Here is what I’m going to do one day soon: Wake up a little earlier than usual—on my own, no getting rousted by the alarm. On the morning that happens, I’m going to go downstairs, make a coffee, fire up my laptop, log into my work Slack, and tell my boss that I’ve found a way to really boost my productivity. I’m going to explain that I’m taking the day off of work because I’m well.
“I have a lot of play to do,” I’ll say.
We all know about initiatives like Bike to Work Day or, in some places, Bike to Work week—they often occur in the month of May, which is National Bike Month (one of my favorite months, obviously). I’m a big fan of these initiatives. In various degrees, I’ve been a bike commuter since 1987. I’ve organized and worked at pop-up breakfast stops. I’ve led ‘commuter trains’ that showed novice bike commuters good routes and helped them feel more confident about bike commuting. I’ve even scheduled bike check-up sessions to provide light maintenance and tuning to help get people on the road. (I also ended up fixing a lot of flat tires over the years!)
These experiences often change someone’s life—I’ve been there so many times as people discover that bikes are wonderful machines for efficient, economical, simple transportation.
But we also need to remember, bikes are just as good for having fun. We somehow take that for granted while also not giving it enough attention. I mean, look—there’s never been a corresponding Bike to Play Week. Until now.
Bicycling is launching a new ride holiday—Bike to Play Week. Sometime between Monday, June 7 and Sunday, June 13, Bicycling and Degree (the official deodorant of Bike to Play Week)—and me, personally—are encouraging everyone to set aside a day to simply play on their bicycles. It can be a big adventure, or a day of small pleasures. Solo, with family, with friends, a dog, just you and your social media friends ... the possibilities are endless and completely up to you.
Mine’s going to start with a ride for scones and jam at Tucker—a cafe in Easton, Pennsylvania—which I’ve been wanting to do all year but always feel too busy to do. I’m going to cruise home along the Karl Stirner Arts Path, then—because FRESH TAPE!—I’ll spend some time installing some new handlebar wrap that I bought a few months ago onto my favorite road bike.
When that’s done, it’s off to either a secret route around a reservoir I’ve only ridden twice, or I’ll do a huge ride up to a road called Jenny Jump I’ve been dreaming about for three years. Maybe a few friends will join; it depends on whether they’re working or playing that day. I’m going to end it all by riding with my girlfriend for an early-evening thick, cold milkshake at a marvelous rundown drive-in nearby.
Catch me up on your Bike to Play Day, using the hashtag #BIBiketoPlay across all platforms. And if you need a note for your boss, just let me know.
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