Celebrate the Quasi-Holidays: Give Something Away, Bike to Work

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‘Tis the season to bring your clutter to the curb and offer it to the masses for free. It’s also the time of year to dust off your two-wheeler, pump up the tires, oil the chain, and—if it’s even in the realm of possibility—pedal your bicycle to work.

May 14, 2011 has been dubbed Give Your Stuff Away Day. Fairly self-explanatory, but here’s the founder’s explanation anyway:

Because of all the shopping we’ve done, many of us now own lots of great stuff we never use anymore. And for some reason, we don’t sell or give it away. Lots of valuable stuff – just wasting away.

Let’s take all this stuff and over one weekend, make it available to others for free.

Celebrants are asked to bring all unwanted stuff to the curb. The “stuff” should be useable and safe: no trash, drugs, chemicals, weapons, Chinese takeout leftovers, etc.

There are two ways to celebrate this day, I suppose. Sure, you can and should give stuff away. But the day isn’t complete unless someone takes it away. So this is also a day for people to hunt through their neighbors’ detritus and gather some new clutter to bring home and fill in the space that was just recently cleaned out. Saturday, then, is both Give Your Stuff Away Day and Take Someone Else’s Stuff Away Day. (Note: If your neighbors are hearty Give Your Stuff Away celebrants, this Saturday is probably not the best day to try to host a yard sale. The nearby competitors will attract away business with way better prices.)

Meanwhile, the entire month of May is National Bike Month, and May 16-20 is Bike to Work Week, with Friday, May 20, as the official Bike to Work Day. Beyond the obvious way to celebrate (biking to work, duh), some cycling enthusiasts have been moved to write poetry about biking to work (it’s a contest, and prizes help).

Among the ways cities are encouraging Bike to Work Week/Day: Chicago hosts bike vs. car and bike vs. bus commuter races, and San Francisco sets up “energizer stations” all over town with food, drinks, and reflective leg bands for riders. (Note: This stuff is all complimentary, but it’s poor form to pull your car over and snag free grub from these stations.)

Today, May 13, is also Friday the 13th. That’s as good an excuse as any to enjoy a cheap date night and watch a scary movie at home.

Coming in June: More made-up holidays, including National Dump the Pump Day and National Splurge Day.

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