If you received some of the emails about Bike Your Park Day on September 25, 2021, you’re probably aware we think bikes and parks is the perfect combination. And over 7,000 folks on 500+ rides across the GLOBE agreed!
It was the Adventure Cycling Association’s great joy to pilot some of our Bike Overnights events with movers, shakers, groups, and leaders as well. From beginning bikepacking trips with Radical Adventure Riders in New Haven, CT, to first-timers doing a state park bike camping weekend outside Chicago, we’re so fortunate to be able to improve our community-building work in the bike travel world at large.
(As a reminder: ride leaders and organizers identifying from marginalized communities are eligible for trip funding stipends! Please reach out to email@example.com.)
From Riding Volcanoes in Nagasaki, Japan, to grabbing coffee in Seattle, WA, Bike Your Park Day rides took all shapes and sizes. In conjunction with National Public Lands Day, we hoped rides encouraged folks to remember their responsibility to the land, and even get a little volunteering or stewardship in!
Leaders could register their public or private ride at BikeYourParkDay.org — riders could join, enter to win a Co-Motion Americano bike, and grab resources and tips. We also had some great virtual events leading up to Bike Your Park Day, including “An Introduction to Bike Touring” with Roxy Robles, and “Planning and Leading a Bike Overnight” with Devin Cowens, Jess Kim, and Roxy Robles. Both of these are available on our YouTube channel.
As people who recreate on Indigenous Land, we are responsible for learning the ancestral territories we travel on. Anyone who is not a member of the First Nations People is a guest. As guests, we want to respect the original caretakers of the outdoor spaces we cherish. Riding through Native territories is an immense privilege afforded by the continued stewardship of the land by Native Peoples. Especially with an event like Bike Your Park Day, we must remember these are important first steps in creating justice in bike travel, and certainly the bare minimum of the work we do. Native-Land.ca is a great place to start in Land Acknowledgement.
Well, let’s share what some of you said!
“After a COVID sequestered summer of smoke, fires and heat it was a relief to cycle towards the ocean and that fresh, clean marine air. West Marin is a well-traveled cycling route and so we weren’t alone — plenty of smiling bike folks to wave to, to chat with. It was a short concentrated dose of vacation, free of COVID worries and major travel hassles — a real win-win!”
“We took the whole family, from grandparents to baby! It was a great way to explore local parks, meet neighborhood organizations, and enjoy the outdoors on bike."
“It was just a fun ride. I have not ridden in that forest for a while and it was good to get there again.”
“A group of five lively and lovely women rode to Emma Long Metropolitan Park to explore the beautiful scenery and views of Lake Austin. We set an intention to bike across America this summer, and this was our first jitterbug journey together on bikes with loaded packs to a local park. The ride involved some steep climbs, and we sang our way up them, bop bop bop. Emma Long Metro Park was a total joy — we swam and had a collective picnic. Lots of laughing. Lots of lying in a hammock. Reading and chatting. Soaking up the sun and shade. We rode back to Austin along the Shoal Creek Trail and licked ice cream cones to celebrate the wondrous day. “
“I've lived in the Los Angeles area since 1978, and I've never been to the Griffith Park Observatory. Bike Your Park Day gave me the perfect opportunity to ride up to the Observatory and then loop back around after passing through Griffith Park.”
Hopefully, you’ve seen a few more of our posts and stories on the ‘grams about Bike Overnights and some of the events our Ambassadors held! We hope to share even more stories and voices with you across our platforms.
Adventure Cycling was also on hand for a trip hosted by Marley Blonsky outside Seattle to the San Juan Islands. A group of TWIG-identified riders enjoyed a weekend riding Lopez Island, including two dogs and one small human. We also managed to escape the rain on Sunday!
It’s been awesome to read about all the rides that happened and to gather your feedback. We’re always looking for great ideas and would love to hear them either in our survey or as a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. As we look to the future, we want to encourage everyone in the community to remember that a park is a great site for an adventure of any size. We hope to see as many different types of parks and public spaces represented for travel by bike next year — and if you have some beginner-friendly routes, let us know! There are so many places to explore: they don’t have to be epic, long, or Type 2 fun. #Coffeeoutside is an adventure, as is a ferry or train ride, bike in hand, to a regional park you could camp in if you wanted.
And remember — parks need care too! As you recreate, consider the impact you have riding on public lands. We’re all in this together, and we’d love to hear and share ways to be good stewards on our bikes if you have them!