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!
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!”
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.
MAY I PLEASE ASK A LITTLE FAVOR?
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Love your humor all mixed in with the facts! 😉 Final bonus of riding your bike– you get strong! You must have some good quads by now! 😉
Lol. Yes. I always have tho…I was a gymnast:)
Now THIS is so cool! I would totally do this – I live in a small beach town in Michigan and could do this during the spring and summer! I will keep this in mind for down the road when the kids leave the house!
I am so glad you live in a location where this is do-able! I highly recommend it!
Growing up I used to love adventures on my bike. Hmmm I think it is time to get one again! Love yours!!! ❤️
Maura me too. I think we forget when we get older how much fun bike riding is!
I enjoyed your story from start to finish! You are an inspiration!
What a super idea.
Thanks Carol. I have enjoyed the whole process so much more than I expected!
You are so inspiring!
Love your baskets and the bike. I wish I lived in a flat area so I can bike. Unfortunately, I live on top of a dam with a reservoir and everything is downhill from where I live…But that’s ok. I know you’ll find me a nice little bungalow when I retire. Great post! 😉
Downhill is really nice! Going back up…not so much lol! Thanks Karen. I really had fun with this post!
Loved this Linda! Love your humor too. Fabulous photos! Love the last photo of you, you look beautiful as always.
You are so sweet Emily. Isn’t that buliding I am standing in front of amazing? I want to live in that little apartment witht he balcony:)
Love this, Linda! How fun! I have often considered doing more walking and riding to and from my errands. It looks like stuff is closer for you than it would be for me, but boy, how fun would it be for me to take that challenge? I’ll have to see if I can work up the courage to do it! 🙂
Yes, I am lucky. I live in the dead center of town!
What a lovely blog post Linda! My hubby and I try to walk a lot. We live in a very small town so everything is really close. You’re so right people are much friendlier and you see so much more when you slow down a bit. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience!
How lucky for you. We love to walk too, especially in the evenings. Thanks Krystal:)
You always inspire me Linda! We don’t have nearly the weather you have in Cali but during the months when it is warm, it’s so much fun to go out on bikes and you’re right! People really are WAY friendlier without a window separating you.
When it comes to weather we have it good…now if we could just do something about the traffic and taxes…hmmmm…
Wise word. Beautiful pictures. Doesn’t get much better than that….unless I was riding with you. Pinned and shared.
Thanks Chris! I think you are more of a serious biker than me tho…you would leave me in the dust!
Wonderful article Linda! Love your life perspective
I’m also an empty nester and it’s amazing how life seems to slow down to a nice pace once that happens. You live in such a beautiful place; how lucky you are to be able to bike around. Great article!
Thanks Jenny. Life does slow down but somehow remains very busy! I haven’t figured that out yet lol.
Love this post! I would love to start riding my bike more, but it majorly needs a tune up first. For now, I walk whenever I can and ride on the back of my husband’s motorcycle (which teaches similar lessons) when possible.
Nice, I love walking too!
Awesome! I enjoy your writing so much!.. So fun, so Real. Love it!
Thank you Patty:)
Fabulous article Linda!!! You’re such an interesting writer not to mention smart, fun and beautiful!!
Keep up the good work!!
Love this Linda 🙂
I love this post and how you related to riding a bike to so many situations in life. It’s so true that sometimes the wind is in your face and sometimes it is at your back. Love this!
That’s it! You’ve inspired me too much with this! I’m going to go buy a bike now! Lol! Love this!
While I was living in Europe I used to write my bike everywhere but since I moved to our little town in NC I have yet to ride my bike again. Maybe your adorable blog post is motivation enough to dust of that saddle and take it for a nice long ride through the city.
Thanks Jasmin. I know it’s practical for everyone/everywhere but even once a week is fun!
I love that you do this! I used to ride my bike to work and it was always faster than driving! Just yesterday I rode my bike to my parents house for a visit and it was the most pleasant experience. They are only 5 miles away so it was nice!
Nice and the weather in Utah has been getting warmer. Good for you!
My husband rides his bike everywhere. It is a great way to get around. I prefer to walk myself.
Nice! Walking is great too and eco friendly!
I love this post. I will be sharing it with my private facebook group, Savvy Circle, for women over 40 to live a healthy life. I love that you made the decision to ride your bike. Where I live, the closest any errand is to me is 5 miles, so wouldn’t work, but the idea can be used in other ways. When I do go into town, if I can park my vehicle and walk to several shops that is a win for me.
Thanks for sharing it Karen. It has been a fun experiment and luckily in California I can ride 9 months of the year! It’s too hot in summer 🙁
Loved your post. You can learn from each little experience if you want to! absolutely!! You made me wonder how long it’s been that i rode a bike!
Such a neat post! That dinner that you made looks delicious and this has inspired me to want to go on a bike ride:)
Really enjoyed this post. So uplifting, fun and refreshing. You don’t look old enough to be an empty nestor! ROCK IT.
lol well thank you Dani!
So cute! I wish my view looked like that while I was riding my bike. Love your lessons. They are great.