Bicycling is one of my family’s most enjoyable past times! It’s something we can all do together that’s a healthy, challenging, and fun activity. We frequent skate parks, neighborhood streets and mountain terrain all year long. But we came to a large snag during our last big life change (moving onto a sailboat). Our bikes are really big and take up a ton of room on the deck when we’re underway. We tried to store them inside the cabin, and that was no easy feet! It worked but it was all we could do keep ourselves out of the way of a swinging handlebar or protect our beautiful wood finishes from the jagged pedals.
So we decided that we would have to figure out a way to have our preferred means of travel fit our way of life! Where there’s a will, there’s a way! My husband, being the research guru he is had done some reading on this idea of a folding bike that packs away to about 1/3 the size of a normal bike. It sounded good but would it work? So we headed to Skagit Cycle in Burlington, WA for some more advice.
Now understand that when you live on a boat you acquire a certain smell that some would call musty… It’s a boat smell! And our only vehicle is more of a storage unit then a means of decent transportation. So we show up all smelly in an ugly old van that our son had just thrown a huge fit in because of being tired from the early ferry ride and Alec, the store manager was super friendly! He was immediately making jokes and lightening the mood by just being helpful and truthfully answering all our questions. He showed us different styles and sizes, and took extra time to teach us all the tricks on assembling and disassembling these crazy folding contraptions. Most importantly he listened and must have spent at least an hour with me, my husband and my crazy but sweet little 6 year old boy who is like a wild animal in a feeding frenzy anytime he steps into a bike shop. He never got into that pushy salesman mode to either get us to buy or leave. So right off the bat, we were made to really feel comfortable taking our time and making the right choice on a bike that was…
#1. Going to cost a lot!
#2. Going to be my main mode of transportation!
#3. Going to be the last bike I buy for a long time!
So I choose a newer model, the Dahon Briza D8 that isn’t quite as dorky as the folding bikes I’ve seen in the past. And my husband bought the Dahon IOS D9 which was not in the store yet so Alec special ordered it at no extra charge and because we live on the islands, he was even willing to work out a special deal where they would meet us at the ferry terminal to pick it up if needed. They really went so above and beyond the normal level of customer service you receive at a little family owned bike shop.
To top off the experience, they gave us a very fair offer on the bikes we were trading in. And the following day we came back with a bike rack that we had no further need of, so he willingly took that in on trade and hooked me up with a new Giro helmet and front hanging bag that clips into my bike.
Needless to say, we would recommend this shop to anyone and everyone in need of anything bicycle related, or if your just looking for a business that treats people kindly and doesn’t judge a book by it’s cover. They are honest, fun and passionate about the sport. Visit Skagit Cycle in Burlington, Anacortes, or Oak Harbor! We have been to the Anacortes and the Burlington stores and they both rock!!! We’ll be back for sure!
Everyone’s heard of the phrase “Island Time” which stands for “nobody cares what time it is”. And it stands true that islands have a certain feel to them, where time really does stand still and your worries seem to melt away with the waves on the sand. While living on Orcas Island we have experienced this and so much more!
There really are no clocks on the island! Ha! Well I’m sure there are some but we are yet to find one, minus the ferry terminal which is the main artery of the San Juan Islands. No matter what the nautical clock on the wall says there are always ferries shipping people of every decent and economic class through these timeless waters.
The islands are a melting pot where people are less concerned about social status and just looking to enjoy themselves.
Everyone should spend some time on an island! Living on Orcas is like stepping back to the good old days where there’s a little family farm with fresh fruits, veggies, eggs, and a variety of other goodies around every corner. Which is always a great reminder for us to eat healthy foods that are locally sourced. Everyone waves and smiles at each other when driving and walking around the shops. People even hitchhike! There’s a true sense of community in these small island towns, neighbors helping neighbors and it’s refreshing!
Summer in the San Juans is a boaters’ paradise! Beautiful harbors of crystal blue water teaming with marine life just begging for an anchor. There’s also amazing food, drink, and of course nature. Mother nature is one of the most influential forces on the island. When she is shining her sunny smile on us, all is well and the party is swingin’. The sun tanned bodies sharing drinks and stories on the docks are a permanent staple here in the summertime and everyone’s going on a sail or hike and invites you to join. But when her seasons change the island is not far behind.
The month of October has brought a whole new feeling to the island. One of urgency and dedication to tradition that’s handed down from generations long ago. It’s harvest time like you would expect in central or Eastern Washington, and everyone is preparing for the winter storms. It’s a way of life that cannot be ignored.
The best part of this demanding time is that everyone is so thankful to be working here and living this dream.
That’s what I’m really discovering here. That this “Island Time” feeling has nothing to do with time… and everything to do with a well-rounded healthy lifestyle. Learning that there’s no reason to stress over time is invaluable, and I have some tips straight from the island for ya!
When you wake up in the morning are you excited to go outside and see what awaits you??? If not then you’re in the wrong place! Some people love the hustle bustle of the city, and others love the solitude of the country. I like both so I live on a boat where I can visit all of them!
2. Be Proud –
I know it’s hard in the world we live in today to be comfortable in our own skin, when we are constantly being reminded of how we need to alter ourselves to be skinnier or more beautiful with the latest greatest style. But you were made the way you are for a reason! If we all embrace our freckles, crooked noses, splotchy skin, and under eye circles then we embrace the past that got us to this future. Every mark on us tells a story, one of our heritage and adventures. Let your story shine.
3. Prioritize –
Be literal and everything else will fall into play. Our basic needs are water and food so start there. You have to fuel your body and mind before you can nourish anything else. Take time while you eat to self reflect and check in. Then you can start to prioritize. We all have to pay the bills so work is a high priority, which brings up the question… what is all of this hard-earned money for? If you’re paying for things that aren’t a real priority for sustaining your life; food, shelter, clothing, then is it really a priority? If you prioritize, then you focus on what’s really important in life to you and the other stuff has a way of falling off.
4. Don’t let anything ruin your day –
We all have those days when nothing seems to go right, but when your on an island the waters remind you that the tides change often and there’s always a calm after the storm. So when bad things do happen, put yourself on your island and look for the calm after the storm because even if it’s not quite visible yet, you can see the change coming with the tide.
I hope that you use some of these tactics for embracing an “Island Time” lifestyle. Stress is one of the leading causes of illness and disease so be kind to yourself and unwind a little, just like on the islands!