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(Created by Shawn Granton & Carl Larson, and also paraphrasing Tom Wilburn)

Below: the ride report form. You'll find the text of a little “Ride Leader Primer,” which is also available in print-ready form here: Even if you've led a ride before, take a moment to read through this handy guide. There are some good tips.

Best of luck with your rides. I'll see you on the streets. -Carl


Name of Ride:



Start time:


Approx. Distance:

Number of riders:

Synopsis of ride:

High points:

Low points:

Would you do it again? If so, What would you change?


Planning Tips

Consider your ridership:

Will the ride be for family types or for the independently-natured? Give your riders some idea about the ride's behavioral tone.

Dress code:

Shift rides offer the out-of-the-ordinary because they are about a celebration versus a race or challenge. Therefore, you can suggest to riders a dress theme with which to express their enjoyment of being out and about on a bicycle. Go ahead. This crowd loves to get theatrical!

Determine a start location:

If it is not in the biker-hive of central Portland, then consider a place proximate to mass transit. And if it's winter…find someplace that's covered (and possibly warm and/or serving warm drinks—like a coffeehouse!)

Plan a good route:

Since most Shift rides are social rides, use a bike map to make for a safe, lei- surely route. Otherwise, note when you promote it that it will be a hell-raiser ride! If you think your ride is likely to be enormous, that can have its challenges, too. In general, the best routes are as flat as possible and will allow folks to safely ride 3+ abreast for considerable portions. If your ride doesn't return to the start point (few do), be sure to warn people at the start as some can find the whole not-a-loop concept frightening. It's wise to know what transit lines go near the endpoint of your ride in case folks are too tired or are having mechanical problems and can't ride back. Ride your route before leading it. You may think you know it…but you should ALWAYS ride the route first. Ride it with a large group in mind and, ideally, at the same time of day. You'd be surprised at some of the hitches you encounter. Also consider time: however long it takes for you to ride it solo, it will probably take up to twice as long with a group.

Food and beverage:

Strangely, people bond better when filling their faces in close proximity to one another. Not recommended to eat during the ride, but suggest a potluck with a food store stop along the route…and starting at an eating/drinking establishment is a tried and true method of getting folks fed and watered.

An appropriate time:

To assure your ride receives maximum ridership, avoid conflicts with other rides…except during Pedalpalooza where conflict is part of the fun. Just don't conflict with rides likely to draw a similar crowd.

Get the word out:

The best means of getting riders for your event is telling people about it in person. Having a handout really helps so people can remind themselves of your ride. Of course, put it on the Shift calendar and post reminders on the Shift list as well. ORBike,, and Craigslist are other good spots to post your ride.


Will you have to ride through a parade? Will a street be closed for construction? Will it cross a drawbridge? Or train tracks where a long freight train may stop for 20 minutes? Try your best to think of potential obstacles and always make sure you've got a Plan B for potentially dicey parts of your plan.

Leading Tips

Be a leader: If you're leading a ride, make that clear. Step up at the start and take respon- sibility.

Be prepared: Are you ready to fix a flat, get somebody hydrated, point them to the nearest bus, reroute your ride? Different rides require different things, but water, tools, a map, and a cell phone are never a bad idea. Cameras are good to bring, too.

Delegate: You can't do everything. Put people to work. They'll like it and it'll help your ride. Assign a dependable photographer (either because they've got a camera or you're willing to trust them with yours). Get someone to count riders. Get people to cork troublesome intersections (by blocking cross traffic, allowing the ride to remain safely intact). If it's a big group, have someone take up the rear to help stragglers and keep the group together (known as “sweeping”).

Lay down the law: Anticipate and eliminate confusion by making potentially unclear things clear. Do you plan on being super-legal and stopping at all stop signs? Do you plan on going through a messy intersection that might need a little prepping? Do you have some things you want people to watch out for?

Estimated departure: Chill-out. Whatever your specified time, leave fifteen minutes later for our less punctual friends. Shift rides are not a race so punctuality can, and is usually, forfeited. If you really want a ride at a certain time, list the ride starting time 15-30 minutes earlier than you would want to leave (i.e. say the ride starts at 11:30am if you want to depart at noon)

A feeling of rejection: Sometimes people just don't show up for a ride. It happens. When it happens, be glad of the effort you made, and know your bicycle will always bring you happiness. It's true, we creative bikers are a fickle bunch, yet we are compassionate. Do let the Shift list know your feelings were hurt. Then pick up your spirits, and offer the ride again another time.



Repair kit including pump


Cell Phone



Locations of bike shops

General idea of transit lines (a bus map would be handy)

After The Ride

Tell us about it. People love to hear about and see pictures of rides they were on…and rides they weren't on. Post pictures! Post ride reports! Keep the dream alive!

P.O. Box 6662
Portland, OR 97228

Or use the contact form on the Shift website:

pedalpalooza/ride_report_form.txt · Last modified: 07 Sep 2015 06:49pm (external edit)