If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that I didn’t go on a bike camping trip in April, despite pledging to do one bike camping trip a month this year. Yeah, I’m not that thrilled that I didn’t meet the challenge. But April was a hard month to do it, for a few good reasons:
- I didn’t have a lot of free time. I ended up working six-day weeks twice in April, meaning that I only had two “true” weekends, less time for camping. While I could theoretically pull off a camping trip with just one day off, I prefer two full days because for me, it really does occupy both days.
- And when I did have those two days off in a row, the weather was crappy.
- Since I had been camping since December, I had hit up pretty much all the quick-and-easy places. Come May, more places will open up (like Clackamas County Parks), but that’s May, not April.
But really, the thing that held me back most was that I just didn’t feel like going. If I did, I’m sure I would have overcome the obstacles listed above. But I just couldn’t find that motivation, that desire, especially since no one else was willing or able to camp. Camping alone during the off-season isn’t that much fun for me.
And this is the problem I face with most of these challenges: Good idea on paper, but what happens when I don’t want to do it? Do I force myself to do it, just because I said I was going to? Do I beat myself up afterwards for not doing it?
Take, for instance, the 30 Days of Biking Challenge in April. On paper, this should be a “breeze” for me since my default mode of transportation is biking. (Same goes for the Bike Commute Challenge put on here in September.) But do I need a challenge like this to inspire me to ride a bike? No. And what happens if one day I want to walk or take the bus instead, or I don’t even have the need (or desire) to leave the house? Do I do one of those silly token bike rides, y’know, ride around the block a few times just to say “Hey! I rode my bike today?”
So I tend to stick to bike challenges that are pure fun, like the Bike-Tour-A-Month challenge, or Mary’s Coffeeneuring challenge. (At least with that one, I get a patch!) And I do like the idea of challenging myself to bike camp every month in a year (and yes, I’m fortunate to live in a place where I can pull that off.) But sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. And I get depressed about it.
The only silver lining is that the Bike-Tour-A-Month Challenge actually started in February, letting folks off the hook for January. Since I did camp in January, can I get off the hook for April?