A bike ride is one thing. A Tuesday night bike ride with the TuNiBiRi crew is most definitely another.
Shaun Wilson, 28, is the founder of TuNiBiRi, titled after the first two letters in Tuesday Night Bike Rides. Wilson, a UNF finance junior, came up with the idea a few years ago.
He said he was motivated to get people to ride because it’s an excuse to do something other than go to the bars.
The group originally met at Wilson’s house, but as of Aug. 24 it meets at Snappers Seafood and Spirits in Jacksonville Beach.
“We either ride north or south, depending on the crowd and the direction of the wind,” Wilson said. “We generally ride about 10 miles at a leisurely pace.”
The group consists mostly of young adults, but any age is welcome to ride.
Joshua Anthony, a UNF alumni and TuNiBiRi vice president, helps Wilson manage the bike rides. He also creates promotional wear, such as T-shirts, for the group.
Anthony, 28, runs his own screen-printing company, Silk Screams. This allows him to provide the group with shirts and Koozies free of charge.
He said he buys the shirts from Goodwill and uses his own equipment to print the logos onto them.
Lindsey Prather, a Florida State College at Jacksonville student, is new to TuNiBiRi. Prather, 19, said her experience was better than she expected.
“I thought it was going to be all old people,” she said. “Then I get there, and I realized it was the total opposite.”
Prather said TuNiBiRi is a great excuse to socialize and makes exercise a lot more fun. She hopes to ride with the group for as long as possible.
Aside from riding, Wilson also has a passion for building bikes. Since he was 6 years old, he has worked with his dad putting them together.
Wilson builds bikes mostly for friends, under the moniker Building Bicycles, but he hopes to eventually expand and create a business.
The group reached its highest attendance record Aug. 16, with 58 attendees. Wilson and Anthony said they hope to watch that figure grow as people spread the word.
To make the rides more than just that, the two have incorporated games, including shark circle and radar gun. In shark circle, riders bike around a circle as fast as possible. When the group plays radar gun, it tries to reach maximum speed while racing in a straight line.
“Calling a shark circle is a good way of letting stranglers catch up,” Wilson said, “and it makes waiting for them a little more fun.”
Although the games are enjoyable, the leaders stress how important it is to take certain safety precautions. Lights are a must – for safety reasons and to avoid police harassment.
Furthermore, there is absolutely no littering allowed.
Wilson and Anthony said even if they move from Jacksonville, they will pass on the tradition.
“There’s just one rule: No jerks allowed,” Wilson said. “Have fun and don’t be scared; we always have a great time.”
WANNA GO FOR A RIDE?
Check out TuNiBiRi’s Facebook group, “TuNiBiRi!”
The group meets at 9 p.m. at Snappers Seafood and Wine Bar, which is located at 314 First St. in Jacksonville Beach, and rides at 9:30 p.m.