have friend will pedal

I recently discovered a Ride Buddy/Mentor Program facilitated by Commute Orlando. Here, according to the administrator of the online forum, is how it works:

Welcome to the Mentoring Program forum on the Central Florida Commuter Forum, part of the Commute Orlando! website.

Let me take a moment and explain to you what we are trying to accomplish with this forum ….

If you are thinking about trying to commute by bicycle to work, or to run errands, or for whatever reason ride your bike on the roads, Great!!!   We’d like to get you off and cycling on the right foot — that is, confidently and safely.

We’ve set up this forum as a place for you to come in and ask for help.  Simply create a NEW post, give us some basic information and what you might need from us, and we’ll see if we can connect you with someone nearby who is already commuting and can offer personal assistance — to the point that they may be able to ride with you the first time you commute by bike.  All this free of charge, of course!!

Look for another sticky post called “Mentors” for those of us who want to assist.  There we’ll give you some background about ourselves, what side of town we live on and where we commute to, and what we can offer and how to contact us (email).  Ask for help, and we’ll see if we can get the closest person to you to ride with you, if that’s what you want.

Please note we have another forum called “Bike Commuting – General”.  That forum is the perfect place to ask any and all of your commuting-related questions.  Hopefully you will get lots of feedback from those of us who have made commuting by bike a part of our life.

Thanks, and have a Happy and Safe Commute!

I think this is a fantastic idea. I’ve seen similar things before, and have even mentioned them occasionally on the blog. What impresses me most about this effort is the simplicity of design. Using an online forum presumably allows folks to make quick and easy connections. Of course, the challenge is in making people aware of it (a challenge I also face with this blog), especially those who aren’t already cyclists.

Granted, Orlando is more than ten times the size of Adrian (literally), which means, among other things, that the (potential) obstacles faced by regular and would-be bike commuters are exponentially greater than what we face. Hence, a buddy system like that offered by Commute Orlando is likely to be in more demand.

Nevertheless, perhaps it’s something worth trying in our neck of the woods.


One response to “have friend will pedal

  1. I think this is a great idea, too, though I work in Ann Arbor which makes it unrealistic for me to commute to work, but not to run other errands. In addition to this, one challenge I’ve faced is finding a bicycling buddy to go on longer rides with me – like the Coldwater 20 mile tour, or any of the Michigan Bike trails. A forum for this would be fantastic and much appreciated!