SAFETY FIRSTRead Bicycling Street Smarts. A guide to safe cycling by a leading expert on bicycling safety.
What Midnight Ridazz is:
-Open - Minded
What Midnight Ridazz is NOT:
Rulezz of the Ride...Lets be honest. No one is particularly eager to be an authority figure of a ride this massive. The reality is that the ride doesnt really need to have figures of authority. If we all observe some common sense guidelines and are actively vocal about them as individuals we can all stay safe AND keep the rides fun. Ridazz works because every individual rider recognizes that the safety of one is the safety of all. Ridazz are vocal about hazzards in the road, Ridazz call out potholes, turns and slow downs. They are vocal about staying to the right and about thanking our friends in cars that we share the road with for waiting a few extra minutes for us to get through. It is because of these following guidelines that one can truly say: Ridazz don't die... they multiply.
Stay out of the left lane. JOIN the party on the right.Most routes take Ridazz down 4 lane streets... This allows for the use of one entire lane while allowing for automobiles to continue using the left lane to pass on by. Join the party in the right lane. This is perhaps the most important rule we can follow. This also means maintaining the right lane as our own not to be confused with the right hand turn lane which some Ridazz tend to drift into when it becomes available or when there are no longer parked cars blocking it. We get one single un-obstructed lane and we maintain this lane until the route changes direction.
Don't Litter.There's nothing that hurts the Ridazz reputation quite like the mess of trash that invariably gets left behind at every rest stop we make. Please show respect for the neighborhood and for the small businesses by picking up after yourself and your friends.
Make some noise!Bicycle riders need to be noticed. Not because of their silly aviator goggles, but because being noticed means that drivers hear them and then see them.... and therefore avoid hitting them. We're not talking about yelling at drivers or scaring people... We're talking about whistles, cat calls, wolf howls and any other sexy noises you can muster that will put drivers on alert especially while crossing through an intersection. It's for YOUR safety.
Bicycle riders need to be notified of dangers. Potholes, cracks, railroad tracks... They can all cause serious injury. When a rida observes any such hazzards in the road they speak up and pass the message back. "Pothole to the right! Pass it back!" "Stop ahead!" "Slowing down slowing down!" All of these signals help keep the beast moving along SAFELY.
No Rida Left Behind.We've come a long way since the days of 30 Ridazz and everyone of them being able to stop when a fellow Rida was in trouble. Today this timeless slogan continues to be an important rule. Because it is simply impossible to stop 1000+ riders in their tracks for every person that gets a flat or experiences a mechanical failure we need to re-define what that slogan means. Understand that you as an individual rider are responsible for your well being. Have a buddy on the ride and stay in touch via cell phone. Make some contacts while getting ready at the start. It is EXTREMELY important to have your bicycle in good working order before you ride. Bring a flat fix kit, tubes and tools. You owe it to yourself to be prepared. And if you happen to see a lone rida stranded on the side, use that opportunity to make a new friend and help them out... No rida left behind.
Maintain your position. Ride straight, ride predictably!
Some cyclists have no regard for those behind or in front of them. We've all seen them, they weave back and forth, speed up and slow down amongst a crowd of Ridazz and generally ride in a dangerous and aggressive manner... This type of behaviour is the number one cause of accidents and injury. If this is how you ride.... don't ride with us.
Slowing down or stopping? Move CAUTIOUSLY to the right!If you as an individual have to suddenly slow down or you need to stop and the ride is moving along, call out "SLOWING DOWN!" or "STOPPING!" PLEASE move as quickly as possible to the right and out of the way BEFORE you begin your slow down. Make sure you aren't cutting someone off in the process!
Enforcing the Rulezz?Nobody wants to be told by some "busybody" how to ride... Yet we all want to experience a flowing harmonious ride that keeps everyone safe and out of the cops radar. So how do you communicate to a rida that he or she is being a drag? Speak up! A simple "Stay to the right" is often enough to remind a rida that they're slipping. If you see a knucklehead throwing a bottle or littering simply boo that person. It's called community shaming. When everyone participates, it really works. Thanks for making Ridazz safe and fun for the years to come.
How to start your own ride.Starting a ride might seem difficult but all it takes is a little planning and follow through. Midnight Ridazz started with 8. A ride can be that small and still be fun. We ask that all Ridazz respect the community and our friends stuck in their cars. Soon enough, they will join in the fun.
1. Choose a route.Choosing a route is going to be the trickiest part of creating a ride. You have to think BIG even if you know your ride will be small. Find routes that are safely lit and have adequate room to allow motorists passage on the left in a seperate lane. 4 lane streets are awesome for groups of more than 15 Ridazz.
Observe all traffic laws, wear helmets, encourage people to use night lights... the whole nine.
Ride the route at night and observe all the hazzards and kinks that might plug up the mass or cause traffic problems. Passing in front of freeway entrances and exits is strongly discouraged. Notice areas that you can re-group or rest at. Notice if there are residential routes or bike paths that might make passage safer than other streets. Look for railroad tracks and avoid them as much as possible. Have a destination that will allow for a long rest and allows for Ridazz to rest and re-group.
2. Choose a theme. Design a Spoke Card.Choosing a theme is as easy as you make it. Mostly, people just want to ride and dress goofy. Make up something silly and go with it....
Designing a spoke card to commemorate your ride is one of the joys of riding. You don't need a computer or a design degree! Go to a copy store, cut up a newspaper, open up phoptoshop steal images from google. Don't kill yourself over a kerning issue. Find a good designer to do it if you completely lack the visual skills. Then laminate your spoke cards at a local copy store with a route map on the backside. Make enough copies of the spoke card to accomodate most of the mass. For the rest make B/W copied route slips bring plenty for everyone. 5 years from now you'll find your ride in the drawer and be proud you did it.
3. Get Help.Don't do it all yourself! Find friends to help out with tasks and scouting. Three heads are better than one.
4. Promote your ride.Make flyers, email friends, post the ride on Midnight Ridazz.com.... Spread the word and be prepared for some people to show up! You can post your ride to the Midnight Ridazz site right here.
5. Ride!The most important thing is to follow through and lead off the ride. If things don't go as planned... who cares! Most of the time when you are out riding you encounter things you didn't plan anyway and that's what makes riding FUN.
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