Everyday Cycling Adds Up

I joined a couple of challenges as part of Bike Month but deliberately didn’t do too much more than normal. I wanted to see what that would look like.

I normally bike to the office four days a week (just over 2.5 km each way). I bike to swim practice once a week. I visited the dressmaker near the pool a couple of times (she’s making me a dress for my son’s wedding later this summer). I rode to both community gardens, though not every time I went, because sometimes it was easier to combine with a trip to the barn outside of town. I used it for groceries almost every time I needed something, but sometimes that was also combined with a work commute or trip to the barn, so no extra kms to count.

I did join in a few group rides, as I usually do in summer. One night I rode to my friend’s to feed her cats (43 km round trip, my longest distance since high school). Another night I rode across town to meet up with people from my fruit harvesting organization. Despite best efforts, I did not ride the bike shares in Toronto while visiting during Pride weekend, but I did spot one of these awesome seat covers that BikeShare Toronto had made.

Pink bicycle seat cover with the words “Thanks for Being Bike Curious” in large letters, with #RideTOPride in small letters. There is also a circle with rainbow colours and the words Bike Share Toronto on the edge, and a small white bicycle in the centre.

Strava tells me that I completed over 215 kms. The last time I checked, I was the top contributor to my team’s Let’s Bike Ottawa challenge, after biking 15 days before going on holidays until the end of the month.

Those aren’t huge numbers, but they do represent an estimated 55 kg of greenhouse gases averted and $132 saved compared to running a car (payments and insurance included, not just gas).

This month I was reminded that my city is more compact than I imagine from inside my car, but also bigger and more interesting. I saw bats and fireflies, waved to, smiled at, and chatted with random strangers, figured out a decent crosstown route and a way to get all the way to the south end of town almost entirely on the trail system.

I also improved my #CarryShitOlympics skills, which amused my whole team at the staff picnic.

Me in an orange shirt and blue bike helmet, holding my loaded bike in a park. I have a table, folding chair and croquet set strapped to the back. The panniers have a tablecloth, framed certificates, chips, salsa, serving bowls, a cake, knife, cutlery, plates and napkins. My front basket has a boules game and a vase full of flowers.

How did you spend Bike Month? Drop a comment about any new things you tried and and what was particularly fun.

Let us know what you think....