30 Days of Biking – 2014 Edition


30 Days of Biking

While I was checking my Twitter updates in the beginning of March, I came across a reminder to make a pledge to do 30 days of biking.  I actually attempted this 2 years ago, but failed to complete it, so this was something I wanted a “redo” on.  30 days of biking was started by Patrick Stephenson in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The idea is to ride your bike for 30 days in the month of April.  It was a simple goal of just being on your bike and seeing what came out of it.  It was meant to show that anybody can make it an effort to ride their bikes and kickstart their two wheel lifestyle, plus it was a perfect way to set an example for other folks to see people out on the road riding.  I made my pledge to do it this year.

Week 1

I knew I would be on my bike the first week of April as I had my Adventure Cycling Association LTC training the same week.  I figured that I should get a few hundred miles then.  And so the first of April started on my second day of training in Buellton.  I had the chance to ride the Emerald Hills in Buellton.  Right after, I took my Day 1 picture, the rain clouds unleashed a good downpour on my way back to camp.  It was the first time riding in the rain with my Salsa Vaya.  The disc brakes worked fantastically well.

Day 2 was one of my favorite days of riding as I got the bike and rode with Margie, my breakfast meal partner.  We steered ourselves away from the rest of the group onto Ballard Canyon Road.  It was a beautiful ride, but I enjoyed the conversations the most.  It reminded us to slow down and recognize what was important to each of us.

Day 3 was a group selfie with all the folks who road through Solvang and the Santa Ynez hike region.  We were in a good sized group of 10 cyclists pedaling through vineyards and horse ranches.  It was a beautiful day as the rain clouds cleared out and gave us a chance to dry out.

Day 4 was a busy riding day.  It began at 5:45AM when I left camp in Buellton to catch my train down to Camarillo.  I made it with 20 minutes to spare.  Unfortunately, there was another fatality on the track, and the train dropped all the passengers off at Oxnard, California.  Luckily, it was only 1 stop away from Camarillo so Darren Alff of Bicycle Touring Pro met me halfway, and I spent the rest of the day riding with him.  I logged about 50 miles.

Day 5 was a relaxing day where I spent time running errands around town.

Week 2

Day 6 was Ciclavia, Los Angeles’ open street ride, which happens twice a year.  I got to ride parts of the route since I left early to help “Finish the Ride” sign up participants.  Although I didn’t put up that many miles, I was glad to be riding.

On Day 7, I took a quick stroll around my old neighborhood in Alhambra, California.  I was still on vacation at the time so I took it easy.

Day 8 was my first day back to work in April, so I took a quick snapshot of my shadow on the way into work.

On Day 9, I had to go out to Westwood, so I decided to stop by the UCLA entrance and take a photo of my bike with it.

On Day 10, I needed to drive to work so I decided to do a quick loop in my apartment complex with my work clothes.  Rolled up my pants to show off my work socks for this shot.  It was important just to be on the bike regardless if I put in miles or not.

On Day 11, I was back in Alhambra and rode over a pedestrian bridge.  This was one of my favorite photos as you can see the I-10 freeway and a shadow of me and my bike on the bridge.  I was on my way into the East Los Angeles train station for the first time on bike.

On Day 12, I showed off my Surly Cross Check‘s dynamo powered lights.  The first night time picture in this photo series.

Week 3

On Day 13, I went riding around the old neighborhood of Alhambra once again.  This time I strolled over to Almansor Park and took some pictures next to the “lake” there.  Pretty good back drop for a lazy Sunday.

Day 14 is another one of my favorite photos.  I was driving down a street near my home and saw this opportunity to setup a perfectly lit photo opportunity.  I jumped on my bike and went back to take this beautiful black and white.  It’s a little off centered but I still really like it.

Day 15 & 16 are two shots from the top while I commuted into work for the last couple of times.  The first was a photo of my front Ortlieb bags and the second was with me and my front bags and handlebar.  This was a different perspective in which I saw Rob Perks of Ocean Air Cycles do in his shot.

Day 17 was bittersweet as this was my last day of work.  I decided to ride down to the beach from work for the first and last time.  This was the selfie I took when I got there.

Day 18 was Good Friday.  I decided to shave off my hair and did a couple of laps around my parent’s backyard while the sun was setting.  I spent hours racing around there with my sister like we were in a motocross race.

Day 19 found Sang-Hyun, Dave, and me riding around Norco and Corona.  We saw snakes and Sang-Hyun caught a huge nail in his tire.

Week 4

Day 20 was spent with Sang-Hyun riding around Chino Hills.  We made a stop at the Indian temple and admired its beautiful architecture.

Day 21 was the first day off of work and I spent riding to the local city library and riding back home.

Day 22 kicked off my first bike overnight with Topanga Creek Bicycles.  We took the train into Ventura and rode up to Ojai.

Day 23 yielded the most mileage of the month with 93 miles for the day.  We rode down from Ojai to Ventura and then Ventura back to Hollywood down the Pacific Coast Highway.  Hopefully, this day’s mileage will make up for the days when I barely hopped on the bike.

Day 24 was spent riding into downtown Burbank to Barnes and Nobles for some time to write. This was a hot day as I recalled.

On Day 25, I strolled by my old elementary school, Marguerita Elementary in Alhambra, California.  Literally riding through memory lane.

On Day 26, I spent the morning in Glendora helping out with the city’s Earth Day celebration by supervising a kids rodeo and participating in a group ride.  This photo was taken minutes before I had to go back and escort a small family home.

Week 5 – The Final Week

Day 27 was the Finish The Ride event in Hollywood.  Although I drove more than I rode that morning, I got to hop on my bike when I got back to Alhambra and rode over to my old high school.

Day 28 was spent lounging at the Larry L. Maxam Memorial Park in Burbank, California.  I took a quick a nap while airplanes took off from the Bob Hope Airport.

On Day 29, I was invited to attend the Clippers game in the midst of all the Donald Sterling controversy.  I took my bike and the Metro to the game and back.

On Day 30, I decided to end on a high note and rode up to the Griffith Observatory right before sunset.  Here I raised my bike in victory!

Conclusion

Riding 30 days in a row was tough at times, but I stuck to my commitment this year and made sure I completed what I started.  Having events like LTC training, a bike tour to Ojai, and Ciclavia during April did make things easy, but for days where I didn’t have an event or a destination, I had to be very creative.  I could have taken the same commuting picture over and over, but I thought about my audience and changed up the camera perspective to make the photos a bit more interesting.  I even considered the time of the day and took pictures at night,  as well as showing just my bike, as well as parts of my face or head to make things more engaging.  At the end of it all, I pedaled 537 miles for the month April.

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I hope you enjoyed going through the photos as much as I liked taking them.  I also hope you can see how easy it is to ride around.  You don’t have to do 30 days in a row, but let’s just get started by riding down your driveway and back or even think about replacing some of those quick trips with the bike instead of the car.  Remember that you have options out there so use them accordingly.


About Johnny Lam

Johnny is an avid cyclist who enjoys bicycle touring as well as anything bicycle related. Johnny has traveled the entire Pacific Coast by bike from Vancouver to the border of California and Mexico. He's also toured through-out locations in Southern California. Johnny is also a League of American Bicyclists League Certified Instructor (LCI) and also completed the Adventure Cycling Association's Leadership Training Course (LTC). He is an active member in Los Angeles bicycling community being involved in organizations like the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition (LACBC), C.I.C.L.E. (Cyclists Inciting Change through Live Exchange), and Bike San Gabriel Valley (Bike SGV) by taking part in ride marshaling, pedestrian & bike counts, and other volunteering opportunities.