We aren’t your average bike club: We’re much more than that! Pedal Pirates is a casual association of people from around the world who love to ride bikes, and whose ONLY goal is to encourage the love of biking for fun, fitness, ecology, community, or adventure. Our motto is “No rules. Just ride!” and this is what we mean:
At Pedal Pirates, there’s no rule about the kind of bike you ride. You don’t have to spend $5000 to be welcomed here, but if you’re a die-hard biker with a fully loaded ultra-high-tech super-lightweight carbon-fiber racing bike, that’s amazing! If you spent a few hundred dollars getting the best bike you could afford, then you’re definitely in good company. If you got your bike on sale at Wal-Mart, or you dusted off your teenaged son’s bike after he got his driver license, or you’re anywhere between the extremes, you’re just as welcome! Mountain bike? Street bike? Hybrid? E-bike? Stationary? Recumbent? Three-wheels? Unicycle? Whatever floats your boat. Just ride.
Pedal Pirates don’t have rules about WHERE you ride. Lots of us ride on dedicated bike trails like Rails-to-Trails because we love riding free without worrying about cars. A lot of us ride on the streets near our homes because it’s too much work to load up bikes and drive an hour to a good trail. Some of us use software to map out routes and track our rides, but some of us just go where our legs take us. Some of us are mountain bikers and BMXers who like the dirt and hills. Some of us have skinny street tires that quiver in fear at the thought of sand or dirt on the road. It doesn’t matter, as long as you ride.
Pedal Pirates don’t have rules about WHY you ride. Maybe you want to lose weight. That’s a worthy goal, and a lot of us can attest to the fact that riding will help you get there and stay there. Maybe you’ve been injured or ill and you’re using your bike to help you rehabilitate. Maybe you’re young and urbane, and this is your main transportation. Maybe you race. Maybe you’re trying to outrun middle age. Or old age. Are you into speed or distance or improving yourself or your beating your personal best? Do you ride as an outlet so you can stop fantasizing about having your husband (or wife, or kids) walk the plank? Or do you just like the wind in your hair and the feeling of freedom that only a bike offers? Whatever your reason, there’s someone here who shares it.
Pedal Pirates don’t have rules about how LONG you’ve been riding or how many miles you put in. Maybe you’re a busy executive (or mother) who puts in 50 miles on single Saturday, but can’t get close to a bike on the other six days of the week. Maybe you get up every morning at five, rain or shine, and hit the pavement for ten, 15, 20, 30+ miles. Maybe you’re a seasoned Centurian. Maybe you’re lucky if you get out once a month. Or maybe you’re still trying to get up the nerve to even get on the bike, and you just WANT to be a bike rider. No matter. You’re still welcome here.
And mostly, Pedal Pirates don’t have rules about what you know. There’s no application or entry quiz to be sure you qualify. If you walk into a bike shop and start teaching the techies, please feel free to do the same here. You’ll find lots of willing pupils. If you walk into a bike shop and ask 20 questions about everything you’ve ever wondered about—like why “clipless pedals” have clips on them—please do it here, too. It’s likely that other people have wondered the same thing, and that someone here will have the answer or know where to direct you. If you’re too intimidated to even walk into a bike shop, or have no idea why a grown person would willingly wear padded skivvies, well, you’ve definitely found the right place!
Pedal Pirates DO have guidelines for two very simple things, however: safety and courtesy.
Safety is mainly for when you’re on your bike. Wear a helmet, PLEASE, and any other protective gear that makes sense for where you ride. Stay visible. Stay hydrated. Learn about good nutrition for a long ride. Carry a repair kit. If you’re not mechanically inclined, find a good local bike shop and take whatever free lessons they offer. Talk to them. They’re a great source of information, and are usually more than willing to share their expertise. Learn how to repair simple problems and keep your bike in good working order. Sign up for as many bike-related sites as you can stand reading: We’re far from the only kids on the block, and even farther from the smartest. Most importantly of all: KNOW THE RULES OF THE ROAD AND ABIDE BY THEM! If you don’t remember them from when you studied for your automobile driver license, the Internet puts your state’s rules at the tips of your fingers. Use them.
And finally, as for courtesy, it’s really important on the road, but it’s especially needed on the Facebook page. PLEASE respect that we all come from different places and have different backgrounds, goals, knowledge, and opinions. This page is about biking. It’s about encouragement. It’s about making you fired up to get on your bike and ride for whatever reason YOU want to ride, so let’s play nice. We want to welcome everyone here, but we do reserve the right to part ways with bullies and anyone who talks trash about other Pirates. We’re all in this together, and courtesy makes it a much nicer ride.
Again, welcome to the Pedal Pirates Cycle Crew. Pete and I wish you great rides always, wherever you Arrrr!