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Monday, January 19, 2009


Hey there, hi there. Thanks for everyone who showed up to yesterday's Palm Tree Ride. There were plenty of new faces on the ride, which is great. There's also been some folks unfamiliar with my events posting comments to the blog, which is also great. It made me realize that since I've been doing the Urban Adventure League for so long (five years come June), there are some basic "rules" (and I use this term loosely) and a general ethos to what I do that I may have not communicated effectively through the interwebs. So here's a little basic info about rides and walks, in case you've never been to one of my events before. If you have more questions, great! Just post it via the "comments" below.

Generically, the bicycle rides I lead fall under the category of "Shift" rides, as in the organization Shift to Bikes. More info about them can be found on their website.

What this means is my rides are low-key, casual affairs. They're not about "let's ride 30 miles in 2 hours at a fast pace". No, my rides fall into the 3-10 mile range at a slower pace. Spandex not required. We don't leave people behind.

Since a lot of my rides are about history and/or geography, there are lots of stops. Keep this in mind if you are an anxious rider and need to always be pedaling. Also keep this in mind if you have young children, because it has happened in the past that some kids get too bored and cranky with all the stops.

For rides such as the Pedal Potluck Picnic, you should have the ability to carry your own stuff. There is no SAG wagon, no support. Carry it in a backpack, courier bag, rack, pannier, trailer, basket, whatever. But you'll be the one who has to carry it.

Some of my rides end in the twilight hour or after dark. So it's always a good idea to bring your lights with you.

The rides begin for the most part in the central city, close to a bicycle route. I also try to start rides in destinations with good public transportation. I strongly encourage people to get to the start point via bicycle or transit. I DO NOT take into any consideration parking or driving needs, so keep that in mind.

Pretty much all of my rides are not loops, so don't expect to end up back where we started. Don't expect to end up near where we started, either. If you do need to get back to the start point, I will give you guidance and directions as long as you let me know.

The walks generally have a good mix of walking conditions: sidewalk, street, grass, dirt, mud, and the occassional stairway. Bear this in mind. Good walking shoes is a must. Something waterproof is reccomended for the rainier months, since we can expect to see some mud.

Bringing water is a good idea, since we won't see many water fountains (if any) along the route. A snack is reccomended as well, though I always try to find a good place for refreshment along the route.

Dress for the weather. Rain is a possibility in the winter, so a rainjacket is a good idea. And remember it can get a little cold out there. Once we're moving, it's fine. But when we stop, you can get cold--fast!

As with rides, walks are generally not a loop. At the end we'll hop on a bus, so have appropriate transit fare.

There's never any fee with an Urban Adventure League event! Of course, there may be transit fare involved and I generally am not going to pay for your food. Donations are always accepted, and I have zines for sale. But the event itself is!

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