Two weeks and two days into my year long mission, and I have driven my car on only five occasions. Considering I was previously driving my car every day, multiple times per day, I think Bike to Surf is off to an effective start.
I’m fortunate to live close to my day job, which is a five minute bike ride (perhaps less) away from my house. It isn’t a challenge at all for me to bike to work in addition to the beach, and I’m taking advantage of it.
I do however have a weekend job at Strand Brewing Company that requires me to drive. To ride there from where I live would involve traveling roughly 30 miles round trip along busy streets (the majority of which don’t have bike lanes), and riding home at night which is not my cup of tea.
Driving to Strand is unavoidable, but I average only one day per week there. Just take a look at this dark, rich, delicious beverage, and you can imagine why I don’t mind making the drive.
I anticipate I’ll be doing less and less driving as I adjust to my lifestyle change, and so far I’m absolutely loving it. Here are 7 reasons why:
1. More walks
There is something really satisfying about starting out my days with a walk to work or the coffee shop. At the beginning of the year I read an article by Maria Popova (who by the way is just wonderful) in her resolutions for 2015, in which she describes walking as:
“that basic, infinitely rewarding, yet presently endangered human activity…”
She continued to present and discuss Henry David Thoreau’s thoughts on the importance of taking walks. The idea of this stuck with me and may have even been a subconscious contribution to Bike to Surf.
2. Slowing down
Life seems to accelerate as time goes on. Days turn into months, and months turn into years. From what I can tell, this feeling is sort of an accepted consensus among people.
This is troubling to me.
I personally can’t accept it. There are ways to reframe our mental predicament, but it seems like few of us are able to truly embrace them. It takes discipline and desire to make a mindset change of this nature, which can be overwhelming, but totally rewarding.
3. Exercising outside
I’m currently too cheap to pay for a gym membership, and when I work out it is usually in my basement. And while I’ve been surfing less due to a nagging leg injury, biking places has given me more opportunity to get exercise and be outside. Getting fresh air always feels good.
4. Surf checks
They have become more efficient and given me the advantage of finding the less crowded sand bars. Getting away from the masses sounds good, right?
I ride along the bike path in zones where there are no parking lots, and I have the freedom to spend as much time as I’d like sizing up any individual section of my local beach break. This is something I rarely did when I was driving to surf.
5. Human encounters
I couldn’t sum this up any better than Travis Newhouse already has here. Bike Walk Encinitas is such a cool community effort on behalf of Travis. He’s definitely an inspiration of mine. And how cool is this DIY surf rack for your bike?
Video by Korduroy TV
6. Saving money
Before I began Bike to Surf, I spent on average about $100 per month on gas. Depending on your daily commute, this may seem like not very much money. Whatever the case may be, I’m already on pace to stretch that same $100 worth of gas into three months, and those results speak for themselves.
7. Congruent living
One thing I believe strongly in is this: should I decide to have a kid someday, they should have the opportunity to enjoy the ocean in the way that I have throughout my life, and the same goes for if they decide to have one of their own. This belief, while more underlying than top of mind, acts as a guide to my subconscious when I make decisions.
The decision to bike or walk or skate to work, to bike or walk or skate to surf, is made at my doorstep, the moment I step outside. I step out and say to myself, Make the right decision, it’s not all about you. That’s where it begins.
Featured Image by Anna Nemoy.
On how Bike to Surf got started:
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