this is not my party, this is not an event “hosted” by the organizers that you are attending. Bike Party is YOUR event. It is as amazing and wonderful and successful as you make it. Bike Party was created because we believe Baltimore is a beautiful place with beautiful people, so let’s keep that love growing. See y’all on Halloween!

-Tim-
Baltimore Bike Party

west coast rules

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