You know what’s great about getting older and being an empty nester? You can make commitments before really thinking it through because you don’t have to take kids into account. For instance, my commitment to ride my bike on all my errands within a three mile radius of my house. NOTE TO SELF: before committing, look at a map. It turns out 99.9% of my errands are within a three mile radius of my house. Not to worry though, I am the kind of girl that once she makes a commitment will half heartedly stick to it till the task is almost completed.
Seriously though, I actually LOVED this step in my journey to be more green. It literally made me happier. I also discovered some interesting things along the way. Life lessons as it were, nuggets of wisdom found as I pedaled along life’s alleys and back streets. First lesson: stay away from alleys and back streets. But bike paths and sidewalks teach plenty of lessons as well.
Sometimes riding is faster than driving, sometimes it’s not. But Who Cares?
I have learned I can get a few places faster on my bike than in my car, while other errands take me a bit longer. I figure it all evens out in the end and even if the difference is ten minutes…what’s ten minutes? Why the rush? Am I saving the world? Nope, just going about my daily business. So I figure a few minutes here or there makes no matter as long as I am enjoying the ride.
People are friendly:
Yup. It’s true. Without a windshield separating you, people actually wave, nod, and say hello as you pass. Some even strike up a conversation on a street corner and ask what you are making for dinner with the contents of your basket. Honestly, it brightens my day!
You see more when you ride a bike
In the immortal words of one Mr. Ferris Bueller “Life moves pretty fast, If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.” My husband and I have always taken day trips but now we bring the bikes along and once we arrive at our destination (Santa Barbara, Huntington Beach, Laguna, San Diego, Ojai) we ride around instead of driving. We have discovered we see so much more on our bikes and are much more likely to stop at a charming shop, craft fair, farmers market, eat at a cafe, or rest in a park. Biking makes these trips more enjoyable and relaxing. And we take more pictures!
Three perfect examples of incredible sites we would not have seen from the car.
Sometimes The Wind is In Your Face and Sometimes It’s at Your Back
Sometimes the wind is at your back and you coast down easy street. Sometimes the wind is in your face and you have to dig deep, peddle harder, or faster, or get off the bike and push. And just as in life, sometimes all you need to do to fix the problem is change directions.
Everything You Really Need Can Fit in a Basket
When I take my bike basket into the market to shop I have to be very selective about what goes in it. There is only so much room. But what I have found is this; all I really need fits in the basket. Every time. In reality we need so very little. Family, friends, and health are all we really need. Everything else is just stuff. Fluff. Is fluff nice? Yes. But abundance is all the head my friends. Someone could look at my little basket and think “What can she possibly make out of that?” at the same time I am looking at the basket and thinking “A feast!”
An actual dinner for four made exclusively from the ingredients in my basket! It was delicious!
That said, Sometimes It’s Nice to Have Two Baskets:
If it’s one thing I have learned it’s that as nice and peaceful as a ride is all by myself, it certainly is nice to have a companion. Someone who has your back, watches out for you and shouts “on your left!” Sometimes life’s load gets too heavy for one basket and the burden can be shared, making it so much lighter. And even though all you really need can fit into one basket, sometimes… it’s nice to have room for tulips.
About Our Bikes:
We ride Electra Bikes and have for the last four years! My husband and I both love the Townie. The unique and wonderful thing about Electra day cruisers is that they are designed for comfort. The pedals are placed slightly in front of the seat so when you ride, you can sit upright instead of leaning forward and you can easily place your feet flat on the ground while still seated. We love our bikes and our baskets and know you will too. To learn more visit the Electra Bike website.
Another beautiful place we would not have discovered if we weren’t on bikes: the historic Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara. Jason Mraz was playing there that night!
MAY I PLEASE ASK A LITTLE FAVOR?
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