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Announcing FREE BIKE: A people’s festival pouring into the streets early July

cropped-SkylineSlider1-1Hop on a bike, and your city opens in front of you. No stop-and-go crawl down the highway, no watching your hard-earned money tick away a dollar-per-second at the gas pump, no stressing about the time left on your paid parking sticker. A bike is nearly free to ride, a bike lane frees you from the traffic crawl and biking frees your soul from the mundane.

A bike ride is a love letter to your city. And that’s why Seattle Bike Blog is very excited to announce FREE BIKE, a ten-day open source bicycle festival July 1–10 for and by people like you.

Inspired by Pedalpalooza in Portland and Velopalooza in Vancouver, FREE BIKE invites anyone to host their own group rides, parties, bike-in movies, discussions or anything else you can imagine. If you want to make it happen, we will collect the details on the FREE BIKE calendar and help spread the word.

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Express yourself, meet new people and explore your city like you’ve never experienced before. That’s what FREE BIKE is all about.

There are only a few rules to being a host: You take full responsibility for your own event, and it must be free to participate.

Want to share your knowledge of neighborhood history? Lead a tour by bike! Is there a social issue near to your heart? Lead a bike ride to rally around the cause! Ever dreamed of cruising down Broadway with your bike posse blasting Sir Mix-A-Lot? I will join if you make it happen!

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.30.39 AM
Click to add your FREE BIKE to the calendar.

Anyone can submit an event to the FREE BIKE calendar (and, of course, it’s free!). Just enter the details here. You just need to know when and where the ride will start, the basic details of your idea, and what people can expect (Riding fast or slow? Ending at the start or somewhere else? 21+ or all ages? etc…).

You don’t need to know your whole route or have every detail set in stone before submitting your idea (Shawn Granton outlined some other good tips in this illustrated guide for Portland’s Pedalpalooza by SHIFT). Your idea can be intricate or laid back and chill. An all-day tour of every Starbucks in Seattle? Go for it (though I’ll probably sit that one out). A half mile ride to the beach? That sounds pretty nice.

Don’t worry about conflicting with other events. The goal is to have a packed calendar with so many events you couldn’t possibly go to them all. But if you submit an event, you are making a commitment to be there to lead it. Don’t flake out!

Use the comments below to toss around ideas or find collaborators. And don’t just count on the FREE BIKE calendar to draw participants. Spread the word through your own networks, create a facebook event, hang up fliers or do whatever works for you.

Since the FREE BIKE calendar is an all new system, let us know if you encounter any bugs or if any part of the process is confusing so we can iron things out. Email [email protected].

Pedaler’s Fair 2016 will highlight the FREE BIKE Party July 3

Draft map of the event.

For the central highlight of the festival, the July 3 FREE BIKE Party will take over a street in Ballard for an all day block party organized by yours truly, Brock Howell of Bike Happy Cascadia and Jason Goodman of Swift Industries. Join us for a holiday Sunday filled with music, beer, food, local bike goods and general bike fun.

The party will be the 2016 home of the Pedaler’s Fair, a marketplace for small local bicycle-inspired businesses now in its fifth year (now accepting vendor applications).

This party is the biggest event Seattle Bike Blog has hosted to date, and we are searching for sponsors of all levels who want to be a part of this unique day of summer bike fun that will appeal to people of all ages and bike subcultures. Work for a company that would be a good fit? Send this info to the person in charge of marketing and events. Anyone with questions should email [email protected].

What’s your FREE BIKE gonna be?

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11 responses to “Announcing FREE BIKE: A people’s festival pouring into the streets early July”

  1. Gordon

    I’m open to hosting a ride, but in today’s litigious society I’m not going to host one without some sort of personal liability shield. Solutions?

    1. Gordon, you’re always welcome to modify & use a Cascade rides waiver form. But it’s up to you.

      1. William

        Hopefully for its own sake, the Cascade Bicycle Club backs the waiver up with liability insurance for its own rides. Not providing this for FREE BIKE seems rather irresponsible.

    2. Tom Fucoloro

      We are leaving that up to the individual event hosts.

      I am obviously not a lawyer and would never rely on my legal advice, but I’ve had people sign waivers for Seattle Bike Blog events in the past that basically say (paraphrasing): “I understand I will be riding on public roads and accept the dangers and responsibilities that come with that for myself and any minors with me.” Luckily, an issue has never come up, so I can’t speak to how this would hold up if someone wanted to sue. I’d find actual legal advice if you are concerned about it.

  2. M.J.

    Love, love, love! #bikehackers #opensourcebikes <3

  3. Alex White

    Is there a quick link to the Free Bike page on the main page? The Free Bike calendar doesn’t seem to be on the events calendar and it’s a poor way to publicize the event if you have to keep coming back to this one blog post to find out what’s going on for it.

  4. […] BIKE events must be free to participate, and you are responsible for your own events. For more, see our announcement post or check out the FREE BIKE […]

  5. […] challenged you all to make your bike ride and event ideas reality July 1–10, and you came through. The calendar […]

  6. […] challenged you all to make your bike ride and event ideas reality July 1–10, and you came through. The calendar […]

  7. […] challenged you all to make your bike ride and event ideas reality July 1–10, and you came through. The calendar […]

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