CEC recently conducted a drawing to give a bike to a local resident who could make the best case for using the bike to replace a car. (Special thanks to the Isla Vista Bike Boutique for donating the bike). Winner Alex Frost tells us her story and how she will be using her new bike to get off fossil fuels:
What made you consider ditching your car for a bike?
The company I work for just moved to downtown Santa Barbara. I live towards the top of "downtown" between the Arlington and the Santa Barbara Bowl – definitely within biking distance, just under 2 miles. I am also involved in many activities after work that are downtown (kickboxing, pilates, volunteering, coed softball), all within biking distance from home and the office.
Even though my life revolves around the downtown area, I still drive to work every day. I know it doesn’t make sense to drive a few miles, but my other alternatives aren’t working. I need a bike!
Have you tried getting around without your car before?
I’ve tried walking, but it can be challenging because I'm involved in so many activities. I typically use my lunch hour to squeeze some fun into my schedule. When I tried travelling by foot, it’s absolutely impossible to get back to the office in just shy of an hour, with boxing gloves, yoga mats, softball mits, or whatever the day's activities entail (believe me, I tried!). I even tried the electric shuttle service once, but I found the schedule was a bit too unpredictable and I was back to the office even later than if I had walked.
How will owning a bike make things easier?
It’s quicker than walking, easy to ride around town, and I don’t have to drive my car a shamefully short distance to get to work. I have been looking for a bike ever since I moved closer to downtown, but many of them are above my price range.
In a moment of hopeless desire, I bought a bike basket. Unfortunately, it sits unused. I know it’s longing for a companion to wheel around in the fresh air, wanting to carry my gym bag to and fro, and frolic in the breeze. But alas, the basket sits alone, desperately awaiting its mate.
Now that you’ve won a bike, what’s your plan?
I’m going to attach my bike basket immediately! Then, I’ll plan out my routes to work, and try out the bike rack at my office. I’m planning to bike to work every day. I’ll also bike to my extracurricular activities and the farmer's market.
On the weekends, I'm usually down at the beach, which is also close enough to bike to. Plus, all the summer festivals are coming up soon, and they are within biking distance too! I will probably only use my car for occasional trips out of Santa Barbara.
Happy pedaling, Alex! Enjoy the ride.