Steve Lange works here in Santa Barbara at Magellan’s Travel Supplies as the Web Production Manager. He used to commute to Camarillo, which would take 45 minutes to 1 hour each way. Sitting in his car in all the traffic for such a long commute was stressful and boring at the same time.
He knew he could do better.
When Steve started his current job in Santa Barbara he started biking for every day travel. During the work week, he hops on his Xtracycle – a longtail bike with extra room for cargo and/or his two sons. When he bikes to work, he drops the eldest boy off at elementary school and then bikes in to the office.
Not only does Steve’s family reduce carbon emissions with their bike commute, but they also avoid stressful morning traffic and enjoy the fresh morning air before the day begins.
Biking on the weekends has also become a part of their family’s activities. They love to load up their Xtracycle with camping gear on weekends or bike out to Ellwood for a beach day.
After he made the switch to a bike, he was reminded of the inconvenient aspects of driving his car that he had grown accustomed to. The process of finding the closest parking lot, then waiting in line to park, then finding a spot, and then worrying about how long the car can stay in the lot… It’s nuts.
Like most people, it took a mental leap for Steve to transition out of his drive-everywhere-for-everything mentality. Today he uses whatever mode of transportation is most appropriate for the task. If the trip is under 3-5 miles, he finds it is usually faster to bike than to drive, as bikes can roll right up to a destination without the hassle of parking. While he still uses a car from time to time, he advises “don’t get stuck in one way of thinking. There are many ways to get around – just pick the one that makes the most sense.”
Everything clicked for Steve once he made the switch to an alternative commute: he dropped 40 pounds, he doesn’t have to deal with a car for short trips, and he enjoys Santa Barbara more. He feels like he’s getting away with something, like he’s leading a better life than most people because he bikes for transportation.
Who knew it could be so simple?