Saddle Up for 30 Incredible Days of Biking

“Around the block works, 100 miles does, too. The distance, destination and donut selections are up to you. Thank you for joining us!” (30 Days of Biking Website)

This year 11 cyclists answering to “Kathleen”, from across the world, pledged to ride a bike every day in the month of April; they were among thousands of riders. Two were from the organizers’ “home” city of Minneapolis, and one was from my “home” city of Columbus, Ohio. Kathleen K. and I have spent many hours on a bike together. There are a surprising number of us (Kathleens) who participate in the Cbus cycling scene, and it’s worth taking a photo when we are together!

For every cyclist who takes the “30 Days of Biking” pledge a donation is made to World Bicycle Relief.  This organization supplies bicycles to those desperately in need of this means of transportation. Their website declares:  “Simple, sustainable bicycle transportation multiplies an individual’s efficiency. Compared to walking, bikes improve access to education, healthcare and economic opportunity.”

Numerous special events, including a Full Moon Ride and a “funky soul vinyl dance party” take place during April, in support of this cause. Most are in Minneapolis, so I feel that next year I may need to organize something in the Columbus area. Perhaps a kick-off April Fools party, and some celebration at the end of the month! I can channel my inner child, with her banana seat on her basket bike beach cruiser.

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Consider the impact of this program:

“Children and families earn bicycles in exchange for work done to improve their rural communities and the environment, such as nurturing native tree saplings or collecting recyclable trash. Bicycles help children commute to school quickly and safely and allow families better access to healthcare, jobs and markets.  Program participants also gain skills they can use to launch their own small businesses. South African high school students have planted hundreds of thousands of trees and collected thousands of tons of trash through these programs so far.” (World Bicycle Relief website)

This is a cause worth supporting – so for the 3rd year in a row I rode through the month of April! Sometimes I rode late at night, or dodging raindrops. I rented and rode bikes in 4 different states, taking advantage of wonderful bike share programs. (Washington DC’s program is extensively used, and the bike stations are everywhere!)  I threw my Trek into the back of my Forester when I found myself on work road trips, which happen regularly with the schedule I keep.

Please come along on this (very special) adventure, and enjoy the photos along the way!

Day 1 of 30 Days of Biking: I needed a short nap this afternoon because I got my 1st ride of April in from 11-ish pm – 12:30 am last night, searching Clintonville for Cassie Patterson’s lost pup. (SHE WAS FOUND TODAY!!) While napping, I’m still in my bike clothes!

Day 2 of 30 Days of Biking: Today was a very windy 19 miles to pre-ride of next week’s Year of Yay! ride, but we got it done. This monthly, themed ride is always a unique journey around the city of Columbus, with folks who have now become dear friends. All riders are welcome – see the Yay Bikes! link at the end of this blog. (Sorry if I was a little “hangry” at the end of the pre-ride, which is tasked with evaluating the route and suggesting changes to improve rider experience. I think a few of us were…)

Day 3 of 30 Days of Biking: What a beautiful day to be out on a COGO bike down by the river, out to lunch and a visit to the Columbus Museum of Art. The museum is free on Sundays, and I can’t think of a better way to get there! There is a COGO Station at the corner of the museum, and it’s great to take advantage of my yearly membership. The bike trail along the Scioto Mile is newly open, and a pleasure to ride along at a casual, meandering pace.

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Day 4 of 30 Days of Biking: Brrrrrrrr!!! It was a rather cold day to ride! I rode 6.2 miles to Weiland’s Market for a bottle of red wine. It was really cold;  I’m officially a crazy person. Now I want some wine!

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Day 5 of 30 Days of Biking: Going Postal! I have this amazing niece who lives in the Chicagoland area. Since I don’t get to see her as much as I’d like, I pick up little trinkets for her on my many travels – it’s just things I think would make her smile, and sometimes a book or souvenir that represents the places I go. I want her to know I’m thinking of her, so off in the mail the next package goes! I remember that my Dad used to do something like this when he was traveling all across the globe to different countries, and wonder where the doll collection ended up.

Day 6 of 30 Days of Biking: And then I hopped a plane to Santa Barbara! Biking fun in the sun! So much to see, so much to do! So little time, but enough to rent bikes for a few days!

Day 7 of 30 Days of Biking: It’s so wonderful to have new places to ride! I love being near water, and a bike path that hugs the shore is a treat to ride along. On this day I was riding beside the waters of Santa Barbara, just before the rain started.

Day 8 of 30 Days of Biking: Livin’ it up….  at the Hotel California! While LA doesn’t have a bike share for the city, there is a system down by the water, where you can cruise around Santa Monica Pier, the Venice Beach area, and the long stretches of sand in-between. The path twists and winds, forcing a slower pace. Renting bikes by the hour gives tourists a chance to see much more of the area than they might otherwise.

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Day 9 of 30 Days of Biking: Brrrrrrrrr – this is as far as the bike will go tonight – the front gate of my apartment complex. (Back in California it’s still the 9th, so forgive the late post!) Night folks!

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Day 10 of 30 Days of Biking: I almost forgot to post, but I was all over Clintonville today, by bike of course. It’s an adventure to run errands around town on two wheels. Shop local people, by bike if you can!! Just remember you only have one basket to fill when you start loading up your shopping cart! I may have overdone it at the grocery store.

Day 12 of 30 Days of Biking: Play ball! It’s baseball season, and there’s nothing wrong with catching an inning or two from the fence, from time to time. Tuesday night is a great night to get out on a COGO bike, and the weather was just beautiful for a casual ride. Wishing the Columbus Clippers a great season!

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Day 13 of 30 Days of Biking: “Take part in the Art!” – The slogan for the Saginaw, MI Art Museum encourages residents and visitors alike to become part of the local art scene. There is art all around, if you slow down and seek it out. When visiting other cities, I like to see a bit of the city, and all it has to offer. It was a pleasure to take in this very creative side of Saginaw!

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Day 14 of 30 Days of Biking: “How do ya like them apples?” You’ll find FREE apples every day at Blanchard Valley Hospital in Findley, OH! A bright green apple is part of the Hospital’s logo, as they strive to keep residents of this northern Ohio town healthy. An apple a day, keeps the doctor away!

Day 15 of 30 Days of Biking: Any bike ride that ends in front of a bonfire is a good bike ride!

Day 16 of 30 Days of Biking: A stunningly beautiful spring day in Washington DC!! Capitol Bike Share is everywhere, and heavily used. It’s the last day of the Cherry Blossom Festival, and the perfect destination for a day trip. It was an unbelievably early flight this morning, and I wish we could stay a while longer!

Day 17 of 30 Days of Biking: Another beautiful day, this time riding along the Olentangy Trail in Columbus. Tour de H2O was spotted along the trail today! Please support me in my fundraising this year for Tour de H2O, and supply fresh water to those who need it. To make a donation, go to:  http://www.tourdeh2o.org/pages/odowd.aspx

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Day 18 of 30 Days of Biking: Just a ride through the beautiful old neighborhood of Beechwold, on the way to the bike trail. The first zoo in Columbus was located was in this neighborhood, where the streets wind about, and there are hills leading down to the river. The old monkey house is still standing, repurposed into a garage for one of the beautiful homes in the area. Look for the elephant weathervane up top!

Day 19 of 30 Days of Biking: How can I describe TNR? Well, it means “Tuesday Night Ride”, but that hardly says anything. TNR was my introduction to the world of social cycling, in a way. I’ve participated in this ride, which starts at Goodale Park, on and off over the last several years, here in Columbus. I’ve missed a lot of rides due to travel – I’ve missed more rides than I’d like, and I’ve formed amazing relationships on two wheels. To make up for the missed rides, I head out on my own solo rides when I’m out of town. An easy 10 miles zips by on TNR. . . .  Erie PA edition.

Day 20 of 30 Days of Biking: I couldn’t find the beaver’s dam. I mean….I couldn’t find the beavers. Damn! (Oh, the power of spelling and punctuation…!)

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Day 21 of 30 Days of Biking: It rained the entire four hours as I was driving home today. I just kept telling myself that Eddie Bauer is in business for a reason, and they make a lot of money selling raincoats.

Day 21 cont. of 30 Days of Biking: …and then I pulled into my driveway, the rain stopped, and I couldn’t pass up a chance to at least ride around the block. I wore my Eddie Bauer raincoat, just in case.

Day 22 of 30 Days of Biking: Not too late to post – enjoying the local scene!

Day 23 of 30 Days of Biking: On the road, you find a way! Knowing I’d be in Jacksonville, FL for several days I scoped things out ahead of time. Luckily the hotel I was staying at had a relationship with a local bike shop, which provided rentals right in the front lobby. It was a bit expensive (for someone who rides one of her own 3 bikes on a regular basis), so I arranged for a 24 hour rental late in the day, so I could ride that afternoon and the next morning.

Day 24 of 30 Days of Biking: Protect Florida’s manatees! Being in Jacksonville makes me think of longtime friends who spent many years appreciating the wildlife in Florida. Their love of the animals there gave me a real appreciation of how modern society can support or damage the ecosystem.

Day 25 of 30 Days of Biking: After 2 days of expensive rentals, it was time to hop onto a stationary bike. It counts!! Never mind the adult beverage that is in the cup holder…. Go ahead…. zoom in to check it out!! This ride did have a beautiful view of Jacksonville.

Day 26 of 30 Days of Biking: I’m not certain I burn as many calories when I play solitaire while I pedal…. but you do what you gotta do to make an indoor ride tolerable. It was hard to stay focused on the ride, or the game. My hand at cards stinks anyway!

Day 27 of 30 Days of Biking: Just riveting stuff!! A third day on the stationary exercise bike is about 2 days too many, but this remained my best option. I look forward to getting on the “real” bike tomorrow!

Day 28 of 30 Days of Biking: Well, this is as far as we got. With the sudden onset of back pain from a long and very physical week, I had to use some sense and stay off the bike. The twins (ButterCup and ButterBean) were Okay with that.

Day 29 of 30 Days of Biking: I was very Disappointed. I just couldn’t do it. But I’m truly hopeful for day 30.

Edit: I just saw a crane fly overhead. It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen my “Totem Animal”. Things are good.

Day 30 of 30 Days of Biking: What an amazing ride this month of 30 Days of Biking has been!! I couldn’t allow this final day of April go by without a short ride, once again relying on the COGO bike share system! I look forward to putting my COGO membership to good use this summer, getting around downtown, to festivals, picnics, performances, and lazy days down at the riverfront.

If you’re in the neighborhood of “30 Days of Biking’s” home, the Minneapolis area, itching to get yourself on a bike, consider participating in Bike MS: Twin Cities Ride 2016, rolling out on May 7th. With a start at Summit Brewing Company, more than 1,000 riders will roll out, choosing routes from 12 – 50 miles through the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. This organization supports the 30 Days cause!

Making a commitment to ride a bike for 30 days straight is significant, if it is taken seriously. I have many friends who joined in, supporting the cause, this year. I hope they will share their stories! Remember, to participate in this event next year, all that is asked of participants is to pledge! The bikes given out by #30DaysOfBiking are funded by the generosity of the sponsors:

Event Sponsors:

Surly Brewing: http://surlybrewing.com

Banjo Brothers: http://banjobrothers.com

Lunar: http://lunarmpls.com

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: http://nationalmssociety.org

Perennial Cycle: http://perennialcycle.com

Farmstead Bike Shop: http://farmsteadbikeshop.com

Oh, and a few of the Kathleens in my life. . .

Kathleen

Join me on the next (cycling) adventure,

~ Kat     image

Other Related Links:

30 Days of Biking: http://30daysofbiking.com/

World Bicycle Relief: http://www.worldbicyclerelief.org/

Yay Bikes!:  http://www.yaybikes.com/

COGO Bike Share: http://www.cogobikeshare.com/

Tour de H2O: http://www.tourdeh2o.org/Pages/default.aspx

Columbus Clippers: http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t445

Clintonville History and Beechwold Zoo: http://clintonvillehistory.com/

One comment

  1. This is worthy of your local PBS channel! Photo Biking Sensations!
    Very enjoyable to experience through your eyes and voice!
    Blog and Ride On!

    Like

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