5 Lessons from 30daysofbiking

It’s been a few weeks now since 30daysofbiking wrapped up, so perhaps it’s time to look back on the experience and the lessons learnt…

  1. The 30daysofbiking challenge is actually, well, a challenge. To be honest, this surprised me. Thanks to Sydney’s atrocious transport system, my default option for getting to and from work is to ride. So Monday to Friday, I don’t even think twice about going for a ride, it’s just part of the daily routine. I figured this would translate naturally to getting out for a ride on the weekend too. Strangely, it didn’t. Travel and holiday plans also complicated things, reducing me to beg, borrow and steal to be able to claim a ride each day.
  2. There’s no such thing as bad conditions, just bad gear. Contrary to all the tourist board advertising, it does rain in Australia. And in Sydney, when it rains, it pours.Had it not been for the challenge, I probably would have squeezed myself into an overcrowded train to get to work that day. I would have then been stuck in the rain-caused delays, and arrived at work late, and probably soaked to the skin. Instead, I put on a rain jacket, some gloves and glasses and set out on the bike. Passing taxis splashed me with water pooled on the road, I rode through puddles that came up to the bottom bracket, and I got soaked to the skin. But I can assure you, it was more fun than being stuck in a steamy train carriage for over an hour, pressed into someone’s armpit.
  3. Any time is a good time to ride. Ordinarily, my cycling is done in the morning and evening to get to and from work, and if I’m riding just for the fun of it, then definitely during daylight hours. Thanks to the challenge, I was forced into going for a night ride, which was a completely different experience compared to the evening commute. Quiet roads, cool air, and glorious night-time views. With a couple of good lights, and appropriate gear, I’ve found riding at night can be a joy.
  4. There’s nothing like seeing the sights on two wheels. To justify my photo-a-day effort, I spent one weekend riding to and shooting Sydney ‘s harbour beaches and coves, and the Eastern suburbs beaches. I knew all of these locations, and had been to most of them dozens of times. Nevertheless, getting there by bike made me enjoy them all the more – maybe it was the early morning light and solitude, or more likely, just not having the beach experience ruined by spending half the day looking for somewhere to park.
  5. It will change you. Like I said at the start, I thought the 30daysofbiking challenge would be a doddle, just requiring a couple of weekend rides, and I’d come out the other side more or less the same. Turns out it did a lot more. I bought my first ever pair of nicks, something I swore I’d never do for fear of the MAMIL tag. And I joined Audax Australia. But more on that later…
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