And so ends another April and another 30 Days of Biking, my favorite bike event in the world! This one has been a little harder than others, with more just-for-the-sake-of-it rides up and down the street in front of our house. It’s been a rough winter and I’ve been blaming the weather a lot (which has been exceptionally bad), but it’s more than that. My friend, SisterX says it much more eloquently than I ever could in her Frugal in Seattle blog post, Quiet. Anyhow, I dragged myself out of bed every morning and biked every day, and I’m calling that a success. 30 Days of Biking can be about so much more than simply hopping on a bike each day for a month. After all, I learned more about myself the time I failed six years ago, than during the years it goes according to plan.
I didn’t have a theme (other than “just get out of bed today”) this time, as I often have in the past, and I didn’t do anything super special, which is also something I’ve had fun with for 30 Days of Biking in the past. Strava says I biked 258.6 miles which is probably a lot less than previous Aprils.
The kids’ Spring Break falls in the middle of 30 Days of Biking which can make things tricky. Last year we went to Minneapolis, birthplace of 30 Days of Biking, for Spring Break and biked all over the place so the only challenge was a quick spin before leaving for the airport. This year we visited family in Los Angeles which is not nearly as bikey and resulted in lots of just-for-the-sake-of-it rides of a block or less.
However, 30 Days of Biking inspired me to do two very fun things while in Southern California: while visiting my hometown, we rented THREE SEPARATE BIKES for the first time and had a fun adventure in Santa Barbara. And then we rented kid bikes where we were staying in Venice Beach (our apartment came with an adult bike) and biked the Venice/Santa Monica boardwalk.
Otherwise April featured the normal amount of grocery trips and the normal amount of fun stuff…we kicked off the month with April Fools Kidical Mass that was a blast! And it finally got warm enough that Pixie the dog and I took a camping trip to Illahee State Park to plan for an upcoming Kidical Mass Bike Overnight.
Our last day of April was pretty unspectacularly special, like all bike rides are. It was our third visit to Lynnwood Bowl and Skate (14 miles from home) to go roller skating. The first time we carpooled with friends there and back, the second time we took two buses there and were offered a ride in a car home, and this third time we bus/biked. Not because it was 30 Days of Biking, but because I dislike timing bus transfers. First of all, biking 10 blocks to the bus stop is nicer than walking, and while the one-mile trip on the other end isn’t so long that it really feels worth it to have the bikes along, it’s a lot farther than we regularly walk and would have been pretty difficult after roller skating for three hours. Plus that mile of biking makes the trip so much fun!
The mile ride in new territory was pretty typical. Had we been on the cargo bike or tandem (i.e. all connected) I would have biked with the sharrow in the street to the roller rink and the bike lane in the street on the way back, but with one loose kid we stuck to the sidewalk. The signs said 30mph, but in the Seattle area people tend to drive the speed the streets allow and a wide, straight street tends to invite speeding above 30.
These crossing flags and sign make it clear this is not a very safe street:
But it was just a mile and not scary on the sidewalk so we’d do it again! We even saw a cute park, Lynnwood Mini Park, embedded in a bunch of wetlands so we’d build in time to explore that. In addition to that we saw the other host of neat things so easy to see while biking or walking, but just a blur from the bus: cool art attached to houses, rocks arranged in a heart around a palm tree, a hand-made “Old Man Crossing” sign, that kind of stuff :)
I’m sure I’ll be back on my game next year and go big for #30daysofbiking 2018. And of course now that it’s May: happy Bike Month!