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

Bike Advocate
Peter Wilborn May 26, 2020

If you’ve ridden a bike anywhere in Atlanta, chances are you’ve met Atlanta bike advocate Angel Poventud.  If you’ve stopped for a post-ride beer, been to an important advocacy event, or to any major Atlanta gathering, chances are you have met Angel Poventud.   It may only seem that Angel is everywhere, but when you […]

Read More
Bicycle accident lawyer group riding in COVID
Kurt Holzer May 15, 2020

Idaho’s Governor Little has issued the State’s planned staged transition away from his Stay-at-Home health order.  Road cyclists continue to wonder how we should engage in group riding under COVID. As a bicycle accident lawyer who deals with the negative aspects of cycling, I have been thinking a lot about when and how to ride safely […]

Read More
Felix Mayer Cyclist killed by car. NO VRU law
Bruce Hagen Apr 30, 2020

On May 1, 2020, the City of Dunwoody’s new Vulnerable Road User (“VRU”) ordinance will take effect, the first such law to be enacted anywhere in the State of Georgia.  Hopefully neighboring municipalities like Sandy Springs, Roswell and Chamblee will follow suit, and more importantly, the State of Georgia.   VRU laws recognize and prioritize […]

Read More
Minnesota Cycling
Daniel Brazil Apr 23, 2020

On March 6, Minneapolis released a 252-page Transportation Action Plan. The plan’s ultimate goal is to expand transportation options for those walking, biking and taking public transit to get where they need to go.  Through this expansion, Minneapolis hopes to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, lowering greenhouse gas emissions. One of the […]

Read More
Bike to Work Corona
Daniel Brazil Apr 14, 2020

Not long ago, I published a post highlighting the great efforts being made by the co-chairs of the Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition. One of the co-chairs, Andy Singer, has garnered attention not just for his work for the Coalition but for his policy-based cartoons.  I asked Andy if he’d oblige to another interview to highlight […]

Read More
Peter's Bike Tools
Peter Wilborn Apr 13, 2020

I love bikes as much as I love cycling. To me, a bike is moving sculpture, perfected technology, and gorgeous industrial design. In these lock-down days, I am out in the garage fiddling with my bikes.  Tuning them up, and overhauling one or two. Which got me thinking of bike tools.  And the ones I […]

Read More
Load More