Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Turn your bike into Santa's sleigh

Living in a tourist destination can be a wonderful experience despite coping with the congestion during peek season. This can be exponentially more frustrating when your tourist town is also a holiday shopping attraction. With some basic planning and proper care you can avoid some aspects of the holiday shopping blues by shopping by bike.

Why shopping by bike makes good sense this holiday season:

Parking! Here is what it looks like trying to find parking in one of Santa Monica's parking structures just off the popular 3rd Street Promenade. This was on our way to the beach on Memorial Day. The garages can look like this for weeks leading up to Christmas. 

Parking garage 3rd St. Promenade Santa Monica bikelocally.com

Alternatively, you can take your bike, attach a Burly Travoy and lock up in front of the store of your choosing. Bike parking abounds on the West Side. This trailer turns into a shopping cart you take in with you. Add the accessory bags so you can skip store bags and the associated city bag tax.

Burley Travoy at www,burley.com

Before parking your car and heading into the store you have to deal with traffic. Enjoy the glorious feeling of using the bike lane to glide past the gridlocked cars waiting to get into the lots or for people to fill their trunks and vacate street paces. A word of caution, holidays cause emotions to run high and people to be distracted. Be extra careful when surrounded by car wielding frenzied shoppers, you want to keep your word when you said "I'll be home for Christmas". Use bike lanes wherever possible. Check Google Maps for bike routes to your shopping destination. On the last few block leading to your shopping Mecca of choice consider walking your bike as the traffic gets thicker. 

Holiday traffic 3rd St Promenade Santa Monica bikelocally.com

Forget a New Years resolution, reap the benefits of exercise now. We all indulge to some extent during the holiday season. Biking burns calories. You'll burn even more if you are hauling the gifts from the store with pedal power. Making cycling a practical part of your shopping routine this season will allow for guiltless feasting.

How would you best navigate your city to get holiday shopping done by bike?

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