Category Archives: 30 Days of Biking

Week Two of 30 Days of Biking (and Poetry) in Washington, D.C.

Day 8

Day 8 Capital Bikeshare

How it is fickle, leaving one alone to wander

the halls of the skull with the fluorescents
softly flickering. It rests on the head

like a bird nest, woven of twigs and tinsel
and awkward as soon as one stops to look.
That pile of fallen leaves drifting from

the brain to the fingertip burned on the stove,

to the grooves in that man’s voice
as he coos to his dog, blowing into the leaves

of books with moonlit opossums
and Chevrolets easing down the roads
of one’s bones.

–Joanie Mackowski, Consciousness

Day 9

Day 9 Blossoms and mixte on Ohio Drive

This rose-tree is not made to bear
The violet blue, nor lily fair,
Nor the sweet mignionet:
And if this tree were discontent,
Or wished to change its natural bent,
It all in vain would fret.
Mary Lamb, Envy

Day 10

Day 10 Under the blossoms with the mixte

I know flowers to be funeral companions
they make poisons and venoms
and eat abandoned stone walls

I know flowers shine stronger
than the sun
their eclipse means the end of

but I love flowers for their treachery
their fragile bodies
grace my imagination’s avenues
without their presence
my mind would be an unmarked
Etal Adnan, from The Spring Flowers Own

Day 11

Day 11 Sunrise tandem ride with Felkerino

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

e. e. cummings [i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

Day 12

Day 12: Inspecting a new spot with the mixte

An open door says, “Come in.”
A shut door says, “Who are you?”
Shadows and ghosts go through shut doors.
–Carl Sandburg, Doors

Day 13

Day 13: Bikes and blossoms at sunset

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
–Li-Young Lee, From Blossoms

Day 14

Day 14 fender and flower

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
–Emily Dickinson, “Hope” is the thing with feathers –

Week One of 30 Days of Biking in Washington, D.C.

Day 1


When I was just as far as I could walk
From here today,
There was an hour
All still
When leaning with my head against a flower I heard you talk.
Robert Frost, The Telephone

Day 2


The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
William Wordsworth, Lines Written in Early Spring

Day 3


I used to like being young, and I still do,
Because I think I still am. There are physical
Objections to that thought, and yet what
Fascinates me now is how obsessed I was at thirty-five
With feeling older than I was: it seemed so smart
And worldly, so fastidiously knowing to dwell so much
On time — on what it gives, what it destroys, on how it feels.
John Koethe, A Private Singularity

Day 4

Old Rag 200K

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb
Billy Collins, Today

Day 5


Crabapple blossoms, blown,
fall and flutter down,

littering like confetti
the main street of our city.

Confetti… the simile
quickens, and you and I

walking sometime later
amidst the drifted litter

come to realize
that we feel ill at ease

in this belated beauty
since, if it is confetti

it means we have missed
some great things seen by most:
Bill Coyle, Fallen 

Day 6


Trickles through my fingers, ensconced in a dune cleft, sun
Warmed and breeze cooled. This peace is full of sounds and
Movement. A couple passes, jogging. A dog passes, barking
And running. My nose runs, a little. Just a drip. Left over
From winter. How long ago it seems! All spring and summer stretch
Ahead, a roadway lined by roses and thunder. “It will be here
Before you know it.”
James Schuyler, Hymn to Life

Day 7


I could clean
The garage, weed the garden,
Or get out the shears and
Prune the rose bushes back.
Yes, a thousand things
This beautiful April morning.
But I’ve decided to just lie
Here in this old hammock,
Rocking like a lazy metronome,
And wait for the day lilies
To open.
Robert Hedin,This Morning I Could Do A Thousand Things

April is for 30 Days of Biking. And Poetry

“How many miles to the sun?” He smiled
In answer to my “Where are you going?”
Lilacs were caught in his handle bars,
His pedals were mud, his eyes were stars,
His hair was blowing.
Marion Strobel, “Man and Bike”

Today kicks off 30 Days of Biking, where people far and wide commit to getting on their bikes and– you guessed it– riding them for the 30 days in April.

As someone who rides year-round, I didn’t initially see the benefits of 30 Days of Biking, but I had such a positive experience with it last year that I decided to make the pledge again.

I’m combining my 30 Days of Biking with a personal challenge to read poetry every day in April. I used to love reading poetry growing up. However, my interest in it lapsed or was overtaken by other activities until recently.

Tidal Basin and Surly and me

During times of uncertainty and fear, poetry has soothed and helped me through, and I now have a desire to add a dose of lyric into my daily routine.

I thought you might enjoy the images captured in Marion Strobel’s “Man and Bike,” which is available to read in full here.

I think her poem a fitting way to ride into the month.

Errandonnee note: Still finalizing finishers, miles, and errands, but hope to have a full list this week. I mean it this time. Thanks to all for their participation and patience!

Slowdown Commutes in D.C.

This past month I participated in 30 Days of Biking, a challenge to ride one’s bike every day in April. In all, I rode 28 of 30 days.

bike sharrow panda

I made the 30 Days of Biking pledge because I was in a bike commute slump I could not shake. Continue reading Slowdown Commutes in D.C.

Our House, In the Middle of Our Street


Whenever we hop on our bikes, we not only expose ourselves to all sorts of elements, but we also come face to face with other bike riders.

Despite that, riders do not tend to talk to one another. We share space, but generally our only apparent common goal is coming and going each day from home to work and back home again.

Continue reading Our House, In the Middle of Our Street


Bikes and blossoms. Surly LHT

Present is a space I don’t occupy well, especially in the city.

My bike takes me places while my mind calculates where I’m going and where I’ll head next. Work. Appointment. Grocery store. Repeat.

I ponder the past. How did it go? What could have gone differently? The ride is a pass-through as my thoughts bounce forward and back.

Continue reading Present

Sick of Cycling? Try 30 Days of Biking

We’re eight days into April, a month that has become known to many in the Twitterverse as 30 Days of Biking, where riders pledge to ride every day of the month and document their efforts via social media.Surly LHT and cherry blossoms

I did not plan to sign up for 30 Days of Biking, but officially registered last week because I thought it would help cure what’s been ailing me of late– being sick of biking in the city.

Those of you who read this blog know that I like using my bike to go places. Usually when I ride, my commute becomes a mini-adventure.

Continue reading Sick of Cycling? Try 30 Days of Biking

#30daysofbiking Roundup

For the past couple of years, I have heard about the social media cycling phenomenon known as 30 Days of Biking. The point of the activity is to ride your bike every day in April. Then tweet, blog, or share it somehow on the interweb. Pretty simple, no?

#30daysofbiking Panda Shot

I decided to join in the fun and began the month of April with gusto, tweeting pics of my rides and tagging them with the #30daysofbiking hashtag. I even began a flickr set.

Work got busy, the brevet season kicked in, and my organized approach to #30daysofbiking went right out the window. I continued to participate, but not as tweetily.

Continue reading #30daysofbiking Roundup