Spring heralds the beginning of the bike activist season, with bike to work days, bike to work weeks, bike to work months, workplace bike to work challenges, and even season long challenges.
One could easily spend more time in the spring documenting and pledging one's rides than actually riding.
Of course, as I find myself to be some sort of bicycling advocate, I feel obligated to participate in as many of these events as I can. I even have my own event, which is from march 1-March 30. That's "No Excuses Month," when I do my best to get back out on the road, having inevitably promised myself I would keep riding all winter and having inevitably thrown in the towel due to weather, temperature, or just the desire to listen to NPR and drink coffee on the way to work instead of alternating between frozen eyeballs and fogged goggles while surrounded by an increasingly unsympathetic motoring public.
So on the first day of March, I got myself back out there. No excuses. In April, the more organized stuff kicks off with "30 Days of Biking." I like this one because it is simple to do:
1. Pledge that you are going to ride a bike each of the 30 days of April.
2. Do it.
So far, I'm on track, despite some early-April commutes that have felt, due to wind and temperature, more like mid-February rides. There is nothing like pedaling hard downhill into a 22 degree, 20mph headwind to make you question your motivation. It helps knowing that while it may get wetter by the end of this month, it will probably get milder.
My "ride every day" plan will mostly come from commuting and the occasional recreational ride, but I am especially excited for April 6, when I'll be kicking off the first-ever Burlington, Vermont Kidical Mass ride down on the waterfront. My son and I will be there. I have no idea if anybody else will show up. But we'll get our ride in and put another day in the books for April.
Austen has already been out on his balance bike a bunch this spring. He's really starting to coast with both feet off the ground and I can't say enough good things about balance bikes as a teaching tool for little kids. One of the things I sort of hope might come out of Kidical Mass is a loosely organized group of, for lack of a better term, "Family Cyclists" who might be willing to exchange bikes with one another as their needs change. Sort of like the big ski swaps that happen every year all over Vermont. We'll see.