Bike and surfboard shops are empty, sold out? Why?
If you think your local surf break is more crowded than ever it isn’t your imagination. During the intial lockdown bikes could be seen locked to every post on Bolsa Chica State Beach. It even made a CoolToysTV Quarantstream episode.
The Covid-19 pandemic changed the way we live and work. It made a lot of people realize how stupid commuting really is. Many also figured out how to keep working from home. And they realized that working from home is horrible if you don’t live where you want to be.
The prices in beach communities like Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and mountain areas like Lake Tahoe have gone nuts. With sub 3% interest rates bidding wars are breaking out. People want to live and work someplace they like, not someplace “within commuting distance”.
As the SoCal lifestyle goes, cars and surfing have gone hand in hand since the beginning of the little beach town of Pacific City. We now call Pacific City, Huntington Beach. Mr Huntington who added the Red Line trains from Los Angeles to Huntington Beach would only do it if the city changed it’s name.
The Car Wins
Eventually Ford and GM won and people chose to drive, killing the red line train. The woody became synonymous with surfing thanks to the folks just up the road in Hollywood. This relationship cemented cars and surfing as one in SoCal. Until the Covid-19 Pandemic that is.
As the dictator Governor Newsome punished the beach towns for trying to recall him, the relationship of the car and surfboard became blurry. As the parking lots closed, bikes were the only way in. With electric bike prices dropping below $2000, and range increasing, Electric bike dealers started a direct pipeline to the bank.
Even little bike shops around town were emptied within days of the Beach parking lots being closed. Surfers weren’t detered by the lack of parking. They brought a bike and a board and rode in, giving new meaning to the “last-mile” commuting. Locals simply walked or biked boards to the beach. The next step, a total lock down with no sound reasoning. Surfers on bikes still found their way to breaks. The spirit of the surfer is a lot stronger that the will of the man they called “Gavin Nuisance”
The designers at Early Bum even created a T-shirt to commemorate the occasion. They called the situation the Early Bum Covid Triathlon.
Pandemic stimulus checks and increased unemployment payments are partly to blame. Either of those checks would buy a bike or a surfboard. Spend wisely and you got both. So If you didn’t get a bike or surfboard already, get in line.