Monday, April 11, 2016

Dates Contain

When you'll bike matches your own personal calendar. Some riders limit it to days when temperature in degrees Fahrenheit exceeds their age in years. Nevertheless, certain days every year merit a commemorative spin, and 2016 is no exception. What you need are fewer excuses and more reasons to ride.

10 April, Paris-Roubaix. Hell of the North is considered one of bicycling's most exciting one-day races. Champions cover the 257 km over rough cobbled sections in less than 6 hours. Congratulations to latest winner, Aussie domestique Mathew Hayman, who edged out 4-time Belgian champ Tom Boonen after favorites Cancellara and Sagan crashed. UCI calendar covers many such events, but this Queen of Classics is akin to The Masters Golf Tournament announcing season of suitability for millions of riders in temperate climates of Northern Hemisphere.

15 April, Frost Free Day in United State’s Northeast region. Or you could revel in 1st day of season you can spring forth in single ply after slowly layering all winter.

19 April, Bicycle Day. Albert Hoffman dropped a dose, the first intentional LSD trip, hopped on bike, and humped home in a revelatory haze from his Swiss laboratory. No noticeable harm, he lived to 102 and passed beyond physical realm into infinity about same time Labann published B&C in 2008.

01 May, National Bike Month begins in USA.

06 May (through 29), Giro D’Italia commences. Held since 1909, first of year's 3 Grand Tour elite bike races. Nice to know while pedaling alone that pelaton elsewhere is suffering gloriously just like you.

16 May (through 20), National Bike to Work Week; always held third week of May. Staged bike trains and work events, including routes from home guidance despite legal risks.

18 May, 13th Annual Ride of Silence. Global group rides, usually commencing at 7:00 PM local time, are conducted as a memorial to bicyclists who died while riding.

20 May, National Bike to Work Day. Wage slaves get to taste their dream of freedom before hanging up cleats for another year. Worth remembering more than any other date.

30 May, League of American Wheelmen (later Bicyclists) founded in 1880 in Newport, RI. Did important work early on, but eroded into a pulpit for impotent bullies.

20 June, Solstice, begins summer in North, winter in South. Being the longest day, sunshine assists year’s longest ride.

25 June, Pierre Michaux's Birthday. Parisian inventor who prototyped first pedaled velocipede (1858) and started mass production of bicycles (1868) was born on this day in 1813. Champagne and gateau, anyone?

02 July (through 24), Tour de France commences. Second of 3 Grand Tours, World’s oldest (1903) continually contested and most prestigious race has deeply influenced all aspects of bicycling, right down to fabrication methods and material composition.

20 August (through September 11), Vuelta a Espana. Held since 1935, third of three Grand Tours.

17 September, Cyclocross Season begins in Northern Hemisphere. Runs through autumn and winter, which occupies >60% of year somewhere around globe.

06 November, Daylight Savings ends, which affects bike commuters more than anyone. Usually break out winter gear, charge up lights, and swap wheel sets.

24 November, Thanksgiving. Excellent day to join group bike rides before huge meals and subsequent football comas. Call own “The Impossible Ride,” since always route it along roads bicyclists can't otherwise use because of relentless traffic. On this holiday morning with most businesses closed, traffic is as light as it will be all year beyond marshall law or unforeseen catastrophes.

07 December, A Day of Infamy. Around this date, despite weather, generally roundtrip by bike 20 miles to a local village to get Christmas cards hand stamped with Hope. Hope conquers fear, but inconvenience remains as as the other key deterrent to cycling.

21 December, Solstice, begins summer in South, winter in North. Being the shortest day, many neglect to arrange a morning or twilight spin. On other hand, days begin to lengthen hereafter. Of course, you can go gingerly on headlights, should you choose.

25 December, Christmas Day. How many remember an introductory spin on that new contraption Santa left? This year it’s on a Sunday, day upon which club rides usually occur anyway.

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