Thank you for showing an interest in piloting our wheelchair tandem! We hope to begin offering rides to passengers in Spring of 2022, once the weather is comfortable. We’ll plan on having a get-together with interested pilots so that you can see the bike and we can discuss any questions you might have.
All pilots must first complete a simple background check with Raleigh’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources department. You’ll only need to complete this process once, even if you continue to volunteer in future years. To start the process, download the volunteer application form and email it to Christen Winstead. In the Volunteer Interests section, enter “Raleigh Riders” in the “other” field. If you let me know when you’ve submitted a volunteer request, I’ll follow up with Parks if I don’t hear back. It takes about five business days for the process to complete.
Be sure to join the Facebook group for Raleigh Riders pilots. This is where we’ll communicate about scheduling, etc.
We’re still working out the best format for the program, but a typical trip will likely last an hour. Pilots will meet their passenger in the parking lot at the Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center (5908 Buffaloe Rd) on the Neuse River Greenway. Passengers will be responsible for transferring themselves to and from the tandem. Pilots will be joined by another rider, either another volunteer like you or a family member or friend of the passenger.
The amount of time spent on the bike depends on the time your passenger spends transferring from their vehicle to the bike. Our bike has electric assist, so it’s easy to pedal your way back up the hill to Buffaloe Road from the greenway.
We will always have two adults present during rides. That might mean that the passenger brings a companion, but it may mean that one of our volunteers rides along. It would be great if two pilots could team up for a 2-hour “shift” and trade off piloting and riding-along.
Once you’ve completed the volunteer application process with Parks & Rec and have met with Scott Reston to receive bike training, you’re encouraged to pick the time slots that work best for you to offer rides to passengers. New pilots will be given access to our Google Calendar. That calendar will list all already-scheduled time slots so that you can avoid overlapping an existing time.
When you’re ready to pick some time slots, let Scott Reston know (via email or Facebook Messenger or Pilots Forum post). Scott will add the time slot to the Google Calendar and create tickets in EventBrite, allowing passengers to sign up.
Time slots will expire 12 hours before their scheduled beginning to prevent pilots from needing to keep their schedules open when nobody has signed up for their time slot.
When a passenger signs up for a time slot, Scott will update the Google Calendar with the passengers name and contact information. If you need to cancel a ride, contact the passenger as soon as possible to allow them to adjust their schedule.
Remember – there will always be two adults along for each ride. If you can organize with an existing pilot to offer a time slot together so that the passenger doesn’t need to bring a ride-along companion, that’s ideal. If it’s just you signing up for the ride, the ticket in EventBrite will specify that the passenger must bring a ride-along companion.
We need to work within the working hours of the Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center when scheduling rides. Typically, BRAC is open the following hours:
Monday – Thursday: 10am-7pm
Check here for latest schedule updates for BRAC.