Monday, June 14, 2010
somtimes a bicycle is just a bicycle
I'm getting in the groove of giving tours. Though the information on the stops flows from me like wine from a barrel, not much else is the same on every tour. Segway tours are fun because the groups are much smaller (like 8 Segway riders compared to 22 bikers) so you get to know the people on the tour and the group size is easier to manage. Only there is one major obstacle in Segway tours - poles. And by obstacle I don't mean some figurative hindrance that must be overcome with sheer determination. I literally mean obstacle, because someone rides straight into a pole on nearly every tour. During the training at the beginning of the tour I drone on about looking out for poles and poodles yet somehow, people run straight into them. I had a lady this week ride directly into a light-post then her Segway rolled into the street, leaving me dashing out to save it from a passing Smart car. Most crashes result in a bruised ego more than anything else, thanks to the invention of the helmet. Never a dull moment.
I had an extra-large group on a bike tour last week - 25 people that were all traveling together. Seriously, imagine trying to lead 25 people on quick turns through neighborhoods or crowded bus/bike lanes with stoplights every 50 meters. I lost two people on my tour. Yes, you read that right. I lost two people on my tour and never saw them again. It was between the shop and our first stop. I searched for them, my manager rode his bike all over searching for them. I felt terrible, nearly frantic. Only, it turns out they decided the streets are too scary and turned back without telling anyone and dropped their bikes at Fat Tire and hung out in the park until the tour returned. I have now added a bit to my pre-tour speech that says if you want to turn back, please let someone know!