Shanghai needs Joyride

Just read this article in the New York Times, and think it’s one of those fabulous ideas that can be totally transplanted to Shanghai, and I’m looking forward to someone other than me to kick it off!

Joyride is a group bike ride with a shared route and a common soundtrack. Riders equipped with MP3 players and headphones set off from the same point, pushing “play” simultaneously. They travel individually or in a pack, but each knows what the others are hearing. Gliding through the city on two wheels can already feel like being in a long tracking shot in a very personal movie, especially if you do it while listening to music. Joyride gives that experience an added dimension — an audience of participants.

There’s more to Joyride than just a leisurely bike ride, though. There’s a picnic in Central Park, complete with checkerboard tablecloths spread on the grass, bouquets of flowers and a menu of lobster rolls and fresh corn salad, courtesy of Jane Park, a friend of Ms. Sherman who is also a chef. Ms. Sherman said it was integral to her vision to have all the participants meet. “Jane and I talk about it as the second act,” she said. “If everyone just rode and listened and then drifted away, it wouldn’t be right.”

I know there are already a few biking groups in Shanghai, both expat and local-oriented. While having everyone listen to a soundtrack on their headphones while biking might be a bit harrowing in this town, at least participants will know that if they do get hit by a wayward taxi cab or heavy-duty truck, they’ll have a support group ready to call for help and stabilize their spines instead of being gawked at by a useless ring of pajama-clad bystanders.

Someone do this quickly! I want to join! (at least, for the part where everyone picnics)