02

Blog

Uber as Bicycling Motorcade? Absolutely.

Faced with a perilous bridge, Charlie summons a motor-pacing escort. Know this $8 ride-hack!

I often find myself wanting to ride on a roadway corridor that doesn’t want me there. At best, I could make it across alive with some close calls and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. At worst, I wouldn’t be around to write this blog post. 

Of course, a safer, alternate route doesn’t always exist. So, you have to make one yourself. 

Green Bridge Bad Biking

Take, for example, the Green Bridge in New Orleans. This key artery connects two parts of great riding in the city: St. Bernard Parish and New Orleans East. The Green Bridge is over a mile long, has no shoulder at its crest, and stands over 13 stories tall. Its speed limit is 55 mph, but traffic travels at an unenforced 70. 

Fortunately, there’s no need to either risk your life or ruin your intended route. When I find myself here, I call an Uber of Lyft not to hop in the car, but to gain a private traffic escort. 

The conversation typically goes like this when the driver pulls up:

Me: Hi, I’m Charlie. I’m not trying to get in your car all sweaty with my bike. Can you just put your hazard lights on and follow me over the bridge so that no one hits me? It should take about 4 minutes and I’ll tip you at the bottom. Cool? 

David the Uber driver: Alllllllright. 

Uber Cycling Motorcade

This will likely be the first time your driver has gotten this request, so make the request confidently enough to not give the driver second thoughts. Of course, it’s completely within the driver’s discretion at this point to accept/reject this ride, but I’ve never seen anyone decline it. 

I pull away on my bike and head onto the feeder road. David tails me in his Xterra about 40 feet behind. The adrenalin of the bridge ahead and passing traffic keep me moving at 15 mph up the grade. I feel like Egan Bernal. My legs start to burn as I near the top, which comes just in time to start coasting downhill. Within a few seconds, I’m zooming down the backslope somewhere around 35 mph. Traffic is still passing twice as fast as me, and I’m glad I have cover. 

At the bottom, I pull over and David follows. He rolls down his window and I thank him for literally saving my life. He seems genuinely happy to have done some good. He also seems happy that I didn’t get sweat and bike grease all over his interior. Mutual 5-star reviews are exchanged. Everybody wins.  

So, use this life hack when you need it. As someone who wants to occasionally ride high-speed corridors and live to tell about it, it hasn’t failed me yet.  

If you’d like to keep up with these developments and hear what we’re else doing at Bike Law, drop me an email at [email protected]. I’ll add you to our update list so that you have the latest information on these issues as they develop further. 

Comments

AJ's Bicycle Shop in Iowa
Jim Freeman Jul 15, 2019

Bicycling Magazine recently published an article titled, “Hey, Bike Shops; Stop Treating Customers Like Garbage.”  The story follows a heavy-set 59 year old’s sad tale of how he was treated poorly from a number of local bike shops.   First and foremost, I would be clear that bikes are for almost everyone.  If you are big, […]

Read More
Bike accident scene
Rick Bernardi Jul 12, 2019

The big bike news out of the Oregon legislature this year was the passage of a Stop as Yield law. This was an enormous legislative victory for Oregon cyclists, the culmination of over a decade of advocacy. But it wasn’t the only legislative victory for Oregon cyclists this legislative session. A less glamorous but equally […]

Read More
Uber Biking Escort
Charlie Thomas Jul 11, 2019

I often find myself wanting to ride on a roadway corridor that doesn’t want me there. At best, I could make it across alive with some close calls and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. At worst, I wouldn’t be around to write this blog post.  Of course, a safer, alternate route […]

Read More
Cycling Without Age Bike Law
Brian Weiss Jul 11, 2019

The founder of the Lakewood Bicycle Advisory Team loves his life on two wheels. Gary Harty was born in Bellows Falls, Vermont, and raised in Colorado – Denver Metro area, and now makes bicycling in Lakewood, Colorado safe and fun.  Gary is part of the baby boomer generation. He attended Colorado State University (CSU) and […]

Read More
Rachael Maney Bike Law
Rachael Maney Jul 10, 2019

Outrage.  It is what drives action and engagement on the interwebs these days. If it’s not outrageous, it’s boring. The Election of 2018 proved that outrage increases TOS (“time on site”) more than friendship, sympathy, desire, or anything else.  Judgment. By definition it is necessary to reach any conclusion about anything. But passing it on […]

Read More
Stop as Yield for Cyclists
Rick Bernardi Jul 09, 2019

The Oregon Legislature made national news this past week, for all the wrong reasons. The State Senate, with a super-majority of Democrats in control, had been working on climate legislation which would have Oregon join a cap-and-trade market with California and Quebec. Unable to stop the legislation, Republican Senators fled the state en masse, preventing […]

Read More
Bike Law Alps
Charlie Thomas Jul 07, 2019

It’s Tour de France time. I follow the racing daily through the footage on TV feed and still photos. But I hadn’t ever considered what’s happening on the other side of the camera lens. Like, what actually goes into snapping these pictures that we see documenting the Tour’s happenings? I started to care more about […]

Read More
E Bike and insurance
Lauri Boxer-Macomber Jul 01, 2019

Prologue  Last month, I rode across the Casco Bay Bridge to talk e-bikes and insurance with Bob O’Brien, the Vice President of Noyes, Hall and Allen Insurance in South Portland, Maine.  Although I have yet to invest in an e-bike for myself, I have been captivated by e-bikes and their potential to get and keep […]

Read More
Brooke Nelson
Danny Feldman Jul 01, 2019

Brooke Nelson has been the ride director of the Cheaha Challenge (www.cheahachallange.com) since shortly after the 2014 ride and in the past 5 years, ride participation has increased 188%.  Since 2017 when it became the only UCI Qualifier, Alabama’s biggest ride has become known nationally and internationally.  The 2019 ride had participants from 31 states […]

Read More
Joe Piscitello Jun 20, 2019

Thanks to some outstanding advocacy efforts, both the state of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia have recently scored two important wins for cycling safety. Pennsylvania:  “Dutch Reach” in State Driver’s Manual The “Dutch Reach” method of opening a car door has finally been added to the State Driver’s Manual after many years of conversation. […]

Read More
Pat Brown Jun 20, 2019

ONTARIO BICYCLE LAWS It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Ontario. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here). For any questions about the Province’s bike laws, or about your rights to the road, contact attorney Pat Brown directly. Right to […]

Read More
Ladies on Spokes
Bruce Hagen Jun 19, 2019

Some people are in Book Clubs.  Others may have a green thumb and gravitate towards Garden Clubs.   Finding like minded people to share a common interest is an important part of being an active member of your community.   In Newnan, there is a group of women who have made their shared passions a vital […]

Read More
Load More