Bike Party Makes Everyone on Wheels Feel Welcome
Lansing Bike Party co-founder Tim Potter (right) speaks with Gotcha scooter CEO Sean Flood earlier this summer. (Photo by Raymond Holt)
When Tim Potter worked with his brother Jeff Potter to organize the Lansing Bike Party in 2009, he did not expect that it would be as popular as it has become. Originally founded to leisurely tour the Lansing area, the group has now gone on to help newcomers get accustomed to the area and feel like they are cycling safely.
Today, the two brothers help lead the organization. With up to 50 riders at every event and more than 2,100 members at the group's Facebook page, the group is hoping to continue increasing their numbers.
Throughout the running of the LBP, multiple new people have joined in order to get to know the area better. Tim Potter stated that the party becomes busier the closer to the start of the school year.
When many first time cyclists join, they start without helmets or reflective gear. But many long-time riders show up with cameras on their bike, helmet, and themselves. It all depends on what the riders are comfortable with.
“Riding and riding safely are two different things.” Tim said.
Potter stated that the party’s hope is that they can lead by example and encourage more people to ride around on their bikes rather than drive.
Many friendships have been made through the LBP, some small while others have made lifetime commitments.
“We have had three couples meet, date and go on to marry and have kids through the bike party,” Tim said.
With the LBP running from April through October every year since its inception, the coordinators organize up to 70 events and rides during the operating season. This includes any special or exclusive rides that may not occur annually.
The party has various night-time rides where some will attach string lights to their bikes and wear glow sticks. While the party itself is not geared towards small children, many families join these night rides to show that riding can be fun while being safe.
“We feel like we are serving a purpose,” Tim said.
The Lansing Bike Party meets every Friday during the riding season at various locations around the area. Any special or exclusive events can be viewed on its Facebook page @LansingBikeParty.
Correction: When published, this article misstated the group's membership on Facebook; that has been corrected. We also added the information that Jeff Potter helps lead the group.
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