When 30 Days of Biking kicked off on April 1st of 2012, I had already been out on my bike twelve times and ridden over 200 miles.
This year's tally; zero.
It's easy to blame it on the weather. Every one of those 12 rides last March featured temperatures above 60 degrees. Six were in the 70s - one even made it to 80! This March we haven't cracked 50, averaged more around 30, and even experienced days in the teens. The road shoulders and bike paths are still covered with patches of snow in some places.
I would say that I'm a wimp, but I did ride in more typical March weather last April when I committed to 30 Days of Biking. Granted, I didn't ride all that far on the worst weather days, but the idea behind the 30 Days challenge is to simply ride your bike - anywhere and for any duration - during each day of April. I'm proud to say that I logged over 400 miles and rode every single day.
This year might be a little tougher, given my lack of preparation...
The 30 Days of Biking challenge might be considered by some to be rather silly, if not a little arbitrary. My significant other wonders why it has to be April instead of a warmer month like May, June, or July. And really, what difference does it make whether or not we ride every day for 30 consecutive days?
It's not as if the roads will suddenly be populated by bikes, forcing motorists to rethink their past resentment and develop new respect for cyclists. Our numbers won't swell to critical mass levels leaving epiphanies of empathy in our collective wake. There's no danger of courteous road sharing sweeping the nation like the Harlem Shake or Gangnam Style.
30 Days of Biking isn't an overt act of advocacy. It's more a showing of solidarity for the love of cycling. Lately, bicycling has been an unrequited love for a lot of us.
As I daydream about all the great rides I'll take this season, my bike leans against the wall in the garage. I imagine the new trails we'll discover and the roads we'll explore while my bike remains motionless in the dark. I think of the warm sun on my face and the cool breeze across my skin as my trusty steed waits patiently on the cold concrete. It's past time for both of us to come back to life!
Come Monday, April 1st, we'll be reunited.
The forecast isn't looking too promising for the start of 30 Days of Biking. We have several more days before the temperature settles above 50. There will be wind. It's going to rain. The sun is likely to stay hidden at times.
But we're not going to let that stop us.
The good folks at 30 Days of Biking have assembled a growing online community to help each of us reconnect with our bikes and share our daily trials and triumphs with one another. I'm heading over there right now to make the pledge.
Care to join me?
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Keep riding and be safe!