We wanted to take a moment to send our best wishes to Jay Ruiz, founder of the Brooklyn Bike Patrol. Jay posted the following message to Facebook on Friday afternoon:
Attention Brooklyn!! This is Jay Ruiz President and Founder. This is the most difficult post I’m ever going to make. This pass Saturday & Monday I had a heart attack. I ride 150-200 miles a week and do 100 pushups a day. I thought it was heartburn! Finally made it to the hospital yesterday after 3 days of vomiting. I was shocked to learn what my heart been through. But I have to say that we going to shut down this service. I’m so sorry to all the women that depends on our service. Remember that I love doing this and I’m very proud of what the BBP has become and and all the people we helped. I ask for you to give me and my family privacy during this time. God bless and i love you all. And remember ladies watch your surroundings and stay alert.
Take care, Jay, and thank you for everything that you have done for our community.
If you’re feeling uneasy at the prospect of not having the patrol around, another option is RightRides. The volunteer organization, in collaboration with Zipcar, will pick women and members of the LGBTQ community up on Fridays and Saturdays between the hours of 11:59pm and 3am and drive them home free of charge. For more information on RightRides visit their website, or to arrange for a pickup, call their dispatch number during the above operational hours at (888) 215-7233 (SAFE).
If you are going to be walking alone at night, always make sure someone knows where you are going. Try to keep to a well-lit and populated area. If you must walk down a dark, vacant street (such as a residential street) remain aware of your surroundings. Do not listen to your iPod or talk on your phone. Do not flash valuables such as jewelry or electronic devices around. Walk with purpose and, most importantly, go with your gut. If a situation feels dangerous, it probably is.
Image via Brooklyn Bike Patrol