Apr 062013
It Is Always Better to Ride than Not to Ride

The tough part of 30 Days of Biking for me isn’t the workdays–those rides are long-established habit. The tough part is the weekend.

That’s the point, really. It’s easy to settle into habits of whatever kind and committing to doing something every single day will shake things up. Setting up any kind of challenge, whether it’s an errandonnee (with a twist) or coffeeneuring or the National Bike Challenge, may be just what it takes to get you rolling.


Keep RidingMy weekday habit? Ride my bike, at least to and from work. It’s a laughable one-mile round trip but so what? At least I start and end my day with my body in motion, not sitting and staring at a glass surface the way I will much of the rest of the day. I arrive at work happy because I’ve smiled at real people along the way, felt the air against my skin, felt alive. My workdays are long and intense so every chance to get out and ride to a meeting or run an errand represents a break from electronica to clear my head.

Get to the weekend and I settle onto the couch for a well-deserved rest–or, in the case of this weekend, long-overdue tax record compilation. If the opposite of feeling alive is feeling dead, well, that’s what a long day on the sofa with Quicken reports, spreadsheets, and a new information organizer from a new accountant will do for you.

All day long I meant to get out–I really did! I got a peek at some blue sky through the window and then watched as the day grew gray, and then turned toward dusk.

My sweetheart put in time on his trainer grinding out killer intervals, then later grabbed his commuter and rode to the grocery store. I meant to go with him for that short jaunt, honestly, but I was right in the middle of sliding into this teensy little nap….

Finally at about 8:00 at night, the sofa still full of tax information, I said, “That’s it! Time to go ride my bike! I have to.”

I was more than rewarded for heading out the door. The damp streets in downtown Seattle led me to overestimate how much warmth I needed in my layers but for a short ride it didn’t much matter.

I thought I’d just go around the block for a pro forma ride that would fulfill the letter of the event. Instead I went a little farther, turned down a different street than my usual route to work, climbed up the hill that runs the length of Pike Place Market, pushed my bike up a very steep block of cobblestones, then coasted home–a grand total of 1.4 miles. At Pike Place I got to take advantage of the wonderful flexibility of the bike as urban mobility tool: On a bicycle I’m a vehicle and a pedestrian and can proceed through a light that’s red for cars when it has a WALK signal.

Early in the ride as I climbed the hill I thought to myself, “I don’t have to do this. I could turn around and coast back now.” Then I realized the magic of 30 Days of Biking: By getting out and riding I reminded myself that I would simply rather ride than not ride. Every day I ride that will make it that much more true, and that much easier to ride the next day.

Related Reading

Ride Report to Prove It Isn’t About the Mileage

  • April 1: 1.3
  • April 2: 1.0
  • April 3: 2.3
  • April 4: 1.0
  • April 5: 1.0
  • April 6: 1.4

Your Turn

  • Are you doing 30 Days of Biking? How’s it going for you?


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Reader Comments

  1. I’ve done 30 consecutive days of cycling in other years,…without realizing it until I wondered why..I was feeling burnt out.

    Since we are car-free and have been for past few decades, life just needs to roll along by bike. Usually I tend to need at least 1 day off the bike every 3 weeks or so.

    Wonder if car drivers feel the same way. 😉

    But yes, it is often better to bike than not, except when it’s icy outdoors and one doesn’t have studded tires.

  2. “ It’s a laughable one-mile round trip but so what?” is more than what most people do, no shame on that, im proud of you <3 +thanks for sharing that beautiful mural foto

    ok well, I also love my couch. specially during march madness 🙂

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