I’m boring. I’m a closet introvert. I don’t go on group rides. For my commute, I stick to the same couple of routes. I commute alone, with my deep thoughts, like, Maybe only dumb people recount being abducted by aliens because aliens keep the smart ones.
So I don’t really get why there are so many competing services offering to help people map and share their rides.
Which brings me back to BikeSpike. Since my first post about BikeSpike, they have received pledges for more than half of their goal.
There are so many mapping benefits for advocacy, but also for social sharing. A service such as MyRidePool could use shared information from BikeSpike to help commuters find each other and ride to work together in togetherly togetherness. Which would make bike commuting safer than it already is — and more social.
I want a BikeSpike, which is why I want their Kickstarter campaign to succeed. But I’d be like the motorist who is an AAA member and only wants roadside assistance, but doesn’t care much about all of the other fabulous member benefits.
Now that the clock is ticking down on BikeSpike, they ran out “Early Bird” specials, and have replaced it with the “Early-ish Bird” special. For $155 you get the BikeSpike device, 9 months of the Commuter data plan, 1 carbon fiber water bottle cage, wall charger, security screws and an installation tool.
Prashant Palsokar from MyRidePool contacted me to maybe write something about his service. I was unenthusiastic because of my whole introvert thing. So I asked him two questions.
What’s in it for a commuter?
How many commuters would prefer to ride alone, especially if the commute is long (say 10-30 miles)? The fact that there are many commuters boards abuzz with activity seems to indicate many would not. I’ve inspected a number of boards where people post, looking for riding partners.
And since he’s a mapping geek, I asked…
What do you think about BikeSpike?
This is fascinating in what it can do. Reading their API ideas,
- We could integrate with their APIs such that we would import a person’s previous rides, list them, and allow the user to select it and create a ride directly. It would be an easy process, similar to importing a GPX file (which we are almost done implementing).
- We could also provide a person’s real-time location on the ride (privacy preferences allowing), so that others could see rides in progress and join where suitable to them. This reduces planning and commitment.
Let me point out that we already have a partner integration with Strava, that imports your ride stats and displays them.
If you think about it, all of those member benefits of AAA, they’re subsidized by the majority of members who don’t use them.
And I suppose that all of those theoretical advocacy benefits BikeSpike would be subsidized by all the people like me who just want the LoJack-like features of the device.
So this is an introduction. BikeSpike: Meet MyRidePool.
And a couple of question to readers:
Do would you prefer to commute with a group, or are you a loner like me?
BTW: I did a social ride this morning. My wife, for only the second time, rode her bike to work. It was her idea. It was fun, but I didn’t feel any compulsion to share it with the world.
Wait. I just did.
“Biking to work makes me feel good all day long.” –MY WIFE!!!
— Commute by Bike (@Commute_by_Bike) April 4, 2013