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When they had to cancel their regular social bike rides due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Swift Industries got creative. At first they laughed when Swift Founder Martina Brimmer suggested starting the Swift Social Distance Cycling Club. But then, after thinking about it a bit more, she realized it’s actually a pretty good idea.
The club is a free group on Strava, which is already a popular way for cycling groups to share rides and talk. So it was an obvious service to create their new “digital community to temporarily take the stead of all the social riding we do at Swift Industries and personally, individually,” said Brimmer. (Full Disclosure: Swift is a longtime Seattle Bike Blog advertiser, but this is not a paid post)
I had the chance to virtually talk to Brimmer about it recently, and you can watch above. And the conversation made me think that this could also be a great way for people who are missing the social aspect of cycling. Not only can you join this club, but you can organize the people you miss riding with into your own Strava group. It’s not the same, of course, but it’s a way to share what you’re doing and have some of the conversations you would normally do out on the road.
So far, the group has crowdsourced an insignia (“I’ve been watching a lot of Marvel right now, and I love the idea of an insignia on the collar, a little nod to the secret society”) and an upbeat Spotify playlist. Today, they are encouraging people to bike to Peloton Cafe Bike Shop at 12th and Jefferson to support them by buying take-out burritos.
But their first big event is scheduled for April 4, when they would have had their regular social ride. Basically, they are challenging members to spend three hours in the saddle and post photos from their rides. Details from the event page:
SEATTLE! DON’T COME RIDE WITH US the first Saturday of April for our Swift Saturday Social Ride series. We won’t be getting together for some coffee and breakfast burritos, some pedaling, and some hanging out every first Saturday of the month because SOCIAL DISTANCING
Instead! We challenge you to spend three hours in the saddle, riding around your hometown. Take these photos en-route to earn a SSDCC token!
-your bike -your bike in the middle of a road -a peace sign -graffiti -something yellow.
Photos must be posted to your strava route to earn a token. What’s a token you ask? We don’t actually know yet, but it’ll be neat.