Mar 302024
Just Ride. Every Day. It’s That Simple.

Thanks for the happy bike drawing, Melissa Balmer of!

The title of this piece echoes what the great bike racer Eddie Merckx said: “Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.”

As March wraps up I’m looking ahead at April and its 30 days. No doubt you’ve noticed the proliferation of 30-day challenges. I’ve been known to utilize the concept for flossing and yoga, two worthwhile habits I need to recommit to. The #30DaysOfBiking challenge has been rolling for years and years. The rules are simple enough:

  1. Ride your bike.
  2. Every day.

Every ride counts. By which they mean every ride. Rides you do for some “real” reason, like going somewhere or spending time outside or getting to the bus stop so the bus can carry you for the longest leg of your trip, and rides you do purely to check the box because you told yourself you were going to do this 30-day thing.

Back in 2020 in a strange year when we all needed something simple to think about I tallied up how I had done every year since first trying in 2011. That was early in the pandemic and getting out on my bike provided some semblance of normalcy.

Fast forward four years. I’ve been recovering from a sprained knee and biking is easier than walking. I’m planning how I might make sure I ride every day, rather than leaving it to chance or memory because that leads to the 11:45pm check-the-box ride in the driveway. Nothing wrong with that but I’d rather put in real rides I enjoy for more than 30 seconds.

This year in what I think may be a first for me, I’m going to actually look at my calendar to anticipate and then reduce the barriers. I’ll plan my first few days here, then list blog post links that might provide ideas or inspiration either for me or for you. 

1/Monday: The month starts on a Monday, no foolin’. I have an evening class downtown after work so I’m going to work in the office and will bike to work.

2/Tuesday: Working from home and temperature should reach the mid-60s. Good day for a lunchtime ride! 

3/Wednesday: Much cooler (dropping by around 14 degrees from Tuesday!) and possibly rainy so maybe I’ll roll some laps around our neighborhood loop when I spot a gap between rain showers.

4/Thursday: Another day when I have something in the evening downtown after work so I’ll bike to work. Forecast is cool with some chance of rain; I always carry my gear on days that may try to dampen my spirits.

5/Friday: Warming back up and drying out toward the weekend so yay for that! I’m flying to Spokane to visit family so I’ll need to do a little morning jaunt before heading out. Maybe I’ll ride to the bakery that’s a convenient three-quarters of a mile away and get a treat for the journey.

6/Saturday: OK, so now I’ll be in Spokane without my bicycles. But I’ll be visiting my delightful older daughter who has a pretty little 3-speed so when I’m at their newish house I’ll do a little roll around their neighborhood to get a feel for how bike-friendly it is.

7/Sunday: I’ll be back home so I can do a neighborhood loop before bed, pedaling however fast or slow I want to.

That wasn’t so hard. Now for some of the additional things I may do by bike in April or any month of the year:

8: Get groceries the way I did here and here and here and many more times

9: Sing while I ride

10: Get coffee

11: Run some errands

12: Go out for some noontime noodling

13: Explore public art installations

14: Go to the bookstore; so many great bike books in the world

15: Check off something on my Bike Bingo card that I haven’t done yet, or go for a ride to celebrate having my taxes done

16: Ride through Washington’s first and so-far only bike roundabout, conveniently located in Olympia

17: Do an -athlon: bike + walk + yoga

18: Put in some longer rides to start getting back to the condition I’d want to be in for bike touring

19: Ride because it makes me happy

20: Co-lead one of the groups for Olympia’s Earth Day Market Ride (this one’s a for-sure on April 20)

21: Ride Zelda the e-bike (although let’s be honest, most of my rides involve Zelda)

22: Ride one of my acoustic bikes, maybe Sweetie…

23: …or Mary Poppins (which we converted to add more gears after I wrote my review of her as an 8-speed)

24: …or take Tessa the folding bike with me when I have day trips for work so I can ride in a new place or a place I’m happy to be visiting again where I can check out new bike infrastructure

25: Use bikeshare on a day trip to Seattle

26: Ride with my sweetheart for a bike date

27: Ride on one of the many great trails in Washington that I haven’t yet ridden, maybe on April 27 for Celebrate Trails Day

28: And maybe that trail will be in one of the counties in Washington I haven’t yet ridden in

29: Start putting together bikespedition reports for the Olympia area the way I used to do in Spokane

30: Check off something on my #BikeIt list just in time for National Bike Month

Are you in? Pledge on the #30DaysOfBiking site and drop a note here, maybe share some of the things you put on your list to help you keep rolling.

Sharing is karma--pass it along!

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