Bikes are awesome. Whether you're an outdoor adventurer, endurance cyclist, or just someone without a car, the arrival of spring means it's time to re-acclimate your ass to your banana seat and hit the road. While chances are pretty good you'll see more than a few two-wheelers on the road this weekend, one group is taking their love of biking even further.
Now in its fourth year, 30 Days of Biking invites cyclists of all kinds to pledge to ride their bikes for 30 days straight and document their adventures online at 30daysofbiking.com
Nearly 2,000 people from around the world have already made the pledge, and co-founder Patrick Stephenson says he expects approximately 4,000 riders total.
"It surprises me every year how many people keep coming back," says Stephenson. "I can't believe it, but it's so much fun that I think people get excited and tell their friends, which has helped us continue to grow."
The movement hasn't just grown locally, but globally as well. Stephenson says that this year's 30 Days of Biking already has participants from Somalia, Greece, England, Wales, New Zealand, and the Netherlands who have pledged their support. So how does someone in Somalia find out about a program that was started in Minneapolis?
"It's just the power of social media," Stephenson says. "I don't really know how someone in Somalia heard about us, but I think it's really cool that someone at some point turned him on to it."
The adventures people choose to embark on during the 30 day challenge range from a simple trip to the grocery store to a cross country journey. Some pledge to ride in honor of an injured friend; others are just looking to be a part of a community of like-minded individuals. But no matter what the motivation, Stephenson says that this event is for everyone.
"It's just about getting outside and getting on your bike. Whether you're a world-class mountain biker or just snapping a picture of you and your bike outside of your house, 30 Days of Biking is just about getting out and rediscovering how awesome your bike can be to you," he says.
There will be several organized rides along the way, including a kickoff ride this Saturday that starts at Minnehaha Falls. After that, each Saturday in April a bike social will take place starting at 11 a.m. at the Dunn Bros. in the North Loop. Then, on May 3 bikers are invited to celebrate the end of 30 Days of biking at the One on One Bike Shop, also located in the North Loop.
"We're expecting about 150 people this Saturday," says Stephenson. "We'll be handing out spoke cards -- provided to every person who makes the pledge -- and we've got some pretty cool surprises planned too."
And what is Stephenson's plan if the weather decided to act all Minnesota-y in April? Ride on.
"We ride no matter what," he laughs. "Just because the weather is bad doesn't mean you can't get on your bike."
IF YOU GO:
30 Days of Biking Kickoff Ride
Minnehaha Falls (meet outside Sea Salt Eatery)