@30daysofbiking – how was it for you?

I last posted on 30 days of biking back on the 14th of April.

That doesn’t mean I stopped riding, it just means I ran out of steam on the blogging. It’s a great concept and it probably lends itself to the 140 characters of Twitter but I assumed my readers will probably run out of patience if I write “went to the station again” for the 15th time in a month. And it’s not as if I haven’t ridden a bike almost every day since too.

The bigger problem however was that I completely ran out of time to blog, I have had some pretty good content but I haven’t had time to do it justice. So while I am catching up with those posts I have looked back at the second half of the month and pulled out just a few highlights to close out the sequence, even if it is late. Almere and Paris were the travel highlights, but I have already blogged about those.

What was really great was being forced to note as I went along why even daily cycling is so uplifting, especially when you live out in the countryside and spring brings changes almost every day. This has been especially true this year, the late cold winter has compressed spring into a ferocious burst of energy and all of that broke during the 30 days of April.

So glory number one from the end of the month is blossom, bursting out all over.Genval Belgium Lasne Belgium

And number two is the rediscovery of touring. At last the weather has been good enough to do proper touring rides and I managed three or four of those, both local explorations, another club ride with Cyclottignies and my big trip across Wallonia. I ended April a lot fitter than I started it!Cyclottignies Club ride Brabant Wallon Lasne Houtain le Val

Finally there was one other big beneficiary of my determination to ride every day. He is a lot fitter too. When I might have just nipped out for a walk instead Murphy got lots of great cross country rides even after work and we explored a some great new local lanes off the Lasne Nature maps although not without a few barriers.

Belgium

Anyway I managed to ride every day except one in April, probably more than I would have done without the incentive of the challenge. So Murphy and I thank the 30daysofbiking guys in Minneapolis, great idea. We’ll be back next year.

To see how the rest of the world fared click here

30 days of biking: days 1-6 @30daysofbiking

A great idea from Minneapolis, now in its fourth year.

Pledge to ride every day in April and join thousands of others who have signed up to the same idea. Not too late to pledge for the rest of the month if you have missed it. http://30daysofbiking.com

I have a strong suspicion that many of my readers may not regard riding every day as the slightest bit challenging, but I have to say even an addict like me does have down days, not least in this year’s interminable European winter. But what the heck, why not. It might just become spring at some point.

The only slight problem bothering me is that the wonderful Mrs Do Not Despair reads at least some of my blog posts. Now she has probably worked out why I was prepared to take the dog out Wednesday evening even if it was awful.  And when she reads this post the words “Don’t you do enough cycling already?” may just pass her lips.

I move quickly on.

1st April – shadow ride. Lovely late evening sunshine for me and the pooch. 30 minutes.IMG_0804

2nd April – station ride – pretty standard stuff but so nice to do it without much ice around. 25 minutes for out and back.

Rixensart station

Lasne sentier

3rd April – The I really wouldn’t be doing this if I hadn’t made that stupid pledge ride.

Cold, bleak, horrible. 30 minutes of bashing round the tracks and the cobbles under the leaden skies of Lasne.

IMG00455-20130404-0818

4th April – Station ride again – but where are they all?

Easter holidays seem to have emptied the roads and streets of the area.

Foret de Soignes Cycling5th April – The long commute ride. To Brussels through Foret de Soignes. First time since the clocks changed so the woods have reverted to dawn. Saw the family of deer again and listened to the bird life pretending it is spring. 80 minutes – I’m getting quicker.

6th April – Test a couple of bike adjustments ride to Limlette. Cold, but maybe there is a glimmer of sunshine. And the key question. “is it bad form to bring your own mud to Paris Roubaix?” 25 minutes riding, 15 minutes spannering.

Brabant WallonMuddy Peugeot Prologue