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30 days of biking
March 16, 2011 8:50 AM   Subscribe

#30daysofbiking "The only rule for 30 Days of Biking is that you bike every day for 30 days—around the block, 20 miles to work, whatever suits you—then share your adventures online." This round starts April 1st.

This is the second year and third round of #30daysofbiking.
Interview with organizers after the first round with some background.

(I totally want to do this)
posted by jillithd (61 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
This pretty much sounds like a normal month of my life. - unless I'm away and don't have a bicycle.
posted by mary8nne at 9:00 AM on March 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


NaBiRiMo? I like it.
posted by kmz at 9:01 AM on March 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's tough with a toddler and an infant but I'll give it a shot. Would using an indoor trainer count?
posted by drezdn at 9:01 AM on March 16, 2011


I'm with mary8nne. I am sure no one wants to hear about my last month's commute to work.

Maybe I will drive a car for 30 days and share those adventures on-line. I drive so rarely that I am no longer any good at it and I'm sure I'd have some good stories to tell.
posted by three blind mice at 9:03 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would love to do this, but there are a couple problems with doing this in New York. And -- I'm actually not talking about bike lanes.

The biggest obstacles to my using my bike to commute to work are:

1. My office building does not have bike parking.
2. There's nowhere for me to take a shower before coming to my desk.

The city has focused on bike lanes as a way to encourage bike use, but I think the lack of bike parking is a much bigger problem. And any gym that came up with a plan of selling discounted "showers only" memberships, where people only had access to their showers in the mornings right before work would make a mint.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:04 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The only rule for 30 Days of Biking is that you bike every day for 30 days never talk about 30 Days of Biking

Fixed.
posted by Gelatin at 9:16 AM on March 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


1. My office building does not have bike parking.

Why would you not park your bike in the same spot you park your car? I ride the cheapest crappy bike there is for precisely the reason that I am unafraid to park it anywhere. My bike costs less than a full tank of fuel for an SUV, it it gets stolen there are plenty more where it came from.
posted by three blind mice at 9:17 AM on March 16, 2011


#30daysofnotgivingadamnwhat'rebloggingaboutfor30days
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:18 AM on March 16, 2011


Folding bikes are an option if you can't leave your bike outside.
posted by ChrisHartley at 9:18 AM on March 16, 2011


This pretty much sounds like a normal month of my life. - unless I'm away and don't have a bicycle.
posted by mary8nne at 9:00 AM on March 16 [+] [!]

"May you live in interesting times."
"May you have an interesting commute."
posted by Stagger Lee at 9:23 AM on March 16, 2011


Why would you not park your bike in the same spot you park your car?

I don't have a car, I take the subway. If I did have a car, I'd have to shell out $200 for the month's parking permit at the parking garage across the street. No thanks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:24 AM on March 16, 2011


Dear 30 Days of Biking:

Could you get all this damn snow and ice off the roads and paths so I can participate without killing myself starting April 1st?

Much love,
Minneapolis
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:24 AM on March 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


I have no need at all for a folding bike, but I kind of want a folding bike.
posted by everichon at 9:26 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Scoffers, please note that the biking for 30 days straight (i.e. getting people exciting about biking) is the important bit here, not the hypothetical blogging about said biking.

If you were already going to bike those 30 days and feel all dismissive, then this is not for you.

But for the vast majority, biking is a novelty and maybe a scary one at that, so finding a supportive community online for a month-long event could make a big difference in their future cycling.

This is a good thing.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:33 AM on March 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


I seem to recall doing something like this as a challenge on the MeFi workout site, weendure. Since weendure encourages comments with every entry, it sort of turned into a mini blogging experiment for some of us (my riding log, though it gets a little summarize-ry near the end when I was running short on time).

Even for those of us who ride a lot, it is remarkably challenging to hold a consecutive day streak like this. One might need to travel and can't bring a bike with them. One might get sick. I know, for me, the streak challenge coincided with my resumption of spring brevet rides, so I was in the middle of doing 300k's and 400k's on a Saturday morning\Friday night, and by Sunday, I just needed a rest day, and getting on a bike just to keep a streak going seemed arbitrary and counter-productive.
posted by bl1nk at 9:40 AM on March 16, 2011


Hell, I'll give it a shot. This salty slush in the Twin Cities is going to be absolute shit on my components though.
posted by Think_Long at 9:41 AM on March 16, 2011


I don't commute in the relatively mild (compared to many of you) winters or when I think there's a good chance it'll get dark between setting off and getting home. I've never driven and roads scare me so I ride when I feel comfortable and safe.

I have once or twice been for a ride on the towpath of the Leeds-Liverpool canal this year (amusingly known as Route 66 on the national cycle network), and I've done a couple of grocery shops, but I haven't done anything to get back in the habit of commuting yet.

I may not make every day but this sounds perfect as a motivational tool for me.
posted by vbfg at 10:02 AM on March 16, 2011


My bike costs less than a full tank of fuel for an SUV, it it gets stolen there are plenty more where it came from.

Depends on where you live. You can't get a functional bike around here for $50.

Since we're speaking of bike commutes, I live in Berkeley and work in San Francisco. Apparently, BART prohibits bicycles on its trains from 7-9am and 4-6 pm.

How convenient! Last time I checked, you can't ride bikes over the Bay Bridge. (No "frill" items!)

So how does this former bicycle commuter work a semi-standard 8-5 schedule? I have shifted my schedule to 7-4, so mornings are *OK* (though I swear I got a 6:30am Fremont train, and when I transferred to SF at MacArthur the train said "no bikes" ...) but pre-4pm is really tough, and then I'm stuck.

And for people who work a usual 9-5 day, what can you do?

AC Transit F Line? (I should just post to AskMe....)
posted by mrgrimm at 10:09 AM on March 16, 2011


You can't get a functional bike around here for $50.

Craigslist? Freecycle?

As for the time and geography restrictions, I don't see anything saying you have to ride all the way to work. Riding your bike to the BART station would be sufficient.
posted by dry white toast at 10:17 AM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


As someone who just bought a bike off Craiglist, $50 is very, very low for a "functional" bike. I spent $75, and then another $200 buying replacement parts (and a couple hours of my time). Back in 2002, I also bought a bike off Craigslist, and found much better bargains. I think as biking gets more mainstream, obviously the demand increases.

I've found there's generally two kind of people selling bikes on Craigslist right now: people trying to make a little extra cash by selling the beater that's been sitting in their garage for the past few years, or men (usually men) who bought a racing bike worth several thousand dollars, realized that it's way more than they need, and are selling it at half the price.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 10:26 AM on March 16, 2011


Ideal Impulse: it may be different on your local CL, but in Boston, the guys who are selling their excess bike capacity tend to be outnumbered by 'bike rebuilders', guys who just pick up old frames from dumpsters, Salvation Army's, and swap meets and then rehab it with various parts sitting in their garage and then flip it on Craigslist.

The last project bike that I bought was from one such fellow ... who also told me that he goes to England every year and brings back a pallet of old Raleighs to tuneup and sell on the used market.

It reminds me, in some ways of the (small) indie reseller market in PCs back in the 90's, when geeks could fulfill their hobbies with just building PCs out of white box parts bought at a local Fry's or Micro Center and sell it to their friends and acquaintances for a small markup.
posted by bl1nk at 10:35 AM on March 16, 2011


Actually I like that it's just "biking", not necessarily "commute by bike" - if your commute isn't bike-feasible (distance, facilities, whatever), then try using a bike for other things that are feasible! Personally, I love riding my bike to the drive-thru burger stand at the end of my street. :) But also: grocery store, library, coffee shop, or just a little jaunt for relaxation.

There's a "bike commute challenge" every year in my county, and every year I send them feedback to expand the name to something w/out "commute" in the name. People get hung up on how crazy their commute would be if they biked it -- when I send out emails at work to organize a team, I always focus on doing what you can and not feeling pressured to do something you're not comfortable with.

for the first couple of years of bike commuting, I rode about 2 miles to meet a vanpool for the other 30 miles and parked my bike at Target for the day. changed jobs to be closer: now it's 5 miles mostly on bike trail, for which I am insanely grateful. also lucky enough that the nearest grocery store is .8 miles from home. my first bike was an Electra Townie, which I totally recommend for getting into cycling around town, now I ride a mountain bike with an Xtracycle attached to it.
posted by epersonae at 10:52 AM on March 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


1. My office building does not have bike parking.

I could be wrong, but I thought Manhattan businesses have to offer a place to put your bike, by law?

Eh, it turns it out it's more murky than that, but this DOT page might help you, EC. It looks like you need to get the lease-holding Tenant or Subtenant of your office to send a request to the building's owner.
posted by defenestration at 10:55 AM on March 16, 2011


I would love to do this if I wasn't prohibited from it by my doctor. I miss my bike. Stupid broken leg.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:00 AM on March 16, 2011


Sorry about the leg, but if and when you move on to a walking cast, cycling could still happen. I used a walking cast for several weeks when I was recovering from a stress fracture one winter, and the dinner-plate sized platform pedals on my mountain bike supported it just fine.
posted by maudlin at 11:12 AM on March 16, 2011


@mrgrimm Cycling to BART would count. Downtown Berkeley has a bike lockup in the station. (No idea about Ashby or North Berkeley.) But the F does have bike racks. I assume the other transbay buses do too. (Last I saw it, a few years back, the FS was a coach, and I don't remember if it had bike racks. It is entirely possible to fit bike racks to coaches though--Southwest Transit does it in the Twin Cities.)
posted by hoyland at 11:19 AM on March 16, 2011


I just registered. This should be fun.
posted by defenestration at 11:30 AM on March 16, 2011


If only my daily rides were worth writing about... *sigh*
posted by 2N2222 at 11:41 AM on March 16, 2011


Mrgrimm, you can also take the bike shuttle. Or yes, put your bike on one of the AC Transit buses.
posted by loriginedumonde at 11:47 AM on March 16, 2011


Last year I tried to go for a ride mid-april to get rid of some exam stress. I got about 3 kms before the trail turned to pure snow. Maybe I'll stick to the roads this year.
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:07 PM on March 16, 2011


2N222: you should write really mundane posts about your rides. The more banal the better. I'd read it.
posted by defenestration at 12:12 PM on March 16, 2011


(pretend there was another 2 in there)
posted by defenestration at 12:13 PM on March 16, 2011


Dear 30 Days of Biking:

Could you get all this damn snow and ice off the roads and paths so I can participate without killing myself starting April 1st?

Much love,
Minneapolis


Edmonton agrees with this message.
posted by Kurichina at 12:16 PM on March 16, 2011


#thisiswhatidoeverymonthunlessitstoocoldinwhichcaseiprobablytakethesubwaybutiguessiveneverkeptalogordiaryaboutit

I'm not sure I still grasp hash tags.
posted by modernnomad at 12:19 PM on March 16, 2011


As someone who just bought a bike off Craiglist, $50 is very, very low for a "functional" bike.

If you want a cheap functional bike, craigslist is more convenient, but not the best priced way to do it, you go to garage sales. Craigslist, the bike was worth someone's time to post an ad, and a bunch of people looking for bikes will see it.

At a garage sale, the bike is being sold because it never gets used (so it's in good condition) by someone who just wants to clear out their clutter (so it's cheap), who couldn't be bothering creating a craigslist listing for the bike (so it's cheap x2), and you're not competing with all other cyclists on the internet to get it, only people who happen to show up and notice it there.

Downside - you've got to spend a fair amount of your time hunting.
posted by -harlequin- at 12:19 PM on March 16, 2011


Mrgrimm, you can also take the bike shuttle.

What's the bike shuttle?
posted by mrgrimm at 12:24 PM on March 16, 2011


Could you get all this damn snow and ice off the roads and paths so I can participate without killing myself starting April 1st?

I prefer cycling in the snow to driving in the snow. (it's hilly around here, so ice makes driving much scarier than cycling)

I'm sure there have been moments where, with a blizzard of snow flurrying between us, a motorist and I catch each other's eye, and we both simultaneously think "Wow, thank god I'm not in his shoes!"
posted by -harlequin- at 12:25 PM on March 16, 2011


If you want a cheap functional bike, craigslist is more convenient, but not the best priced way to do it, you go to garage sales.

I agree that private garage/estate sales are better for bargain hunting, but it really depends on where you live. In Louisville, KY, I can usually find a decent $20 bike at one of the Unique Thrift Stores. In San Francisco, $20 gets you a used chain. (Garage sales tend to sell (front) wheels.) People in SF know they can go on Craigslist and sell a pile of crap for at least $100-200.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:28 PM on March 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


when i was in my last year of high school, I made a vow to myself that i wouldn't ride the bus ever again after March 31. And I didn't -- rode through several days of low-20-degree weather, rainstorms morning and afternoon, blown valves (twice). Don't think I ever told anyone about that before.

I just moved to a closer office and I've been itching to start riding again -- it was about a 50 minute ride before, now it will be about 20. This erodes my excuses even further. Fortunately our snow is mostly gone.



mrgrimm, not sure if this is exactly what they're talking about, but most of the suburban-route buses around here have a fold-out bike platform on the front. You set your bike on the platform, get on the bus, ride it into town, get off the bus and finish your commute. I haven't used them, but I know people who have.
posted by lodurr at 12:43 PM on March 16, 2011


I ♥ Sacramento.
I ride every month, I just keep track of it in May.
posted by geekyguy at 1:29 PM on March 16, 2011


mrgrimm, you'd take the AC transit bus into SF. It's cheaper than BART. Click on "schedules and route maps" then "AC transit local and transbay" then "AC Transit (Transbay service) Schedules" and you should get the transbay schedules. You'd put your bike on the front of the bus. Only $2.
posted by wherever, whatever at 2:08 PM on March 16, 2011


So excited. I plan to bike all through April as per usual. The real trial will be biking in the rain, I do it but I despise it!
posted by darlingmagpie at 2:58 PM on March 16, 2011


I just signed up. I biked my commute and errands regularly from about 1999 to 2007. Last summer I started biking to work again dropping off my son at day care and picking him up on the way. This sounds like a great way to get back in the saddle and biking again this year.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 6:27 PM on March 16, 2011


I'm a bike courier.
posted by 256 at 6:59 PM on March 16, 2011


I commute to work on a bike. Then drive around town as part of my job. . .then commute home on my bike.

Not sure what the big deal is. Plus newbie bike commuters are as annoying as ex-smokers.
posted by Danf at 7:15 PM on March 16, 2011


This is also the average month for me, because it's awesome.


mrgrimm, you could also take the ferry to SF! The ferry is fun. They serve alcohol for your commute home.
posted by bradbane at 8:41 PM on March 16, 2011


mrgrimm: if I'm reading the BART schedule right -- the print one you can pick up at any station, which has a shaded part for where bikes aren't allowed -- bikes aren't allowed west of Embarcadero during rush hour. So you can get on at an East Bay station in the morning rush with a bike as long as you get off at Embarcardero, and you can get on at Embarcadero in the evening rush for the ride back to the East Bay.
posted by madcaptenor at 9:14 PM on March 16, 2011


wherever, whatever: AC transit transbay buses are $4, not the $2 local fare.
posted by madcaptenor at 9:14 PM on March 16, 2011


Also, screw you all, I walk to work every day. It's two miles, which really is nothing for me, but I'm constantly getting people asking me "why don't you buy a bike"? But people steal bikes. Nobody's going to steal my shoes while I'm working, because while I am working I wear my shoes on my feet.
posted by madcaptenor at 9:18 PM on March 16, 2011


Wow. Shouldn't this just be called "30 Days of Living Like Someone Who isn't a Suburban North American"?

I keed, I keed. A little.
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:27 PM on March 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


What the... $4 to cross the Bay on a bus is outrageous! That's more than BART from any Berkeley station. It used to be a more reasonable $2. Thanks for the heads up madcaptenor.
posted by wherever, whatever at 11:53 PM on March 16, 2011


madcaptenor, at 2 miles, I'd probably walk, too. It would take me over an hour to walk to where I work now, and it'll take 20 minutes on a bike if i really dog it. (I think Google Maps says 15 minutes. A lot of it is downhill. Not a very big hill, so the commute home isn't actually that bad.)

I used to walk places a lot. but biking gave me a little more latitude to say 'well, I'll turn around when I see what's beyond that bend.' The bend might be 10 minutes away on foot, 2 minutes on a bike. 4 minutes versus 20 minutes to satisfy curiosity? It's a stone bargain.

For all you people pissing on this -- maybe you can find somewhere else to be better than the rest of us, m'kay? Cuz we just want to be happy about doing this overall beneficial thing, and not get dragged down by meaningless snark.
posted by lodurr at 5:27 AM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry for being so dismissive....

And us$50 for a functnioal bike? In London you're dreaming!

A second hand 1970s 20" will cost you at least £50 (~ US$100) (even "stolen") and the tyres will probably need replacing in 3 months as they are the originals.
posted by mary8nne at 6:27 AM on March 17, 2011


biking gave me a little more latitude

Exactly. That was an amazing discovery when I learned to ride a bike (at 29 - it's a long story), that I could go so much farther under my own power. (Although sometimes I still prefer to walk downtown. The hill coming home is quite daunting.)

Getting a cargo bike was another revelation. My comparison: riding a normal bike, even with panniers & whatnot, is like riding the bus, where you have to consider very carefully what you're going to carry. Riding a cargo bike is more like driving a car, where you can (almost) always toss in one more thing. Pick up a gallon of milk on the way home? Take the laptop to work? Bring more beverages to the party? Why not! :)
posted by epersonae at 8:51 AM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mmm, it's that time again! Just tuned up the bike and ordered a trunk bag with convertible panniers for my commute. Usually take the L in Chicago but last summer I started taking the Lake Shore path instead. Roughly one hour commute either way, but between a bike and a packed train car with standing room only... there is no comparison. (yes, I'm a fair weather cyclist still, give me time!)

Even if you don't commute, just get that bike out and ride every day. Your own neighborhood can surprise you by bike. Just pick a different direction and go (safely, with lights and helmets and total awareness of your surroundings!) till you get tired or bored or find something awesome.
posted by envygreen at 12:24 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lots of confusion here about trans(SF)bay bike commuting. I do it daily by pretty much every mode possible, so to clear up some inaccuracies above:

-Transbay AC transit buses all have 2-bike racks on the front of them. The transbay routes cost $4 (local is $2). Depending on where you live, this may or may not be less than BART.

-Bikes are not allowed in the transbay tube westbound during the morning commute (or eastbound during the evening commute), so no, you can't just get on in the east bay and get off at Embarcadero. You CAN reverse-commute if you don't go west of Embarcadero.

-The Bike Shuttle is a service run by Caltrans that consists of a 15-passenger van with bike trailer on the back. It carries bikers between Macarthur BART and Transbay Terminal leaving every 40 minutes during the hours when bikes are prohibited on BART. It costs a dollar and you can find a schedule here.

-In addition to the Downtown Berkeley Bike Station, there's a fancy new one at Ashby, and many many of the east bay BART stations have these awesome Bikelink lockers, which are super cheap and very very secure.

But none of that has to do with biking for 30 days. Apologies.
posted by juliapangolin at 3:48 PM on March 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks, juliapangolin. That's exactly what I was looking for.

The Bike Shuttle is a service run by Caltrans that consists of a 15-passenger van with bike trailer on the back. It carries bikers between Macarthur BART and Transbay Terminal leaving every 40 minutes during the hours when bikes are prohibited on BART. It costs a dollar and you can find a schedule here.

This is kinda cool, except you're saying that I have to pay full fare from my originating station and then an extra buck to ride a shuttle?

Can I ride my bike to Macarthur and just pay $1 for the shuttle ride? (I'm guessing no.) What if I live right next to Macarthur station? (I am pretty close.)

15-passenger van

Also, WTF?! You think BART has 15 bicyclists every 40 minutes. C'mon ...

Anyway, thanks again, juliapangolin. I'll search the shuttle vs. AC Transit. It seems like the F line is a possibility.

The real solution here is to add fucking bike lanes to the Bay Bridge. Hell, there should be a third level of the bridge that's only for bicycles.

But none of that has to do with biking for 30 days

It really does, b/c I biked every day when I lived in SF, and now it's pretty rare (I walk to BART b/c bike are prohibited 7-9 and 4-6.) I'm not sure if your info will help, but it's a start.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:57 PM on March 17, 2011


Can I ride my bike to Macarthur and just pay $1 for the shuttle ride? (I'm guessing no.) What if I live right next to Macarthur station? (I am pretty close.)
Yeah, nobody rides BART to the bike shuttle. you bike there. The shuttle is actually in no way affiliated with BART

Also, WTF?! You think BART has 15 bicyclists every 40 minutes. C'mon ...
Right. Bike shuttle is very frequently overflowing :(
posted by juliapangolin at 4:01 PM on March 17, 2011


Day 1: I started early, so it's day 2 for me. It was low 30s & snowing on the way in yesterday, misting on the way home. Just plain wet & cold this morning, and possibly raining this afternoon, and slated to stay that way for the next few days. So, whoever's in charge of this shit ain't makin' it easy. But hey, it it was easy....
posted by lodurr at 5:47 AM on April 1, 2011


This will be my second year participating in #30daysofbiking. On a similar note it will also be my second year participating in #cycle300 (bicycling 300 days in a year). Ride a bike, it feels great!
posted by samh at 7:27 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've taken to picking my daughter up from daycare by bike (even though it's only a block from our house), just because the weather is so damn beautiful.

Tho tomorrow I have to drive to visit my mother-in-law, and stay overnight (!!) so my bicycling may be restricted the porch and/or a post-midnight excursion tonight. April is already in jeopardy by the 2nd.

That does remind me that I need a need backlight.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:13 AM on April 1, 2011


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