Posts Tagged ‘biking’

From Coast 2 Coast on 2 Wheels: A Freshman’s Bike Trip Across America

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Reaching the California coast after 72 days on the road.

How far can you get in 72 days on a bike?

If you’re Taylor Burdge ’16, the answer is 3,886 miles and 19 states. This past summer, Taylor participated in a program called Bike and Build, which organizes cross-country bicycle trips to benefit affordable housing groups. She raised $12,145 for the cause, which was 270% of her original fundraising goal, and went all the way from Portland, ME to Santa Barbara, CA.

Talk about a full summer.

Essential to the trip were its 13 build days, in which Taylor and her fellow 32 riders pedaled to local housing groups to supply them with manual labor for their projects.

The tasks she and her fellow bikers undertook were not for the faint of heart: reconstructing a convent that would become a 10-family home, weed whacking and building sheds, putting up siding, using a 10-caliber nail gun to build compartments for building supplies, and demolishing a building that was going to be turned into apartment complexes.

“Bike and Build is wild. I have no idea where I’m sleeping tomorrow, what my next meal will be, or even what town I’ll be in. But the constant change keeps everything exciting.”

Bikers for hire.

This was not a slow crew, either. Taylor and her fellow riders would normally get up before 5:30am, and their typical pace was 15-18mph. The group even developed their own vernacular. Riding 100 miles in one day was called a “century ride.” Every three mornings, the bikers would go on a “rando-ride”…their numbers were randomly drawn from a hat, and they would ride with the corresponding group to avoid getting cliquey.

Taylor also kept a blog of her travels over the summer, which I urge you to check out. The posts are moving snapshots of America. If you quickly scan through them, you can watch the climate palpably change as she goes further south and west. You can picture her pack of merry builders battling heat, saddle sores, and flat tires, and hitting speeds of up to 50mph on downhills as they spend five weeks in the middle of the desert.


4 Ways to Work Out, Besides the Obvious Ones

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Is this it?

Exercising at Stanford seems like it shouldn’t be that hard, and sometimes it’s almost involuntary, when your class schedule demands that you cross America’s largest campus…in ten minutes…multiple times a day. We get free membership to a really nice gym (I suppose it depends on where you’re from, but Arillaga Center for Sports and Recreation is leagues ahead of anything I saw back home), a beautiful campus to walk and bike across, and a thriving athletic program.  But for those contending with winter-quarter apathy, here are 5 novel though primarily facetious suggestions for how to get some exercise that might be more fun than a pair of dumbbells and Precor #2.  Note that this has not been evaluated by the FDA or anyone besides spellcheck.  I am not a doctor or a pre-med.

1. Walk, Don’t Bike

I have to confess this one has ulterior motives–I don’t have a bike appreciate lack of bike traffic.  Stop using a bike for a week and make it a point to walk a lot.  You don’t have to be aimless; pick places to go that will obligate you to walk.  Take the opportunity to walk to a professor’s office hours when you usually chill between classes.  Have lunch or dinner with friends at a different dining hall.  Take some homework and a snack and walk to the Dish/Lake Lag/your favorite library/the Oval.  Expand your definition of walking distance.  I don’t have a bike and I’ve found I actually end up willingly taking the opportunity to walk to farther places more than I did when I had a bike.

2. The SLE workout.

Bringing new meaning to the phrase “heavy course load,” the SLE workout maximizes the cardiac potential of the philosophical canon.  On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, use SLE books as weights (you can move up from one book, to one week’s worth of books, to a quarter’s worth).  On Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, take a hike across campus to secure meals when FloMo Dining is closed.  On Sunday, take a break and enjoy the Indian food.  You deserve it. (more…)