Last month CEC conducted a drawing to give a local resident a new bike (special thanks to the Isla Vista Bike Boutique for donating the cruiser). We picked the person who made the best case for using the bike to replace their vehicle trips. The winner was Courtney Mercier. She received her bike in time to hit the streets with thousands of local cyclists this Cycle Maynia – Santa Barbara’s month-long celebration of biking.
Courtney is a professional photographer and a recent transplant to Santa Barbara. She lives downtown and loves walking, but many things are just out of walking distance. Trying to do an errand by foot, like getting groceries, required a lot of time and thus a lot of planning. Courtney didn’t want to use her car to get around anymore. She wanted to leave it and enjoy the beautiful city by bike.
Now with her new beach cruiser, she’s minimizing her car trips and saving money on fuel. And while that’s a great reason to ride, she says that running errands is actually faster and easier than it was by car. Plus, biking makes it much more enjoyable. “Taking in the warm ocean air while on a bike is very different, even than walking. It’s refreshing and fun, and everything is just moments away.” While Courtney feels the economic and physical benefits are a great reason to ride a bike, she says that it’s her mental health that benefits the most. “Being out in the ocean air, powered by your own physical self has an “incredible ‘soul food’ benefit.”
Keep your eye out for Courtney pedaling around town on her new blue cruiser. She’ll likely have a camera in her basket and a smile on her face.