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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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.
- 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!