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! 🙂 🚲🏄

20151128 pink scooter GOPR9470

Inspired by the pink scooter with its homemade trailer to create….

20151129 trailer IMG_0553


20151129 straps IMG_0554

Inventive weaving of a Thule surfboard strap onto the pannier rack.

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. 

33 Comments on “Adapt – Invent – Surf!

  1. What an excellent way to complete the 12 months! Combining 2 of your greatest loves. I’ve had fun reading your blog Gail, & learnt a lot about many things.
    Congratulations and thanks!


    • Thanks Sheila! It’s lovely to know you’ve been enjoying it 🙂

      Finishing with a surfing solution was perfect!
      It’s hard to believe the 12 months has passed. At the beginning, it seemed like an eon away. I’ve enjoyed it very much – much more than I could ever have thought. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m going to continue with the stories, the riding and more new adventures. Who knows where it’ll go in the year ahead…?!?! 😀


  2. BRAVO to you Gail – congratulations on finishing a wonderful project! A great achievement of bike riding and bike writing! I have loved every story and every adventure.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Gail,

    I was dropping my children off at the bus stop this morning in Currumbin I saw some one riding with a HUGE surf board behind their bike and I thought it looked like you from a distance but I though no ……now I know it was!

    I agree with Jane, it has been great reading about your adventures. One word for it and you inspiring!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 yep! that was me Kelli.
      Thanks for reading and enjoying and being part of the journey. It’s been so lovely to receive your comments along the way 🙂


  4. Congratulations Gail on your year long cycling journeys at home, interstate, overseas and BARGARA. You have surprised me with your innovation of the long board trailer. thanks for being a part of that journey. Bevan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Robyn, thanks for writing. It’s been great to share the stories and although I’ve finished the year-long experiment, I’ve decided to keep writing the blog. So the cycling and the stories will continue – with new adventures! 🙂


  5. Gail, this is brilliant. I’m impressed with your ingenuity. You are an inspiration to everyone wanting to make a positive change in their life. I’m pleased we met 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a way to finish the experiment ! And what an experience! I’m so pleased you resolved the surfboard dilemma. I’ve watched with great interest your adaption over the last twelve months. Such an achievement Gail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was unbelievable how it unexpectedly all came together on Sunday. It was a really satisfying way to finish the year. My reflective time over recent weeks tells me there’s more change than I realised. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts throughout every season – rain, hail or shine 😀 It’s been wonderful Robyn!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a super idea and thank you for this wonderful year of blogging. It’s been a delight and an inspiration to read your posts. Happy surfing and pedalling! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jane 🙂 I’ve enjoyed so much about this year. I’ve been surprised and delighted – often. Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful comments and also for your very entertaining blog posts. I enjoy them a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve tried it before and enjoyed it. The trouble was that I learned at Surfers Paradise where all the waves are dumpers so it was too scary to go out the back. I surfed one proper wave, got excited and fell off. It was the best fun with clothes on. I need to find a way to try again at more learner friendly beaches with spilling waves. And with people who make me feel safe paddling out through the breakers.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can understand that Andrew. Being a beach break, the surf at Surfers Paradise would be more demanding for a beginner. A point break is better. Currumbin Alley is a great place to learn. So is Byron Bay.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Well done Gail! Over the last few weeks I’ve been making regular trips to the post office, my bike loaded up with packages to post from my online shop, making creative use of panniers and octopus straps. Then doing some grocery shopping on the way home. It’s a breeze not having to look for a car park, and afterwards I feel I’ve deserved the next slice of Christmas cake. But it’s nothing compared to your adventures – you are an inspiration :). Cheers, Paula

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great Paula! I’m impressed! You’re right.. it’s so much easier to park your bike and usually right out front of where you want to go 🙂 Enjoy that Christmas cake and have a wonderful time over the holidays.
      p.s. I enjoyed your latest post about the pelican on Bribie Island.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Gail I am very impressed with your solution. Thank you for the opportunity to share your journey this year, and to be inspired to cycle more. I look forward to more cycling stories in the future.


    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s wonderful to know the stories are being enjoyed Jen. Thanks!
      I’m looking forward to hearing more about where your cycling takes you next year. 🙂


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