If your bike is starting to look like this , maybe it’s time to wheel it out of storage and hop back on.
Use caution and thick gloves when evicting any creepy-crawlies…then, consider challenging yourself or a friend to ride a goal number of miles. Give yourself a deadline.
This year I pledged to ride 100 miles on my bike during the month of May. Last year I pledged 100 miles and met my goal, so this year I thought about increasing the goal, maybe up to 150.
Unfortunately, my husband, who is great company on the road or any bike trail and who racked up several miles with me in previous years, was having off-again on-again sciatic pain. He didn’t feel like doing much riding. So with him out of the game, I kept my pledge at 100.
2012 was the first year I participated in Sacramento Area May is Bike Month. It’s a month-long series of group rides, races, benefits, bike repair classes, and other events. I even saw on Twitter that a beer place I like, New Helvetia Brewing, was offering dollar-off pints for customers who arrived by bike.
My participation in May is Bike Month was mainly online. I created an account on the website and signed up both of my kids under the same account. Adults can elect to have their miles count towards a workplace or recreational commuter club’s collective miles; kids can list their school and class and “compete” against other schools or other classes in their own school.
I entered our pledges (100 for me; 50 for my 9-year-old; 30 for my 5-year-old) and started recording miles. The online system crunches the numbers in all sorts of ways. If you enter your miles as Commute miles, for example, the system will aggregate that as part of the Sacramento area’s total Car Replacement miles. I counted riding with kids to school or swim practice as commute miles. Those are short trips but they add up quickly.
I’m sure there are others who get into Bike Month in a very big way, attending the rallies and collecting swag. I just look back at how, three years ago, I wheeled out my bike to find a black widow spider had taken up residence. Once I’d swept it out of the spokes and walked myself over to the park, heart pounding, I teetered around like a six-year-old with the training wheels freshly removed. I was scared to death to ride in “traffic,” even in my low-traffic neighborhood. I didn’t feel secure enough in my balance to lift my left hand from the handlebar to signal a turn.
So 100 miles, from the viewpoint of three years ago, is nothing to sneeze at. And even doing the May is Bike Month challenge in my small scale way, I found there were rewards to reap. Namely, the special socks.
I won May is Bike Month socks in a random drawing in 2014. The other “reward” I love is the virtual badges. It feels silly to admit it, but this little bit of gamification really, really works for me. Check out the badges I earned this year:
Did you participate in Bike Month? How did it go? What were some of your favorite rides? Please feel free to share in the comments. Include a link if you blog about biking. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing more about our family’s May is Bike Month rides and what I learned this time around.