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 26 - Bike Picnic

Tweed Ride bike picnic. Photo by Massif Central blog.

Tweed Ride bike picnic. Photo by Massif Central blog.

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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

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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

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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.