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30 Days of Biking

March 29, 2011

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One of my finds from last year’s 30 Days of Biking challenge. I’d have ridden this trail at some point, I suppose, but thanks to the challenge, I got around to it more quickly.

Last year, I participated in a fun little event called “30 Days of Biking”.  The essentials of this are that you pledge to ride every day of the month (in a month with 30 days in, naturally), record your rides (at the time, this happened on Daily Mile, and was one of the reasons I have an account there), and tweet/blog/flickr/whatever about them as the mood took you.

I confess, it’s a fairly easy challenge to do if you ride in to work every day – as I already had a habit of riding on Sundays, I just had to figure out how to justify/fit in a ride on Saturday.

Stay In. Chill out.  Relax.

From the year I did the “Photo a Day” Challenge on film – it’s like riding fixed, for photographers.

This year, 30 Days of Biking takes place in April – it’s bigger, with a fair amount of social media buzz going on around it.  Predictably, the naysayers have popped up too, to ask what the point is, to deride the idea that anyone *wouldn’t* ride every day anyway, why it’s not held in a “harder” month, and so on.

So what is the point of 30 Days of Biking? 

17th July 2006

Yellow – a shot I’d taken lots of times, in lots of formats – all you need is the weather.

Let me offer an analogy.  Back when I had more time for it, I was a keen photographer, and one of the things I used to participate in was a “Photo a Day” challenge in July.  Now I was purely a hobbyist, and no one was stood over me demanding my day’s output – any pressure was solely self imposed.  I have to confess that some days were easy – I was already at an interesting location, or I had my shot for the day planned – this building (above) for example, was a picture I’d rehearsed, and simply went back to take.

Flower

“World of My Garden” became a recurring theme on days when inspiration failed.

But the interesting days were the ones where my plans fell apart, or were non-existent to start with.  And it was here that I felt the pressure of the challenge, and from that produced some of my better pictures (in my opinion, that is).

30th July 2006

My daughter in “Why Princesses Wear Crowns” still one of my favourite pictures, and one I’d never have taken if not for the photo a day challenge.

I think that’s what 30 days of biking has to offer to you – it’ll be easy to ride on the days that you planned to, or do ride on already.  Some of those rides may turn out better than you thought, like the planned pictures I had did (sometimes) in my photo challenge.  But what will you do on the days you’d not normally ride?  That recovery ride you know is a good idea, but somehow never get around to?  Trying to do more errands with the bike, instead of using the car? Trying a commute, if you don’t already? 

In my case, I rode errands on the Brompton and released the Surly Long Haul Trucker from commuting duty to explore the local trails too rough for the SCR2.0 to handle. Generally, my experience of 30 Days of Biking was that it quickly turned a sense of having to ride (to satisfy the challenge’s requirements) into having fun, exploring new places, and generally getting more out of my cycling.

If you already ride every day, your rides could inspire others, or give them some idea of what kind of things to do if they’re running out of ideas.  If you don’t, you could find that the challenge is the inspiration you needed to try different sorts of riding, head for that trail, or that route you always wanted to, but somehow never get around to.  One day you could just point your bike in one direction, and see where it takes you.

If you want to know more, Road.cc has an article here, and the UK 30 Days of biking facebook page is here.

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From → Cycling, Events

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