It’s April ! You know what that means?

April is. . . the Official Month of Missed Deadlines?

No! (or at least, Not Only That!) 30 Days of Biking has begun!

I’ve already missed my potential April 1st bike ride and my planned April 1st blog post, so… right on schedule, I’m late.

I have a FABULOUS excuse for not riding in that I’m technically not cleared to?  Though Dr. G acknowledged it wasn’t her area of expertise, she still tossed off a “2 weeks off the bike” recommendation for healing; tomorrow just makes one week. Close enough! I am going to try – *try* – a few minutes on the trainer this evening and we’ll see how it goes. TBH, I’m nervous because what’s coming this weekend with Camp DK (200 miles of Kansas Flint Hills gravel over 3 days, 50/100/50) is no joke.

Let’s talk about 30 Days of Biking, because I think this is a truly wonderful program with benefits to riders of all levels.

This is a program started by a couple of dudes in Minneapolis who wanted to spread the joy of biking. Simple as that. Along the way, they raise money for charity and this year it’s World Bicycle Relief, which provides sturdy bicycles AND bicycle repair training for young people and adults in developing countries. (Google “buffalo bicycle” or check out WBR ‘s site – good stuff.)

www.30DaysofBiking.com is the site when you’re ready to “make the pledge.” What does that mean? You enter your name and maybe your e-mail address and pledge to ride your bike every day in April. That’s it. If you’re willing to make a few social media posts about it, more’s the better, but it’s not required. It just makes it more fun. The pledge is FREE, a donation to World Bicycle Relief is completely voluntary. Also free (if you explore the site a little bit) is a template for you to make your own spoke cards. I had 100 made a few years ago to leave at bike shops & share with others. I had them printed on card stock & laminated & I get a kick out of people noticing them in my spokes & asking about them. I probably get a bigger kick out of noticing them in other peoples’ spokes.

No ride too big or small, indoor or outdoor, and if you miss a day, well, it’s on the honor system – just tack on a ride after the end of the month. Like I’m going to do !

I like it because it helps build a habit and it fosters a supportive community of riders all over the world. I love that following the hashtag #30DaysofBiking or #30DoB on any of the usual social media sites will reveal posts in multiple languages. Note on Facebook the page is “Joyful Riders Worldwide,” changed from a “30 Days of Biking” page because it turns out the friends we make all over the world during April are people we still enjoy chatting with in May… or July… or January.

There’s no mandatory tracking or reporting, but a fun app to use in April is “Ride.” It asks of you only your e-mail address, it tracks rides automatically, and it rewards you with fun daily “trophies” after rides. The trophies are little emojis that bounce into a screen and accumulate – I’m a total dork so I know if you shake your phone, the trophies will all bounce around and I find this hugely entertaining. (I live a sheltered life.)

Okay, I’m stopping!  (This is the Ann version of a “short blog post, apparently.) Go pledge !

(This is a favorite, though not recent, photo of me in my 30 Days of Biking jersey. World-class photographer Henry Gentle snagged this shot at the bike park on the Katy Trail near Columbia, Missouri. In the background you can see the SCARY TEETER TOTTER that I finally mastered right before this shot. I could post that video here but it might damage my cred as a tough bad ass as you can clearly hear the tiny “ohhh shiiiiiit” as I barely survive the teeter.)

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