Making an attempt for 30 days of biking in April

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Originally I dismissed the idea of 30 Days of Biking, launched in 2010 and posted to Twitter by two Minneapolis cyclists as #30daysofbiking.

It is returning in 2012, and already I can see several dates looming in April when I just don’t know how I’ll get out on my bike.

I have good reasons to skip those days. But other people have what they call “good reasons” to skip a day, or a week, or a month or to never use a bike to ride to work, run an errand, or just get some exercise.

Maybe my reasons are just as lame. So I’m going to give it a go and see how many days I can ride this month. Maybe I’ll do all 30, which would be great. Maybe I’ll only hit 25, which would still be more days than I usually ride (my average is 15 to 20 a month).

My inspiration comes from Kent’s Bike blog. He’s not only riding 30 days, but his post subjects will be A-Z.

Day 1

On the first day of 30 Days of Biking, I combined my interests in biking and gardening by heading over to the farmers’ market in Newcastle (WA) where I picked up a couple of bags of organic compost (photo above).

I bought that used Yakima trailer for bicycle camping, but I use it far more regularly for grocery shopping and errands like this one.

Since I haven’t been riding with a lot of weight this winter, this gave me a chance to get some “ultra-heavy” training for some bicycle touring later on. I biked directly to the market, which is 2 miles away, but took a meandering 6 miles home.

Weight is good

The rig was surprisingly easy to control with 30 some pounds in the trailer, and it rolled along easily enough until I got to the climbs. That’s where gravity overcame my momentum and I lost my cadence as I stumbled into my stump-puller gears.

But riding with this weight is a solid, earthy experience, especially when the weight is compost. It awakens some muscle-memories from previous bike tours, and now I’m looking forward to riding my bike loaded down with camping gear in the months ahead.

30 days of biking

Total days — 1

Total miles — 8

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    • Andy on April 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm
    • Reply


    Regarding the looming obligation of riding on all 30 days, here’s something some colleagues and I do at work.

    Our “coach” asks everyone who would like to earn a varsity letter in cycling to make a contract for how many days each week we will ride to work for a given time. Since not everyone can ride every day, this still lets even the occasional rider participate and get the satisfaction of achievement.

    We each also specify how many “mulligans” we allow ourselves during the season — days when, for whatever reason, you just can’t ride (flat tire, too much rain, need a car for errands, pick up the kids, etc.).

    Then, we track our riding days, using mulligans as necessary, and at the end of the season, if you met your contracted days less allowed mulligans, you’ve earned a varsity letter.

    Of course, none of us has actually received a real letter for our bike jackets, but we have the satisfaction of having earned it virtually!

    I must say that even this simple and silly device — the fear of using a valuable mulligan — often is a deciding factor in getting me on the bike instead of jumping in the car on the mornings when I’m running a little late.


  1. Hi Gene,

    I’m glad you’re giving it a go. I’m off work Wednesdays and Thursdays (and sometimes Tuesdays). Maybe we can sync up at least one of our rides or maybe cross paths.


  2. Good Luck with your 30 day bike quest! Last year I managed to go over two months last year with out a car (March, April, and part of May). When I did need the car, it wouldn’t start! It was fairly easy in Sequim. Southeastern Pennsylvania is not quite as bike friendly I think it would be a challenge to do it for a week here.

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