Who’s ready for 2017? We sure are. This year, live it up with our New Years resolutions for bike adventures. Just do it. Time’s a wasting.
Commit to microadventures! You are busy. We are busy. Not all of us have time to take that yearlong trip-of-a-lifetime traveling around the world by bicycle. We have careers, families, mortgages (bleh), and all the responsibilities of being an adult. These things add up and pretty soon we find that we’re on a hamster wheel of obligations. Add in the increased urbanization of our world and “improvements” in technology that tethers us to our computer screens and phones, and pretty soon you find that you haven’t explored the outdoors much.
That’s where the microadventure comes in. A microadventure is an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding. Microadventures allow us to escape to outdoors and reconnect us with why we love to ride bikes. Adventure Cycling started a Bike Overnights campaign with great ideas on how to get started with bike touring by embarking on quick overnight trips. Now is the time to plan your microadventures. Commit to one a week, one a month or a few times a year. No excuses.
Make family time outdoor time. Remember when you first discovered a bike as a kid? It was likely your ticket to freedom, a feeling that you could go anywhere and do anything. Introducing your kids to biking early on has immensely positive outcomes.
Need some inspiration? Check out While Out Riding’s post about a family overnight in New Mexico. Near and dear to us, our friend Drew takes his teenage daughter on short overnight BOB Trailer excursions in the forests of central Oregon. Finally, check out this family’s advice on bike touring with a toddler.
Give back to your cycling community. The Robert Axle Project has deep roots in building and maintaining our local singletrack. We figured that if we enjoy these trails, then we should certainly help to keep them in tip-top shape. If you are a mountain biker, joining your local trail building and advocacy group (starting with IMBA) can have a big impact on your local rides. If you are a road or cyclocross rider, find out how you can contribute. Organizations such as parks and recreation departments and Boys and Girls Clubs often have ways to get kids out on bikes too!
Visit your local bike shop. On that note, we still truly believe that in many places, local bike shops are the backbone of the cycling community. (Have you noticed? We’re all about community.) Your bike shop can provide you insider information and quality service. Because after all, the Internet can’t bleed your brakes, tune your suspension, or true your wheels. Bike shops can serve as a hub for cyclists, creating and advocating for the cycling community.
Remember why you ride. I don’t know about you, but riding my bike actually makes me a BETTER person. Chances are, you didn’t initially get into this sport because of Strava or some fancy pants carbon fiber bike part. You got into it because it made you feel better. You got into it because your friends shared the stoke with you. Or you got into it to make the world a little bit better. Whatever it was, just remember that feeling when you are on your bike, exploring your neighborhood, your country or your world. Keep that stoke and share it with others!
Happy New Year, from all of us at The Robert Axle Project!