30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It!

When faced with the blue waters of a lake do you plunge right in and adjust to the temperature with a huge shock, or do you dip a toe and then decide to wade in a bit at a time?

Or maybe you’re a developing skier. At the top of a blue square or black diamond do you point your skis straight down, or do you cautiously schuss from side to side to eliminate as much of the painful gravity as possible so you get down safely in your own way, knowing that someday you may shoot straight down the hill at top speed?

Rosie the Riveter "You Can Do It!" Poster

Rosie looks as if she'd have no problem building her own bike, let alone riding it or fixing a flat.

This series is your cautious wade into the inviting waters of bike commuting, to mangle a metaphor. Inspired by 30 Days of Biking I’m going to see if I can post at least one item a day that will educate, encourage, support, or inspire (and all without giving you that terrible shock when the cold water hits your belly button).

For those of you who are already riding some of this will be old hat but I hope to give you new ideas for ways to increase your comfort, safety and style.

Honestly, it doesn’t actually take 30 days to get started as a bike commuter—if you have equipment already it’s more like 30 minutes—but I’m running with the concept as my own personal challenge on top of 30 days of biking (which is fun, not work).

Step 1: Decide you’re going to do it. Pretty simple, really, but you can think about it a long time and never actually make a formal decision. As more than one someone has said, a goal without a plan isn’t a goal–it’s a dream.

Stick the words “I’m going to bike commute” on your bathroom mirror. Make “Prep for bike commuting” an Outlook task with a daily reminder. Write something about it on the fridge. Put it in a place you will see daily to help you keep moving forward. (Quick tip: If you have a stainless steel fridge you can write on it with dry-erase markers.)

Step 2: Enlist a friend to come with you. As with any new endeavor, you’re more likely to stick with it if you tell someone and have some moral support (and someone to hold you to your best intentions).

It won’t seem so scary if you’re not alone. And you’re inspiring and encouraging your friend, too!

Step 3: Enjoy this! You’re embarking on the rediscovery of childhood joy and freedom. Celebrate it.

If you already ride with confidence on weekend recreational outings you can skip some of the information in upcoming posts but not necessarily all. Your weekend bike is most likely not equipped for commuting, for one thing; choosing a route through traffic isn’t the same thing as heading out to quiet country roads or separated trails; and dressing for a ride to work doesn’t have to involve Spandex and full kit unless you want it to.

Ready to gear up? Let’s roll!

Related Reading

——————–

Posts in our 30 Days of Biking Blogging Inspiration & How-to Series for Sept. 2011 30 Days of Biking

  1. 30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It!
  2. Why We Ride/Resolve to Ride–A Blogspedition
  3. Preparing to Commute by Bike: Get the Worry out of the Way
  4. Buying a Bike for Commuting: Some Questions and a Blogspedition
  5. How to Bike Commute: Getting the Gear Together
  6. Bike Commuting 101: Carrying Stuff
  7. On a Roll with Wilma Flanagan
  8. 30 Days of Biking: Week One Report
  9. Ride with your Community: SpokeFest Rocks!
  10. There and Back Again: How to Pick your Bike Commute Route
  11. Intro to Bike Commuting: Route Selection Part 2
  12. More Bike Commuting Route Selection Tips: Part 3
  13. Thinking Like a Driver vs. Thinking Like a Bicyclist
  14. Biking as Downtime and other Musings on Overproductivity
  15. 30 Days of Biking: Week Two Report
  16. On a Roll with Katherine Widing
  17. I Shouldn’t Assume
  18. Falling Down on Your Bike. It Happens. To Grown-Ups.
  19. Pretty Handy, Gloves. The Blogspedition Assumes You’ll Get ‘Em.
  20. What to Wear for Your Bike Commute? Clothes.
  21. How to Get a Dropped Bike Chain Back On, Grease-Free
  22. 30 Days of Biking: Week Three!
  23. It’s All in the Attitude
  24. Things I Now Do on My Bike Without Having to Think About It
  25. Mental Essentials for Bike Commuting: Risk and Trust
  26. More Mental Essentials for Bike Commuting: Friendliness and Openness
  27. Even More Mental Essentials for Bike Commuting: Tolerance, Humor, and Persistence
  28. Bicycling Rites of Passage, Spokane Style
  29. Dear Reader, I Chicked Him
  30. 30 Days of Biking: Final Report!

Your Turn

  • If you’re already riding, what really pushed you into getting started? Share it here to help someone else.
  • If you’re not riding yet, what’s holding you back? We may be able to help!

We’re Here for You!

  • Are you going to ride every day in September, or take one step every day toward getting your bike commuting started? Tell us in the comments and we’ll send good vibes your way!
  • If you’re on Twitter, tweet your intentions with the #30daysofbiking hashtag. Include us via an @BikeStyleSpok tag & we’ll tweet encouragement your way every day.
  • If you’re on Facebook, go to the Bike Style Spokane page, find the update where this post will be linked, and tell us you’re going to go for it. We’ll give you a thumbs-up every way possible and so will everyone else on the page.
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36 Comments to "30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It!"

  1. Jonas says:

    You’ll be happy with yourself if you go through with the bike commute! Even if you’re pretty far from work I know a few people who drive part way (or take the bus/train) with a folding bike and then ride the rest. Still saves you gas and gets you some exercise!

  2. Wow! Can’t believe I stumbled on this and it was written today! I am just beginning my own personal 30 days! I’m someone who’s thin and healthy but with no fitness or athletic background whatsoever. I’m blogging about it at http://www.citygirlsworld.com but I will be checking here daily for inspiration. I can really use it!! Thanks so much for this.

  3. Lisa says:

    Sticking with my bike commute is finally starting to wear off on my teenage boys – they are seeing me fully commit to something and see it through. My older boy even agreed to take a ride around the neighborhood with me today. Now, that makes it all worth it!

  4. I did my first day last week and did 2 days this week. 6.5 miles each way and one AWFUL hill on the way home. Next week, my goal is to do it EVERY day. It’s both harder and more fun than I thought. I have basically no cardiovascular strength right now but I keep telling myself that it will get easier if I stick with it. I rode in today and am hoping to get in a short “hobby” ride over the holiday weekend.

  5. […] We Ride/Resolve to Ride—A BlogspeditionWearing Real Clothes: A Radical Political Statement30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It!Buying a Bike for Commuting: Some Questions and a Blogspedition Preparing to Commute by Bike: Get […]

  6. […] Comprehensive ListBike Commuting 101: Carrying StuffHow to Bike Commute: Getting the Gear Together30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It!Happy Bottom: Pedal Panties ReviewWomen’s Clothing for Biking that Doesn’t Look Like It’s for […]

  7. […] If you’re already biking you may be doing the 30 Days of Biking challenge. To keep myself on track I thought I’d better set up a weekly check-in on my 30 days of biking/blogging, similar to an earlier post I did to demonstrate a typical week in outfits and mileage. You’re my friends–you’ll help me stay on track with my good intentions. […]

  8. […] 30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It! […]

  9. […] with your Community: SpokeFest Rocks!On a Roll with Wilma FlanaganHassle Factor: Biking vs. Driving30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It!Bike Style Spokane Products Sharing in Twitterville […]

  10. […] Bike Bag More Bike Commuting Route Selection Tips: Part 3Bike Style Spokane ProductsAbout the Quest30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It! Sharing in Twitterville […]

  11. […] In my quest to do a better job of 30 Days of Biking in September than I did in April (which got too complicated with travel for me to make it) I’ve assigned myself a weekly accountability post (Week One here). You’re keeping me on track, just like my advice to people considering bike commuting to enlist a friend. […]

  12. […] Downtime and other Musings on OverproductivityRiding in Skirts: Today’s ReactionsAbout the Quest30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It!There and Back Again: How to Pick your Bike Commute RouteHow to Bike Commute: Getting the Gear […]

  13. […] 30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It! […]

  14. […] Be a Bike Bag 30 Days of Biking: Week Two ReportWearing Real Clothes: A Radical Political Statement30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It! Sharing in Twitterville […]

  15. […] Down on Your Bike. It Happens. To Grown-Ups.I Shouldn’t AssumeOn a Roll with Katherine Widing30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It!Happy Bottom: Pedal Panties ReviewPreparing to Commute by Bike: Get the Worry out of the WayA Trunk […]

  16. […] What to Wear, What to WearIntro to Bike Commuting: Route Selection Part 2I Shouldn’t Assume30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It!Shopping for a Better WorldOn a Roll With…. Sharing in Twitterville […]

  17. […] 30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It! […]

  18. […] Like It’s for Biking: What to Wear, What to WearHow to Bike Commute: Getting the Gear Together30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It! Sharing in Twitterville […]

  19. […] 30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It! […]

  20. […] a Bike Bag How to Get a Dropped Bike Chain Back On, Grease-Free Happy Bottom: Pedal Panties Review30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It! Sharing in Twitterville […]

  21. […] 30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It! […]

  22. […] 30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It! […]

  23. […] 30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It! (6.9 miles) […]

  24. […] know that setting a goal matters because the commitment for 30 Days of Biking really did make a difference in my […]

  25. […] 30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It! […]

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