Adapt – Invent – Surf!
Something happened yesterday. It was as if all the thinking, observing, pondering and patience merged into one ethereal stream and suddenly a solution floated to the surface.
All year I’ve been wondering how I could transport my surfboard to the beach without using our car. It’s been a prickly part of this project. Something that I felt was unresolved. A conundrum. A puzzle that I couldn’t solve.
You see it’s possible to buy a surfboard rack for a bike but my surfboard is a 9ft longboard and too long for that style of rack. Then, there are custom made trailers but they retail around AU$700 (plus AU$100 for the bike hitch). Even secondhand, they can sell for AU$300-400. I didn’t want to spend that amount of money. Why? Something told me there was another solution.
In the last few months, I’ve noticed a couple of interesting homemade trailers while out riding. One had adapted a bicycle trailer made for carrying kids. That looked promising and, since then, I’d been searching for secondhand kiddie trailers. Then yesterday, I saw a friend’s newly hatched homemade trailer. He used the wheels and frame of a baby stroller, added two lengths of aluminium tubing, some welding and an air valve switch to attach it to his pink scooter and was able to carry two longboards to the beach.
That was the clincher! It was time to dig into our garage, pull out the old kayak trolley and see if we could adapt it to carry a surfboard.
Step one was easy. My surfboard fitted neatly onto the small trolley secured with straps. The next step was to attach the board to the bike. This required more resourcefulness.
After experimenting with kayak cradles, foam padding, a variety of luggage straps and thoughts of dismantling an old car bicycle rack, a solution became clear. With some inventive weaving of a roof rack surfboard strap around the bike’s pannier rack and seat post, the trolley and its surfboard happily towed along behind the bike. It even managed to swivel for U-turns!
Finally, I’ve found a way to transport my surfboard to the beach, without taking my car. And it wasn’t an off-the-shelf solution. Everything I needed was sitting in our garage – designed for another purpose but able to be adapted and repurposed. Everything I needed, I already had! I just had to change how I thought about those things. I had to adapt.
And it seems to me, that throughout this experiment, the more I adapt, the easier things become. And exciting and surprising and satisfying.
So this morning, on the final day of the fourth season in my year long bicycle experiment, I experienced one of the gems of my year. I was able to take my surfboard to the beach by bicycle and enjoy surfing some waves.
Bring on summer! 🙂 🚲🏄
This is the final post in a 5-story challenge about how my year-long cycling experiment has changed me. The first post looked at saving money. The second post considered my well-being, the third was a light-hearted recollection and the fourth pondered being weather wise.
Thanks to Gary from PedalWORKS who suggested this 5-story challenge. It’s been a wonderful way to finish my four seasons of cycling.