May is BCC Bike to Church Month: share your pics! #biketochurch

IMG_2386 I’m declaring May “Bike to Church” month at ByCommonConsent. May has good weather for biking to church in both the northern and southern hemispheres. I’d love to see photos of BCC readers biking to church. Email sisterblah2@gmail.com, or tweet them @bycommonconsent with hastag #biketochurch.

Our church building is a very flat 3.3 miles (5.3km) from our house. That distance is just a bit past leisurely roll around the corner, but still doable without needing a big production of changing clothes or showering on arrival. I just have to remember I’m not on a fitness ride and take it nice and slow. You can see I bike in both pants and skirts. I don’t have trouble with either, even on this road bike with a men’s frame style. To keep my pants from picking up grease (especially since nice trousers can have wide legs), I wear reflective ankle straps. If wanted to wear a maxi dress I would probably need to tie it up in a bustle or get my women’s cruiser repaired. Heels are no more difficult than any other shoe, in fact it’s irrelevant, because only the ball of the foot area contacts the pedal. With my rear rack, I can easily pack the lesson materials, snacks, and visual aids I need for teaching. IMG_2517

You can also see that I’m not alone in biking to my ward! One family occasionally brings kids in a cargo bike (in the background), and there is an older gentleman who bikes almost every Sunday. My kiddos are too big for a cargo bike. I’m still working on talking them into riding with me rather than driving with dad.

I love riding to church because it turns the pre- and post-church period from hectic battles into a time for contemplation in the fresh air. We all know how chaotic and contentious the Sunday get ready and over to church routine can be with a family. So often I feel like I arrive at church in the worst possible frame of mind for church. Biking to church is a wonderful antidote. The beautiful outdoors, as well as the endorphins released by exercise, create an energized and enjoyable church experience.

Tips:

  • Leave plenty of time so you’re not rushed into pedaling as fast as you can (and thus arriving super sweaty!). Plan on at least twice as long as you would budget for a pleasure/fitness ride, or even a work commute.
  • Bring water. I usually wouldn’t bother for a ride of this length, but everything needs to be rounded up for a church commute.
  • Get reflective ankle cuffs to restrain and protect wide trouser legs.
  • I highly recommend just not giving a fig about “modesty” while biking in a skirt. But if you can’t stop yourself from worrying about it entirely, this helpful trick using a headband might help you keep a skirt in place.
  • One thing I had to consider was how I would bring treats for my Sunday school class. I usually bring cookies or other baked goods, which might be hard to fit in my small rear rack space. I found that packages of microwave popcorn are extremely compact, cheap, and appreciated by the students.

Do you bike to church? Have I convinced you to maybe give it a try? Send your pics!

Comments

  1. All the cool kids walk to church. At least they do when their building is literally across the street #provoprivilege.

  2. Google says it would take me 55 minutes to walk to our building. That’s actually not completely insane. If I didn’t love biking so much I would do it.

  3. My family and I bike to church all summer long. This week was our second week in biking to church season. We put the baby in the baby seat on the bike, and the six and eight year olds ride themselves. We love it! We were a little late today because I was running behind with my sharing time and the kids just had to ride.

  4. Kari, have somebody snap a pic when you arrive and email me!

  5. We bike to church on non-fast Sundays. So next week! Though, the Cyclofemme ride is during church and I want to do that, too… Choices, choices.

  6. Still Utahcentric

  7. Mike, it’s funny you would say that when I don’t live in Utah and have never lived in Utah.

  8. I’ve thought about it since we live not far from a bike path that runs a manageable 6km to the church, so when we’re back in town in two weeks we’ll do it. Also, sweet bike!

  9. “Do you bike to church? Have I convinced you to maybe give it a try?”

    If I lived where I grew up (near you!) I would do it in a heartbeat. Given where I live now (DC Metro Area) there is just no freaking way. It’s hilly. The traffic is awful. And, well, we live in a swamp. Even thinking about biking in DC summer heat with 99% humidity while in church clothes makes me want to cry.

  10. John Mansfield says:

    From my previous house it was a nine mile ride to church, which I roused myself to do on the tandem with a child a couple times. These days I’m only a couple miles from our building and walk more often than bike. Wishing all dry Sunday skies.

  11. I ride when I have meetings before or after church, so we don’t have to take two cars. It’s about 4 miles along the Erie Canal, which is not bad at all. (Though I enjoy it a lot more in the spring or fall than in the summer.) One of these days, maybe in the fall, I’m going to plan the time to ride the 20 miles out to the temple. I figure, you have to change when you get there anyway, so why not?

  12. Michael says:

    Rode to church once, after my truck died (ironically, while driving it to church). Had to leave at 4 AM to make 6 AM Bishopric meeting.

    It’s normally a thirty minute drive, unless traffic on the interstate is seriously backed up. I was fortunate to have surface and outer roads – there are quite a few people in the ward who live 40 minutes out by car, and they have a series of rural state highways with no shoulder at all. Biking to church would be a certain death wish.

  13. Jason K. says:

    Love this, Cynthia. We live close enough to walk, and we try to do that as often as we can. There’s a die-hard family in our ward that walks no matter the weather. Imagine the environmental impact if all Mormons who could walk/bike to Church did! (I acknowledge, as have other commenters, that not everyone can, and that’s okay.)

  14. Peter and JKC, as the kids say, “pics or it didn’t happen!” You have my email address.

  15. ErinAnn says:

    How coincidental! My husband rode to church yesterday with the kids while I was out of town. I’m unsure if I will join them in the future, as it is 15 minutes downhill to get there, and an hour uphill to return home. Plus, my bike is the one with the trailer hitch for the 50lb 4yo.

    We did bike a couple times to our last ward building. Flat roads in that commute.

  16. We walk the two+ blocks to our church. For the first year or so, people frequently stopped to ask us if we wanted a ride. We often pass families piling into their cars within sight of the chapel. Utah confuses me.

  17. Philip Carlson says:

    Less than a block to my building I’ve also walked past people driving! (They sometimes park almost as far as their house.) I think it’s actually the opposite of Utah-centric because so much of Utah is too close to bike! I grew up 3-5 miles from church in North California. Much nicer to ride 5 miles than a half a block!
    I get the ride offer too when walking to the Stake House. I used to decline saying it’s a nice walk. Now I accept, mentioning I prefer to walk, but also like to visit.
    My son used to arrange group walking to his “U” Student ward on Facebook, I think he just rides a bike now though. Hard to avoid pride.

  18. Have your son send a pic! You can send him the post link so he knows you’re not just checking up on whether he’s going to church or not. :)

  19. Naismith says:

    Our stake center has no bike racks. Hard to take a picture of a negative.

    I’m a bike commuter, so all my skirts are culottes (split skirt). I’ve worn them to the church and SLC temple with no problems. But that’s a great trick with the coin.

  20. Remember, it’s important to lock your bike, even at church. Otherwise an investigator could steal it.

  21. gst, I want a pic of you heading to church on your folding bike.

  22. When I ride it to church I prefer to think of it not as a folding bike, but a kneeling bike. My bike can kneel.

  23. My son and I take my cargo bike to church in the summer months when it’s not rainy (we live in Oregon). It makes Sundays much more enjoyable.

  24. Not in UT or AZ. Walk to church all the time since its a few blocks away. If rains occasionally will be offered a ride home.

  25. gst, don’t you mean a “suspicious individual” could steal it? Or are they only at BYU?

  26. Sarah, pics!! I’m going to be super sad if we don’t have any cargo bike pics to post this month.

  27. Doug, it’s always a “suspicious male” at BYU.

  28. In my last ward we biked to church as a family all the time. It was Texas and there were no bike lanes or even sidewalks on the road so we rode on the shoulder as best we could, still we often received a bit of honking and finger-wagging, how dare we ride our bikes. It was the most fun on days when that person was a ward member, realized it was us after passing us by and then hung their head in shame when we smiled and waved.

    We now live slightly further from our church building in California, but it’s so bike friendly we are never the only ones and there’s a bike rack too.

  29. Sandra, send pics!! sisterblah2@gmail.com