In March 2010, during an especially balmy and bright Minneapolitan spring, best friends Patrick Stephenson and Zachariah Schaap (nicknamed “Zachamensch”) created a social media movement, based around a Twitter hashtag, named 30 Days of Biking (30DOB).
30 Days of Biking was based on a simple, two_part pledge:
Step 1: Ride your bike every day in April.
Step 2: Share your adventures with #30daysofbiking.
As Zach and Patrick promoted 30 Days of Biking on Twitter, and enlisted their pals to ride with them through the month of April, other Twitterers noticed and made the pledge, too. People from Minneapolis and around the world joined in, until a few hundred cyclists—most of whom our Minnesotan team had never met—had pledged to ride 30 days in a row.
30 Days of Biking requested that participants push themselves, 100 miles a day if need be, in the mud, on a single_speed, barefoot.
The point was to challenge yourself, to tell stories and write poems about your rides, to post photos and videos, to share what you love about bicycling with a community forming before your eyes. The movement was powerful because it could be shaped to fit any cyclist. Patrick and Zach wanted people to talk about bikes the way they talked about bikes.
Since 2010, thousands of people around the world have the made the 30 Days of Biking pledge.
Now, at the dawn of 2014, 30 Days of Biking is in its fifth year, with another round to come in April. The goal is to spread further, in its awesomely grassroots way. Nothing can hold us back, because we love bikes, and we believe that bicycling every day transforms you.
Co_founders Patrick and Zach count themselves among the many 30 Days of Biking participants who maintain that the movement has changed their lives the pals even have matching calf tattoos, meant to resemble a bike_chain grease stain, of 30 Days of Biking’s xXx logo.
We ride our bikes every day …
30 Days of Biking is not elitist. It is not a political statement. We don’t want you to worry about whether you have the right bike, or whether your butt looks good in spandex. We just want you out there, pedaling alongside our community, whether virtually or for real.
We do want you to remember how riding around your neighborhood felt when you were a kid, when a bike was your only transportation and you loved it. We want you to remember the freedom bicycling offers. The happiness, the independence. These things aren’t lost to the ages or the past. They’re still available, as nearby as your saddle. And, ultimately, they lead to a healthier life.
Our Call to Action
Join us by biking somewhere every day for 30 days this April—around the block, 20 miles to work, whatever suits you—then share your adventures online. The response 30 Days of Biking has received has been staggering. People love bikes and want to ride every day. The movement just gave their desire a name—and a month.
We hope you’ll join us! You can register for 30 Days of Biking on our Pledge page.
New for 2014 –
You pledge to ride. We pledge to give. For every 30 folks who pledge to bike every day in April, we’ll give 1 bike to a kid in need via Free Bikes 4 Kidz.
At 30 Days of Biking, we’ve been growing a community of joyful cyclists since 2010. We encourage cyclists and non_cyclists alike to take a pledge to bike for 30 days. The pledge means a commute to work or an evening roll around the block. The pledge is also what binds us together as a community of cyclists. We’re all passionate about the bicycle and we know the bicycle can make us better people, build stronger communities and help a global environment.
So this year, we want to *create* more cyclists. When 30 people take the 30 Days of Biking pledge, we make more cyclists.
Our friends at Free Bikes 4 Kidz have donated 20,000 bicycles to kids in need since 2008. Those kids who receive a bike are kids who would not otherwise be able to afford one. Remember when you received your first bike and how happy you were? That’s what Free Bikes 4 Kidz does, and that’s what we can help them do more of. But first, we need you to pledge to bike every day in April.
Head to 30daysofbiking.com/pledge to join our community and help us pass along some bike love to another generation.