History of Go For A Ride Day
Birthdays are fun and Christmas means presents (if you’re lucky), but nothing quite compares with the magical day you get your driver’s license. That’s when your world truly changes forever. Why? Cars mean freedom. You can suddenly go anywhere at anytime (as long as your parents are cool with your plans). Such is the nature of transportation — something we in the 21st century take for granted. We all grew up with planes, trains and automobiles — so we’re quite used to getting where we need to go.
But it wasn’t always that way. When President Jefferson asked Lewis (and, eventually, Clark) to explore the American West in 1804, there were no nonstop flights from St. Louis to the Oregon coast. As the History Channel describes it: “The excursion lasted over two years. Along the way they confronted harsh weather, unforgiving terrain, treacherous waters, injuries, starvation, disease and both friendly and hostile Native Americans. Nevertheless, the approximately 8,000-mile journey was deemed a huge success and provided new geographic, ecological and social information about previously uncharted areas of North America.”
And today we complain about trying to squeeze our carry-ons into the overhead bin.
Americans have always loved to “go for a ride” — with whatever mode of transportation existed. Horses. Boats. Bicycles. And of course, the ubiquitous car. The nation had a long love affair with automobiles starting in the mid 20th century and lasting until recently — as a new generation of car buyers, born after the car craze, loses interest in design — focusing instead on practicality. Stellar gas mileage makes Priuses as sexy as Porsches. Well, almost.
Go For A Ride Day timeline
Cars inspired new businesses like drive-through restaurants and drive-in movie theaters, and employed one in six working Americans.
President Eisenhower authorizes $25 billion for the construction of 41,000 miles of the Interstate Highway System.
Ford introduces the sporty and powerful Mustang — the automaker's most successful launch since the Model A.
MIT engineers develop a system to help autonomous cars determine if there’s a moving object coming around the corner.
Go For A Ride Day FAQs
What does Go For A Ride Day celebrate?
What was America’s first car company?
What happened to supersonic jet travel?
Go For A Ride Day Activities
Make it fun
Dare yourself to try something new and adventurous. Why not try a mode of transportation you’ve never used before? Suggestions include jet skiing, parasailing, or going on a hot air balloon ride. In colder climates you could try a sleigh ride, or a horse drawn carriage.
Make it easy
Maybe you weren’t born to be wild, but don’t let that stop you from joining in the fun. Play tourist in your own city or neighborhood. Use public transit and see the sights like visitor.
Make it memorable
Exploring is an adventure, but it can be even more fun if you have someone to share it with. Bring along an adventurous friend or family member to help make some memories. If your local friends are sticks in the mud, then bring your more adventurous friends along virtually by posting your adventure to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Why We Love Go For A Ride Day
It’s an escape from reality
Every now and then we just need something to break up the status quo and make us feel alive! Go For A Ride Day exists for that very reason. It can be hard to get motivated to see new places or even try new foods, but Go For A Ride Day provides the momentum.
It can be great exercise
You can try skateboarding or using a scooter. How about getting out your helmet and going for a long bike ride? Did you know you can burn over 400 calories an hour horseback riding?
It helps us be spontaneous
Our lives tend to run to the predictable, and for the most part, that predictability helps the world go round. But we all still have a small streak of rebellion, and that's what Go For a Ride Day helps bring out.
Go For A Ride Day dates