There are a few things that we all love doing in early October – thinking about how next year will be the year for our footy team, going for that first outdoor meal with friends during daylight savings and riding United Energy Around the Bay.
However, this year it's a little bit different. Not just because it's not yet time to think about next football season, but also because we can't ride United Energy Around the Bay the same way that we're used to.
This Sunday morning would usually see up to 10,000 of us with bikes by our side ready to roll away from the start line at Albert Park and take on Port Phillip Bay.
Whether getting ready to sit in the saddle for 300kms, or go on the first big bike ride with mum and dad, there would be a feeling of nervous excitement in the air. While we can't experience all of that together, it doesn't mean we can't still get out on our bikes and celebrate everything that's great about riding.
Instead of riding United Energy Around the Bay, this weekend we're going to ride #AroundTheBlock! We'd love to see as many people as possible heading out for a ride in their local area.
If you're in Melbourne, see how far you can ride in under two hours and close to home and share it on social media with us.
You can get creative with your ride – maybe you can ride a route that spells out ATB on a map? Or if you can't ride the 210km ride, perhaps you can knock off 21kms? If you're lucky enough to live within 5kms of Albert Park you could still set off from the start line.
If you live in regional Victoria there are even more things you can do – perhaps you could even map out your own 210km loop ride?
Get your jerseys out
To fully celebrate the day, we'd also love to see you in your United Energy Around the Bay jerseys from years gone by. When you get out and ride you could wear the jersey from your most memorable year.
If you've got a t-shirt from the early days of Around the Bay in a Day, a famous (or infamous) jersey from earlier in the 2000s or a confetti jersey from our 25th year ride, we'd love to see it!
Tell us your tales
If you've got any special stories about United Energy Around the Bay that you'd like to tell you can send us a message and we'll publish it on our website. You can contact us here, or get in touch on any of our social media channels.
It could be a story about your first big ride, how you handled a headwind or the fastest time you've ridden. Maybe someone could even tell us the one about the rider who lobbed their pedals off the ferry into the bay!
While it's sad that we can't ride United Energy Around the Bay during this tough year, if there's one thing we've remembered during 2020, it's that bikes are still something that give us freedom and fun. And that's what United Energy Around the Bay is all about, the joy of riding. We'll still get to experience that this weekend.
This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.