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#1 2011-10-28 01:17:36

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,210
Website

Where's the list of the Social Rides?

Tonight hundreds of people rode past my house on bikes.  An inquiry revealed it was the "Thursday Night Social Ride", with which I'm unfamiliar.  I've always hoped people would post their events here, but they usually don't, so I thought I'd at least link to their ride schedule in the sidebar of the website.  So from Googling I found their website, but it's completely devoid of any schedule of rides.  Their site has a link to "Check the event list for the next ride", but that just goes to a Facebook page with no content.  There's another link to their Facebook group, where I see there are nearly 5000 members, 2000 photos ... and yet no schedule (at least not one that I can find).

So is there an actual schedule posted somewhere for the Social Rides?  I'll admit that I'm impressed that they've grown their numbers so well when the when/where info is so well hidden.

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#2 2011-10-28 06:32:41

bikinpolitico
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-09-04
Posts: 78
Website

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

Michael,

I try to post all of them on my Google events calendar: http://austinontwowheels.org/cycling-events-calendar/. This includes all the social rides I am contacted about or hear about, not just Social Cycling Austin.

Social Cycling Austin now has 3-4 weekly rides in addition to the Thursday Night Social Ride. They vary from ladies only to yoga to a beginner friendly ride. Not all are weekly so I recommend you join their Facebook page to make sure you learn about them.

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#3 2011-10-28 08:26:55

rickb
Member
Registered: 2008-09-09
Posts: 23

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

I either liked or friended the Social Cycling Austin Facebook group (not sure what I did) and I get regular postings about the rides on my Facebook home page.  Sometimes with short notice though.

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#4 2011-10-28 13:37:19

cycling74
Member
Registered: 2008-09-28
Posts: 61

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

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#5 2011-10-30 01:19:55

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,210
Website

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

Wow, bikinpolitico, that calendar is certainly a labor of love!  I just linked to it from the left-hand sidebar of Bicycle Austin.

On the Facebook front, I don't do Facebook.  I can see the Social Cycling group's Facebook page, but I don't see any schedule there, as I said.  Are you saying that if I join their Facebook group, *then* I'd be able to see their schedule of rides?  That their schedule isn't public unless you join up?  I'm not much of a joiner.

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#6 2011-10-30 18:50:44

waterloo_cycles
Member
Registered: 2008-08-30
Posts: 12

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

Michael- could you just post a listing of regular(Tuesday Night Yoga, Humpday Nooner, Thursday Night Social etc)and fairly regular (Heavy Breather, Sunday Dude Looks Like a Lady etc)  rides and a link to the Social Cycling FB page? that way folks who are on FB could easily sign up if interested and get the details

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#7 2011-10-30 19:59:00

Runzilla
Member
Registered: 2011-02-09
Posts: 7

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

Micheal, you can be 4,799. Also the Social Cycling Auston page would be  a good place to share your great web site. Come on its the 21st century. :)

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#8 2011-10-31 02:22:33

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,210
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Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

@waterloo:  I'm wary of posting a schedule if I can't confirm it.  I had that problem back when I posted about the Moonlight Rides, where the locations and dates would randomly change, the community was informed only through postering, and readers would complain to me about my listing the rides "wrong".  But yeah, I'll certainly link to the Social Cycling group's Facebook page, though it still seems a shame that they don't post a schedule for the general public.

@Runzilla:  My name is Michael, please.  As for Facebook, I have my own reasons for not wanting to be involved with it.  And I don't want to have to join an online group just to see the ride schedule.

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#9 2011-10-31 14:19:24

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 554

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

Unfortunately, while this forum (and the mailing list) may have been "it" in the past -- now I'd say that much, possibly most of the cycling events and advocacy and such are found on Facebook.  So, right or wrong, anybody who refuses to use FB is likely to miss out on a lot.  You might be able to get a group to make a parallel listing of things outside of Facebook -- and SocialCyclingATX is looking to do that -- but that's only going to be one group, and there's many of them.

As for the Moonlight rides, I've pretty much nailed down the dates for about two years now and done it in advance ... and that's on Facebook as well.  I do send out announcements and such to a few other places (reddit, atxbs, Usenet (though it's so dead now I've stopped), here when I remember but I've probably been bad about that) but it's mostly on Facebook, and the rides have been larger than ever.

The schedule for 2011 is --

Wednesday January 19 11:59pm
Thursday February 17 11:59pm
Friday March 18 11:59pm
Sunday April 17 11:59pm
Monday May 16 11:59pm
Wednesday June 15 11:59pm
Thursday July 14 11:59pm
Friday August 12 11:59pm
Sunday September 11 11:59pm CANCELED
Sunday September 11 2:00am (Saturday night) 29th Annual Moonlight Cruze
Tuesday October 11 11:59pm
Wednesday November 9 11:59pm
Friday December 9 11:59pm (and those staying out really late will enjoy part of an eclipse right before the moon sets.)

If you want to keep track of what's going on, I'd suggest doing Facebook.  It's what the "general public" does, at least in Austin.  You could instead ask people to change to accommodate you -- and some will, but many will not.  If you're worried about privacy, don't tell Facebook anything that's private.  Make up a fake name if you want -- just make it a believable name so you don't run afoul of their "they want your real name" policy.

Elliot's calendar is pretty good as well, though I'd say it's so full of stuff that I'd say it's become unwieldy.  I'm not sure how to fix that, or even if it should be fixed ...

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#10 2011-10-31 17:04:44

jmayson
Member
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 46

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

I agree with Michael.  We shouldn't insist people have a Facebook account to learn about rides.  Posting information on the "wild" web for all to see without having to register or provide personal information has served us well for nearly 20 years. 

I disagree that the "general public" is on Facebook and even so we're not the "general public". 

Yes, we can join Facebook with false information but A. that violates their TOS and the account is subject to termination and B. it's a completely unnecessary step.  Surely someone can set up a wiki somewhere allowing registered users to add/edit rides while allowing everyone to view it.

Last edited by jmayson (2011-10-31 17:05:09)

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#11 2011-10-31 19:23:57

cycling74
Member
Registered: 2008-09-28
Posts: 61

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

It's time for you all to SUBMIT to Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, it's not going away anytime soon. Heck, just make up a name and join these cycling groups already. TOS are meant to be broken, it's called the natural evolution of the web. The more the merrier.

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#12 2011-10-31 22:41:39

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,210
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Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

Thanks everyone for the various comments.  Okay, bearing in mind that I'm not familiar with the intricacies of Facebook, are you all saying that if I join the Social Cycling group and the Full Moon Cruise group, then I can see a list of rides on Facebook?  Because when I go to Facebook now, with a registered account, but not yet having joined the groups, I see messages and stats but no schedule anywhere.  Or is it the case that once I've joined a group, then I'm supposed to pay attention to various posted messages so I don't miss when someone posts about an upcoming ride?

While the former would certainly be better than the latter, I still have to point out that most useful info on the web isn't hidden behind a Facebook signup or Join button.  Most stuff is just freely available on the web without any hassle.  Take this forum -- you can read every page of it without signing up.  And this forum isn't unique in that regard, most forums are readable with no signup.  And I'm not just talking about forums:  most info is simply available on the web on demand.  If some local cycling groups have decided to require a signup to see the schedule, then it rather seems like they're the ones going against the grain of the Internet, not me.

dougmc, if you'll share future Full Moon calendars with me then I'll try to post them.  Where do the rides meet?

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#13 2011-10-31 23:03:00

jmayson
Member
Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 46

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

One more thing to consider.  The ride list should be viewable without a login so search engines can find it.  A newcomer to Austin or even a long-time resident, might not think to check Facebook.  He/she will just use Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

I suppose if a page can be made public on Facebook then there's no real harm.  For me it's not a Facebook issue, it's a "I have to register and provide personal information and login" issue.

I agree the TOS issue is a weak argument and I seriously doubt anyone would get their account closed.  And if it did happen just create a new one.  I'm taking the high road saying no one should have to break the rules, regardless of how ridiculous the rules are, just to see an online calendar.

Last edited by jmayson (2011-10-31 23:05:51)

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#14 2011-11-01 14:53:19

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 554

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

Right or wrong, there's a lot happening on Facebook, and if you don't use it, you'll miss it.  This forum has about 1000 registered users (and most of those are spammers I think, and only a handful are active users) but SocialCyclingATX on Facebook alone has over 5000 members (there's a group and a page because the group has gotten too large for Facebook.  Yes, it gets confusing.)   The ATex Full Moon Cruise group has 566 members -- the ride predates Facebook, so many riders aren't on Facebook, but they still make it to the rides.

What usually happens with Facebook is that people create "events" and invite everybody in the related group to the event.  And Facebook reminds people of the event, and will give you a list of upcoming events that you've been invited to or your friends have been invited to.

As for the TOS, there's fake names, and there's fake names.  If you want a little anonymity, don't call yourself Michael Bluejay.   Instead, you're Mic Blue -- close enough that your friends will recognize you, but far enough that people who don't really know you will notice it.  Use your middle name instead of your last name if you wish.  Is that a fake name?  That's for you to decide.

Of course, if you want more anonymity, you're Joe Sanchez.  Or Alison Wolf.  None of these names are likely to read to any problems -- it's the obviously fake names that do.

As for the Full Moon Rides, I'll simply remember to post them here too.  I have done so in the past, but I've not been good about it.

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#15 2011-11-01 17:07:14

NadiaB
Member
Registered: 2009-06-11
Posts: 68

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

If you join, they will send you an invite to their events.  You can choose to turn these notifications on or off.  For example, I get invited to the yoga ride, the ladies ride, and to the weekly social ride every week via Facebook.  I have to check it to get the notification.

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#16 2011-11-01 20:08:17

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,210
Website

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

Okay, let's back up here.

(1) I never, ever, ever once mentioned privacy, anonymity, or TOS concerns.  Other people have done that.  Privacy/anonymity/TOS has nothing to do with what I asked about.  So we can stop talking about that now.

(2) I don't deny that other sites/groups are bigger than the Bicycle Austin forum.  Again, that has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm asking about.

(3) When I asked where the ride schedule is posted, the answer has been "Join the Facebook group!  Join the Facebook group!  Join the Facebook group!"  But at least according to Nadia (since no one else has answered my question directly), even if someone joins Facebook, and even if they join the Facebook group, then they *still* can't see a schedule of rides, because the organizers haven't bothered to post one.  A member has to wait to get "invited" to an event, or constantly read a bunch of messages to see if one happens to be about an upcoming ride.  So why is everyone telling me that the problem is that I haven't joined the Facebook group when the reality is that even if I did, I couldn't see a schedule of rides (because the organizers haven't bothered to post one)?

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#17 2011-11-02 13:15:22

daveintex13
Member
Registered: 2010-01-07
Posts: 22

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

Regarding a schedule, maybe there's no schedule posted because there's not really a need.  It's just understood that every Thursday night, anyone who's interested in the Social Ride meets at the park under I-35 at Town Lake between 7 and 8pm.  Then they ride wherever.  Whatever "organizers" there are take a very hands-off approach.  Kids!  What're ya gonna do? 

I don't think anyone needs to join facebook to figure out the schedule.  If someone wanted to add to the current methods of communication by posting a schedule somewhere, it'd be very simple:  meet at the park every Thursday at 7, leaving at 8.  I'm impressed that somehow they get hundreds of participants through word of mouth, facebook, twitter, etc.  This is the new networking model of communication.  Another medium wouldn't hurt, but maybe they're not concerned about attracting us old fogeys?  Just speaking for myself, of course.

Dave Westenbarger

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#18 2011-11-02 15:25:51

SamCortez
Member
Registered: 2011-11-02
Posts: 1

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

All,

Our group ,Social Cycling Austin, is in the process of putting together a more comprehensive webpage with an up-to-date schedule of current rides as well as forums for discussion.  I don't have a date, but hopefully soon you will not have to get on facebook to see the up to date information (as it changes frequently)

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#19 2011-11-02 15:54:43

cycling74
Member
Registered: 2008-09-28
Posts: 61

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

SamCortez wrote:

All,

Our group ,Social Cycling Austin, is in the process of putting together a more comprehensive webpage with an up-to-date schedule of current rides as well as forums for discussion.  I don't have a date, but hopefully soon you will not have to get on facebook to see the up to date information (as it changes frequently)



Can you update us with the tweets like you used to? That's how most youngsters are communicating these days.

http://twitter.com/#!/SocCyclingATX

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#20 2011-11-02 19:15:16

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 554

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

daveintex13 wrote:

Regarding a schedule, maybe there's no schedule posted because there's not really a need.  It's just understood that every Thursday night, anyone who's interested in the Social Ride meets at the park under I-35 at Town Lake between 7 and 8pm.

Of course, this might be a good argument for a schedule being needed, as they now meet at Saltillo Plaza and have for a few weeks.

(Why they do Festival Beach during the summer and Saltillo Plaza during the fall and winter I don't know, but they do.)

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#21 2011-11-03 21:49:56

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,210
Website

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

If someone wanted to add to the current methods of communication by posting a schedule somewhere, it'd be very simple:  meet at the park every Thursday at 7, leaving at 8.

Yeah, though of course when this was posted I had no idea which park "the park" referred to.  And as dougmc pointed out, the ride is actually now at Plaza Saltillo.  Thanks, Doug, for that, by the way, because if the park *had* been identified and you hadn't corrected the location then I would have gone to the wrong place tonight with my family.  And had that happened I probably wouldn't have bothered to make another attempt in the future.

According to the calendar at Austin on Two Wheels, the ride was supposed to meet at 7:30 and leave at 8:00 "sharp", but it didn't actually leave until 8:25.  That was too bad, because my kids were hoping to ride for more than twenty minutes before we had to go home, since they have school tomorrow.

The ride impressed me with both the sheer numbers as well as the fact that they stopped at red lights.  I remember back in the day when sometimes only three of us would show up for a Critical Mass ride.  (Yeah, sometimes CM was as big as a social ride, but not usually.)  And trying to get Critical Massers to stop at red lights would have been like trying to herd cats.  I never thought I'd see so much change so quickly, both in the number of participants as well as people stopping for lights, but there you go.  Times have changed.

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#22 2011-11-07 15:06:04

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 554

Re: Where's the list of the Social Rides?

MichaelBluejay wrote:

If someone wanted to add to the current methods of communication by posting a schedule somewhere, it'd be very simple:  meet at the park every Thursday at 7, leaving at 8.

Yeah, though of course when this was posted I had no idea which park "the park" referred to.

Well, except that he mentioned it earlier in the same post -- "It's just understood that every Thursday night, anyone who's interested in the Social Ride meets at the park under I-35 at Town Lake between 7 and 8pm."  And you wouldn't be the first person to show up at the old place, and I think they send somebody down there to look for stragglers, so they might have found you.

According to the calendar at Austin on Two Wheels, the ride was supposed to meet at 7:30 and leave at 8:00 "sharp", but it didn't actually leave until 8:25.  That was too bad, because my kids were hoping to ride for more than twenty minutes before we had to go home, since they have school tomorrow.

They want to leave at 8:00 sharp, but you know how herding cats goes, and they seem to keep getting later as people get used to leaving later.

The fix is probably to say "we are leaving at 8:00pm!" and actually do it.  Yes, people will be left behind.  They'll learn.

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