Dec 292018
#BikeIt: What’s On Your List?

You know what a bucket list is — the things you want to do before you die. I’m not looking quite that far ahead with this list, just musing about things related to bicycling that might strike you as entertaining, inspiring, challenging, rewarding, or maybe even a tiny bit scary to try.

Some are big, bold, and year-long, others more easily done. Some may already be routine for you, others seemingly out of the question. That’s the beauty of a list for all kinds of riders who have all kinds of reasons for riding.

Add your ideas here in the comments or in social media and I’ll keep this list growing over time to share inspiration. Don’t forget to come back and drop a comment or ping me on social media when you’ve accomplished one of your dreams.

And yes, I deliberately mixed the list up instead of grouping by any sort of categories. Enjoy stumbling across something you wouldn’t have thought of if I grouped it so you could go straight to “I need to buy a new bicycle, right?” and skip right over “things I might do in my community or with my life” or vice versa. Share this with someone else and invite them to join you in Number Whatever-Turns-Your-Cranks.

  1. Bike for all trips of two miles or less (for some period of time — or always).
  2. Get groceries by bike.
  3. Try an e-bike.
  4. Recruit a friend to go for a ride.
  5. Tell your elected officials you want them to support bicycling.
  6. Thank your elected officials when they do support bicycling.
  7. Ride a trail near your home.
  8. Ride a trail somewhere in Washington (or wherever you live) that you’ve never ridden before. (Which one?)
  9. Donate to help build a trail you want to ride.
  10. Attend the Washington Bike Summit or another state, regional or national bike conference like the National Bike Summit.
  11. Go on a bike tour, whether it’s a short overnighter or a multi-day trek (like our trips on the GAP/C&O and around the northwest corner of Washington state).
  12. Go on one of the tours in [amazon_textlink asin=’1621067343′ text=’Cycling Sojourner Washington’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’bikbar-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b739592a-0b32-11e9-a986-79226bd0f55a’].*
  13. Support your local bike advocacy organization.
  14. Start a local bike advocacy effort because when you tried to do you realized there wasn’t one.
  15. Join a national bike organization.
  16. Try a cargo bike. (What do you need to haul?)
  17. Test-ride an adult tricycle.
  18. Better yet, get someone who shouldn’t be driving much longer to test-ride an adult tricycle.
  19. Attend or volunteer at an Open Streets event.
  20. Start an Open Streets event because your town doesn’t have one yet.
  21. Ride with a kid (you can probably borrow one if you have to).
  22. Get neighbors together to talk about how you can make yours a more bikeable, walkable part of town and start something rolling. (Maybe #34.)
  23. Work in your community for a bike master plan20MPH neighborhood speed limit, or other improvements to policy and infrastructure.
  24. Join your town’s Bicycle Advisory Board or Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Board.
  25. If your town doesn’t have a BAB or BPAC, ask a city council member to get one started.
  26. While you’re at it, buy copies of [amazon_textlink asin=’1610918797′ text=’Building the Cycling City’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’bikbar-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d281de29-0b31-11e9-95d6-1967f7b75c0c’] for the city council.*
  27. Invite city council members, state legislators, or Members of Congress and key staff (streets, public works, transportation, parks, public health) on a policy ride to showcase the good, the bad and the ugly. (Examples of a few Washington state policy rides linked on this advocacy toolkit page. Don’t forget to take photos and share on social media with tags as a thank-you for their time and interest.)
  28. If your town doesn’t have any kind of bike organization, set up a Facebook page or other online community to talk about bicycling and invite people to chime in. Maybe a group will emerge.
  29. Join a board or committee that doesn’t have anything to do with bicycling — yet — and find a way to make them more bike-friendly. Could be an expanded mission or could be better practices in event planning that set an example.
  30. Look at your community efforts with an awareness of your privilege and figure out how you can include people who aren’t currently at the table when improvements are being planned. Then do that.
  31. Try mountain biking.
  32. Try bike commuting.
  33. Help someone who rides for fun figure out how they might be able to bike for an errand or commuting.
  34. Organize a Kidical Mass ride in your neighborhood.
  35. Participate in your local Bike Everywhere Challenge.
  36. Don’t have one of those? Start one. (How-to Part I & Part II)
  37. Participate in 30 Days of Biking
  38. Ride caffeinated with the coffeeneuring challenge.
  39. Use your bike for pure utility in the errandonnee challenge.
  40. Participate in the National Bike Challenge.
  41. Take your bike on the bus or commuter train.
  42. Take a trip that combines bicycling with Amtrak.
  43. Start waving at other people on bicycles and see what happens.
  44. Try cyclocross.
  45. Volunteer in the annual bike count.
  46. Get your workplace to apply for Bicycle-Friendly Business recognition.
  47. Ask your employer to support bicycle commuter benefits if they’re already doing parking and transit. (This would look great on their Bicycle-Friendly Business application.)
  48. Get your town to apply for Bicycle-Friendly Community recognition. (But first make sure #25 has been taken care of; #23 should also be rolling along.)
  49. Get your city council to issue a Bike Month proclamation (which won’t hurt when it’s time for #47 either, although you need real action).
  50. Get your college/university to apply for Bicycle-Friendly University recognition.
  51. Try randonneuring.
  52. Try gravel grinding.
  53. Ride a fixie.
  54. Go fatbiking in sand or snow.
  55. Do one of Washington’s famous major rides like STP, RAW, RSVP, Emerald Bike Ride or RAMROD. (Which one[s]?)
  56. Do some other famous major ride: RAAM, Ride the Divide, Paris-Brest-Paris…. (Which one[s]?)
  57. Do a fun, easy social group ride.
  58. Start a Bike Everywhere celebration in your town for National Bike Day/Week/Month.
  59. Ride your bike every day for a week.
  60. Ride your bike every day for a month.
  61. Ride your bike every day for a year.
  62. Try road racing.
  63. Try track racing.
  64. Notice how many times you use a driving metaphor when you don’t really need to. Switch to mode-neutral or bikey images. (Brainstorming session? Don’t put ideas “in the parking lot” — put them on the bike rack.)
  65. Ride in cold weather.
  66. Ride your bike at night.
  67. Ride in the rain. (If it’s November, sign up for the #RideInTheRain challenge.)
  68. Plan a vacation based on the quality of the bicycling in the destination area. When you get there, tell all the places you spend money that you’re there for that reason. #bikesmeanbusiness
  69. Ride a tandem.
  70. Learn how to repair a flat tire. (Bonus points if you actually use what you learned if you get a flat.)
  71. Learn how to tune up your bike.
  72. Understand gear ratios.
  73. Volunteer with a local program that helps kids learn to ride and get bicycles.
  74. Volunteer with a local community bike shop or bike repair program.
  75. Join a local riding group.
  76. Review state laws and local ordinances about bicycling so you really know the law.
  77. Get a Share the Road license plate for your car to make streets more bike-friendly when you drive.
  78. Write a blog post about something you tried from this list. Come back and share the link in the comments.
  79. Ride a certain number of miles per week, on average.
  80. Ride as many miles as you are years old.
  81. Read a great book about bicycling. Tell the author(s) what you loved, tell others about the book.
  82. Find out how many miles of bike-specific infrastructure your town has (sharrows don’t count). Ask what their plans are to increase that number and make sure it connects into a network.
  83. Volunteer for an organization that helps people enjoy bicycling who aren’t able to do it on their own, like the Blind Tandem Cycling Connection.
  84. Start a program in your town to offer wheelchair bike rides like the Sequim Wheelers and Cycling Without Age (more on that program).
  85. Set a new personal best for one-day mileage. (What would that be for you?)
  86. Achieve a target total mileage for the year.
  87. Stop tracking your miles at all because it’s just about the ride.
  88. Adopt a mile of trail or bike lane and clear the trash regularly.
  89. Create something that captures or celebrates bicycling: a poem, a painting, a sketch, a video, a blog post, a book, an interpretive dance with your bicycle as a participant/prop….
  90. Ride some or all of USBR10 across Washington (or whatever US Bicycle Route runs through your state).
  91. Go on a bikespedition: Ride your bike to an interesting part of town, poke around, take note of bike parking and infrastructure, let the business owners know you biked there.
  92. Try bikeshare in your town.
  93. Try bikeshare in some other town.
  94. Ride a recumbent bike or trike.
  95. Go to work for an organization or agency that works to improve conditions for bicycling.
  96. Write a letter to the editor (people still read those, believe it or not) about how better bicycling contributes to your town.
  97. Use your city council’s citizen comment period to share two minutes of bike thoughts: thank them for new infrastructure, tell them what your kid’s ride to school is like and ask for a Safe Routes to School effort, talk about the value of bicycling for transportation independence or clean air or better health or whatever moves your spirit.
  98. Go for a bike ride that you approach as a bicycling meditation.
  99. Go out the door on a sunny day with no particular destination in mind, get on your bike, and see what happens.
  100. What’s your #100?

For the Twitterati

Have fun with our formatted tweets: Throw in the numbers of specific items you’re putting on your list.

Your Turn

  • Which ones are on your list?
  • Which ones made you realize, “Hey, not everyone rides the way I do”?

* You should support, cherish and thank your local bookstore if you have one. If you don’t, you can use this Amazon Affiliate link to order the book. If you need to shop via Amazon because you don’t have a store, you can set up a account that makes a micro-donation to a bike organization.

(A version of this post first appeared on the Washington Bikes blog in 2014 when I was serving as executive director. Many thanks to WA Bikes/Cascade Bicycle Club for permission to update and republish.)
Sharing is karma--pass it along!

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