31 Gateway Drugs for the Bike Curious

Happy #BikeMonth!

May is National Bike Month! Follow Bikabout's blog and Instagram (#31GatewayDrugs), as we post 1 photo for 31 days to get your butt on a bike.

May 31 - Sunset

 Gold Medal Park is a great place to observe the sunset behind Minneapolis.

Gold Medal Park is a great place to observe the sunset behind Minneapolis.

It's fitting that our final "gateway drug" of Bike Month is sunsets, as they provide a certain closure. One of our favorite things to do in new cities is find the best sunset viewing spot, which is why we have a blog post, "14 Sunsets Where Bikes are VIP Passes" (same goes for firework shows!).

I hope this photo essay helps you convince your mom, friend, colleague or maybe a future sweetheart to take a fun bike ride with you.

May 30 - Coffee

Mmmm, caffeine. Sipping coffee while you bike isn't that hard with an upright bike and we guaranty it will slow you down on your commute (a good thing).

May 29 - Beach

 Tobacco Bay Beach in Bermuda

Tobacco Bay Beach in Bermuda

You know riding to the beach is popular when a type of bike is designed for it: the cruiser. Beat the traffic and carry your belongings easily to the sand with your bike.

May 28 - Beer!

 Hair of the Dog Brewery in Portland is always packed with bikes!

Hair of the Dog Brewery in Portland is always packed with bikes!

Using your bike to drink beer is like using chopsticks to eat sushi. Sure, there's a faster way to consume, but the experience is magnified by the chosen delivery. And the beer industry has taken notice with ample bike parking and the proliferation of cans, which are much easier and lighter to carry by bike than glass.

May 27 - Farmer's Market

 Charleston Farmer's Market in Marion Square

Charleston Farmer's Market in Marion Square

Did you know your bike doubles as a shopping cart at farmer's markets. Being mindful of crowds, simply roll your bike through the vendor stalls and stuff your basket and panniers with produce and local food.

May 26 - Bike Picnic

 Tweed Ride bike picnic. Photo by Massif Central blog.

Tweed Ride bike picnic. Photo by Massif Central blog.

A post shared by bikabout (@bikabout) on

Bike picnics are like an outdoor culinary VIP pass. There's something so special about throwing provisions on a bike, riding to your favorite outdoor spot and setting up a meal. We get some thumbs up from strangers when we load our Weber Go-anywhere grill on our front bike rack, "well, aren't you prepared." If you haven't done a bike picnic, it's a must do, and here's 10 Must-Haves for a Perfect Bike Picnic.

May 25 - Wine

A post shared by Bike Pretty (@bikepretty) on

Stow a bottle (or box) of wine and a couple glasses in your basket or pannier and uncork that baby when you get to a beautiful spot. You'll never feel so civilized and people will be mad jealous. 

May 24 - Dogs

If you're ever needing a pick me up, take a bike ride with your dog or borrow one from a friend. Nothing generates smiles from strangers more than seeing a dog on a bike!

May 23 - Ice Cream

Bikabout-Cape-Cod-Ice-Cream-Cafe-2.jpg

Whenever I ask people what they look forward to most in a bike ride, it's overwhelmingly ice cream. 

May 22 - Activism

 Founder, Megan, and her daughter at the Seattle Women's March

Founder, Megan, and her daughter at the Seattle Women's March

 May 22nd is Harvey Milk Day! Painting by Hugo Kobayashi. Photo by Luke Thomas.

May 22nd is Harvey Milk Day! Painting by Hugo Kobayashi. Photo by Luke Thomas.

2017 will be the year that our activism spirit woke from a slumber. Pick a cause, and there will a march or protest, and biking there remains the most convenient way to join the masses (and to show your independence and resiliency).

Riding a bike is also the easiest way to vote for better biking infrastructure. When political leaders see large numbers of diverse people biking, they take notice.
 

May 21 - Electric Bikes

 Faraday Electric Bike

Faraday Electric Bike

As recent transplants to the Pacific Northwest who, when faced with the hills, had to promptly sell our Workcycles bakfiets and FR8 and buy an Urban Arrow and Pedego Ridge Rider, we understand that electric bikes are a viable substitute for car trips. 

We challenge any ebike virgins to ride one, and don't you dare smile.

May 20 - Waterfalls

 Hole in the Wall Falls off the Historic Columbia River Highway trail.

Hole in the Wall Falls off the Historic Columbia River Highway trail.

Not everyone can find a waterfall in your back yard, but maybe choose your next travel destination (hint, Columbia River Gorge) based on bikeable waterfalls!

May 19 - Bike to Work

A post shared by Jagmeet Singh (@jagmeetsingh) on

Happy National Bike to Work Day! At the beginning of the day, arrive to work feeling refreshed, and at the end of the day, ride off any stress. Here is a beginner's guide to biking to work including tips on choosing a comfortable route and dressing.

May 18 - Museums

 Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum

Happy International Museum Day! Bike to your local museum or one of these 9 bike friendly museums!

May 17 - Music

 Jazz concert at Millennium Park, Chicago

Jazz concert at Millennium Park, Chicago

Riding your bike is not only the most enjoyable way to get to a music festival or concert, it's the most convenient with nary a worry of parking or traffic.

May 16 - Cider

 Historic Columbia River Highway trail, Hood River, Oregon

Historic Columbia River Highway trail, Hood River, Oregon

Sipping on cider is a refreshing way to take a break or finish off a bike ride.

May 15 - Family

 5 on a bike with 1 trailing. The Netherlands are family biking professionals.

5 on a bike with 1 trailing. The Netherlands are family biking professionals.

Happy International Day of Families! We know that organizing a family bike ride is daunting so that's why we put together this resource guide with a handy dandy chart of best bikes by age. 

May 14 - Wildflowers (HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!)

 Tanglefoot Trail, New Albany, MS

Tanglefoot Trail, New Albany, MS

Spouses, no need to get mothers a bouquet a flowers when you can take them on a bike ride to pick some fresh wildflowers.

May 13 - Bike Share

 Happy Birthday, Stephen Colbert!

Happy Birthday, Stephen Colbert!

"I don't own a bike" is no longer a barrier when you live in 1 of 30+ North American cities with bike share

May 12 - Public Gardens

 International Rose Test Garden, Portland, OR

International Rose Test Garden, Portland, OR

May 12th is National Public Gardens day.

May 11 - Food

 Big Star Tacos, Wicker Park, Chicago

Big Star Tacos, Wicker Park, Chicago

It's almost like whoever claimed May 11 as "Eat What You Want Day" was thinking of people who bike. You have our permission (as long as you're biking everyday), to eat whatever you want.

May 10 - School

 National Bike to School Day, Cambridge, MA

National Bike to School Day, Cambridge, MA

Happy Bike to School Day! Here's a photo essay of tips to get your kids to school by bike.

May 9 - Night

 Washington, DC's National Mall makes the best case for night biking.

Washington, DC's National Mall makes the best case for night biking.

With good bike lights and a comfortable route away from cars, biking at night is serene. Our favorite cities include Montreal, New York, Washington and Madison.

May 8 - Groceries

 Double kickstands like this one on the Workcycle FR8 make grocery shopping by bike easier.

Double kickstands like this one on the Workcycle FR8 make grocery shopping by bike easier.

Grocery shopping is a detested errand by most, but with a bike, it becomes a fun challenge and you'll feel so accomplished when you get home. Also, have you noticed how awful it is to park at grocery stores? Never again with primo bike parking right in front. Now if we can just get baggers to understand how to load panniers and bike baskets, we'll be good.

Pro tip - get your bike a double kickstand for better stability in loading and unloading.

May 7 - Playgrounds

 Maggie Daly Playground, Grant Park, Chicago

Maggie Daly Playground, Grant Park, Chicago

North America is catching onto Europe's theory of playground design, or as we like to call, "playgrounds on steroids".

These new playgrounds have taken route in neighborhoods and major city parks, making them the perfect place to bike to with your kids. A simple trip like this will get them very excited about biking.

May 6 - Bike Packing

 Can't contain the celebration on our first bikepacking experience.

Can't contain the celebration on our first bikepacking experience.

Bikepacking, derived from backpacking, is narrowly described as multi-day mountain biking. But, we love to steal romantic bike travel theories and make them approachable to to normal people.

With some tips and routes from Bikepacking.com, use whatever panniers, baskets and rack space to pack your minimally for 1 or 2 night trip. For our first trip (photo above), we used our electric bikes to "car camp" at a local park only 5 miles from our house. Our route included an unpaved trail and 2 wine tasting stops.

Besides rolling up to beautiful campsite, our favorite part was using our bikes to retrieve left behind camp wire wood at all the empty spots.

May 5 - Cocktails

 Taco Boy in Charleston, SC gives people who arrive by bike 2 for 1 Margaritas!

Taco Boy in Charleston, SC gives people who arrive by bike 2 for 1 Margaritas!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, our theme today is cocktails! Obviously this one requires some responsibility and civility, so just make sure you drink lots of water before partaking and eat! Sipping a cocktail with friends after a short or long ride is bliss.

May 4 - Art

 "Seen. Known" by William Massey. Atlanta Beltline under the Freedom Parkway.

"Seen. Known" by William Massey. Atlanta Beltline under the Freedom Parkway.

Some of the best art in cities is only discovered by bike (or walking with gusto). We encourage everyone to wander in an off-the-beaten path neighborhood or take an adventure down a dirt path. You never know what you'll find in the nooks and crannies.

For the timid, if you google "public art map <city>", usually every city has one.

May 3 - Love

 Photo by Josh Brasted

Photo by Josh Brasted

The couple that rides together, stays together. This is our music crush, Solange Knowles, and her husband, Alan Ferguson, leaving their wedding in New Orleans by bike. Tip - Find a route where you can ride side by side. For all you men out there, it's not a race.

May 2 - Fashion

It's less about making a statement and more about being yourself. Your bike should let you wear whatever you want, whether it be a long skirt, heals, suit, or <gasp> silk. An upright bike with skirt and chain guards will help you get dressed every morning with nary a worry of your ensemble.

May 1 - Friends

 Beltline, Atlanta

Beltline, Atlanta

When did you start riding? The answer we receive from the majority of folks is, "my friend took me on a ride and I felt like a kid again and wanted to keep feeling that way." 

So if you're curious, ask a friend to take you for a short, chill ride (under 3 miles) on the weekend. Pretty much all people who bike are really excited about getting their friends on bikes.