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The deadline is fast approaching to enter New Belgium's Tour de Fat car-for-bike challenge. If you're unfamiliar, take a look at details and enter your spectacular self-made video here.
CHIRP Radio supports the Tour de Fat celebration in Palmer Square on Saturday, July 11. Entries are due by Wednesday, July 8.
In 2013, Johnny Mays took the challenge and says this for the next winner: Don't half ass it. Read on for Johnny's commitment to the yearlong ride.
CHIRP: Where do you currently live and what are you doing these days?
Mays: I live in Houston, TX and work for Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), IT auditing Fortune 500 companies. I also teach yoga on the side.
CHIRP: Why did you take the challenge to give up your car?
Mays: I was sick of working corporate America life, and I wanted to get out to travel and see the country - on a bike!
CHIRP: What kinds of adjustments did you have to make to your life and daily routines?
Mays: I was fortunate not to have to worry about commuting to work, as I was traveling at this time. Riding a bike actually makes it a lot easier to explore new areas because you can get around quickly, and hop off whenever you need to walk. It's definitely important to get prepared for life without using a vehicle though - you can't carry as many supplies and must be mindful when planning what to bring with you.
CHIRP: Would you say you’re still fairly committed to commuting by bike?
Mays: Unfortunately, Houston is not the most bike-commuter friendly city. Additionally, I have to wear a suit to clients when it's 100 degrees out, so it's not practical to bike at those times. But I still prefer to cycle around town for many things (going to yoga, shopping, meeting up with friends, etc.)
CHIRP: How has living without a car changed you? Have you taken up any other new habits during the year?
Mays: Living without a car forces you to get creative in how you do things. Planning is important. Some things take longer, you just have to know that, and be patient. I have taken up a daily habit of yoga and meditation which brings peace to my life and helps me find my center.
CHIRP: What do you feel are the biggest benefits of the lifestyle change you made?
Mays: The biggest benefit is cultivating a life of mindfulness, which is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you are able to step back and observe yourself, you can become aware of your typical patterns of behavior, then change them for the better.
CHIRP: How can your town, your state, and/or society in general make bicycling more attractive to other people?
Mays: Add more designated bike trails, create greenways in cities, and most importantly - lead by example.
CHIRP: What would be your advice for the next person who is going to take up New Belgium's offer?
Mays: Make sure you are ready and that it is a good time in your life for this. Don't half-ass it. Make a commitment.
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