Thursday, August 20, 2009

Life is....

"Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving."
~Albert Einstein

With my traveling adventures behind me and epic amounts of debt ahead of me, I have officially come back to reality and it is not as peachy as I had hoped. With the decrease in jobs offers and an increase in student loans, I had to make some decisions quick. Do I stay in Charleston and fight for a job or do I move somewhere else and do the same? Should I return to food and beverage to make some extra money or continue to be over worked and underpaid? In the end I did not have choose because my tendency to chat up strangers resulted in a job offer.

When I received the position requirements, it said that I must have "reliable transportation." I considered the fact that the organization most likely assumed that this meant a car, but I figured that I could just blow them away at my interview and then casually mention that my idea of transportation was a bike. This little detail has managed to become a big one for so many people. One of the first questions people ask me when I mention that I am car-free is "Well... how do you get to work?"

So when the time came for my interview, I hopped on my trusty Specialized steed, dressed in business bike-friendly casual (thankfully leggings are in style right now) and made my way down King Street for my meeting. Had I been in a car I probably would have missed the building and been late but instead I was early enough to have a little cool down period pre-interview. The meeting was going fantastic, so I decided to drop my little transportation bomb and see what happened when the smoke cleared. Here is how it went:

Me: "I saw on the requirements that I would need reliable transportation. I just want to let you know that I do not own a car, but instead I bike everywhere."
Her: "Well, is it reliable?"
Me: "Yes, I have never missed a meeting, even when I lived in West Ashley."
Her: "Then I don't see any problem."

And without hesitation she moved to the next question. And yes, I got the job.

For all those people that told me not owning a vehicle would stop me from being able to get a job, well, I just burst your bubble.

To celebrate my new job (yes, now I have two jobs) here are two fun bike things:

Really, this whole website is fantastic:

Here is a video sent to me by Mr. Kelley:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Going the distance

As mentioned in my previous post, I am working my way across the US with my friend Geoff and we are now in Yellowstone National Park. There really are not words to describe how unbelievable every inch of the park is, so I will not even begin to try. Even pictures cannot capture the captivating and often bizarre formations within the borders of this place. Unfortunately we have only had two days to see it all which means we did almost all of it by car (which does not do it justice). Along the way, I caught myself passing cyclists with a longing in my eye, wishing I could join them as they took in the scenery on two wheels. I had originally hoped to bike across the country this summer but the amount of planning, training, and money required were just too much to mix into my thesis, graduation, conference agenda. Since then I have met a number of people that have managed to get themselves together and make the journey. I happen to meet three such people biking through Yellowstone.

When I stopped these guys, I had a feeling that they would have a story because of all of their gear... little did I know they were on a serious cross country journey for the environment. After passing out tangerines and cookies, Dave, Steve, and Nick (if I remember correctly) told me about their trip. Their goal is to bike from Florida to Washington while sharing their knowledge about the environment and inspiring people to get involved. Over the last two months and 9 days, they have traveled almost 3,000 miles.

When I asked for advice on biking they said "Get a good pair of sunglasses" and "You don't have to pay to camp". As far as gear, they had all the basics of traveling like extra tires, tubes, water and tents but also some extras like a hatchet, machete, and superhero... all obvious necessities when on the open road. Just talking to them makes me want to start training to do some road trips- maybe not across the United States quite yet :-) Check out their blog for the details: