Sunday, June 7th, and what a gorgeous day it was. Beautifully cool and bright sunshine as 2000 bicyclists gathered to ride the 6th Annual Ward Tour. (#JCWardTour2015)
My bicycle was in fine order and my friend Mark rented a bicycle, so he could ride as well. Since Mark is not an experienced rider, we held back and let much of the crowd take off. Slowly, but surely, we started riding.
After just 5 minutes or so, I hear Mark call my name and go back to see what’s up. His back tire is flat. The bike rental folks somewhat quickly changed the tire, but by now the riders are quite a ways ahead.
We start riding again, but there really wasn’t going to be anyway to catch up, plus because there were no police, only a few crossing guards (and then NO crossing guards) and since the bike rental people left us behind to rejoin the group, we were now on our own to see if we could follow the route. We had to ride on the sidewalk because we didn’t have the protection from the cars.
We went a ways and finally just realized we’d never rejoin the group. We didn’t know which way to go, so we just went back to Exchange Place.
As I was riding I was reminded of certain things. Always have the tour map on you, which I didn’t have. Perhaps the tour in the future needs to hang posters with arrows on street corners where the tour makes a turn?
What about if we could develop an app for smart phones that had the tour on it. It would show our location and the route, how far ahead the riders are, just in case of slower or lost riders? (I’d love to work with you on this Bike JC!)
Although disappointed in not finishing the tour this year, I think it’s important to share what happened so this can be corrected in the future.
Bike stores need to be sure they are renting bikes that are ready for riding (yes, a flat tire happens, but after just 5 minutes of riding?)
The tour needs to pay more attention to riders like us and should have at least sent someone back to see if we were all right. They just left us and without any help or guidance, we just had no choice but to turn around.
The party and bands afterward were great and I’m looking forward to the next one, but we have to work on this, so this doesn’t happen to other riders.
- TEDx Jersey City Women – Momentum 2015
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