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Utilitaire 12: Lessons Learned

March 12, 2012

Last week I wrapped up the Utilitaire 12. It was fun and I’m already looking to my next bike endeavor, the 30 Days of Biking Challenge. Here, I will be required to complete 30 days of cycling for the month of April. Unlike MG’s criteria, distances and destinations are irrelevant but I will still need to document each ride (through photos, blog posts, or tweets using hash tag #30daysofbiking).

Retrospectively, thinking about all the things I observed and took away from doing just 12 events, I get excited thinking about what can be uncovered from 30 days of straight riding, blogging, and reflection. For example, I expect more insight and inspiration that fall under character building and enhancing the greater good (me). Like these:

  • A professional bike thief is not always lurking around the corner scheming to snatch your bike. Despite the ominous presence of bike skeletons, if you’re smart in where and how you lock up you bike, this worry doesn’t need to consume your every thought. Besides, as the old adage goes, you don’t need to be faster than a bear, just faster than the guy running next to you. The same is true for locking up your bike – nothing wrong with parking next to a fancier but less secured bicycle (sorry).
  • I live in a city and am car-free so my perspective is skewed but biking to get things done is easy. Like really easy. Like so easy that when I set off to get one errand done, I ended up doing all sorts of things while I out. In fact, the hardest part about completing any of these challenges was getting my bike out of the bike room. Even my modest sized cargo capacity was nearly always enough to get the job done. Why don’t more people do this?
  • Finally, a specific purpose is a great motivator to ride but, that doesn’t mean it always must be about the destination. Sometimes, it was things I spotted on my way (which would have surely been missed zooming in a car or traveling in a mass transit tunnel) that shaped my outlook for the rest of the day. Other times, it was just the little bit of exercise and sunshine that put me in a great mood. I think the 30 Days of Biking will really magnify this perspective.

  • Below is my completed Utilitaire control card (please don’t use locations and distances to triangulate where I live – three stalkers is more than enough for any one person to handle). 20120310-223449.jpg

    The complete Utilitaire 12 series can be found here.

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