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    May is National Bike Month here in the United States, which means cities all across the country are promoting bike safety and education while encouraging citizens to use their bikes as a main form of transportation, especially to and from work. And appropriately enough, today, May 15th, just so happens to be Louisville’s Bike Day. And while the city of Louisville participates in numerous biking activities today, two Louisville natives are taking National Bike Month to a whole new level and turning it into an entire season of awareness.

    Dan Hatton and Josh Kays of Louisville are taking a nice, long bike ride…to Oregon.

    Hatton and Kays both strongly believe in the benefits of traveling by bicycle. Both have been commuting to work via bike for years in an effort to avoid parking fees and traffic delays.

    “When I worked at Sapporo’s downtown with Dan, it was always a hassle to go find a parking garage somewhere, park my car and pay for all-day parking, “ Kays says about his previous experiences while commuting to the downtown sushi restaurant by car. “Dan just always rode his bike and pulled his bike into the restaurant. It was a simple as that.”

    I think we can all agree that in the case of convenience, biking is definitely the way to go. But that’s not the only reason why Hatton and Kays are pushing the biking lifestyle.

    “I’d say a bike costs $50 for every 3,000 miles you ride it,” says Hatton about his own financial situation. “A car costs four to six dollars a day, pretty much. I think for urban living, it’s just really nice to save that money and it’s convenient to ride bikes or walk to where you need to go.”

    And after experiencing this simple money-saving trick, the two developed a passion for the method of travel and wanted to encourage others to take on their bicycling lifestyle as well.

    The two got on board with Bicycling For Louisville (B4L) to help out with the organization’s plans to create more bicycling paths in Louisville along with more bike lanes on the city’s major roads. However, simply being involved with this community organization wasn’t quite enough for Hatton and Kays. They wanted to do something a little more to show the world just how easy it is to ditch the car and start pedaling to work, so they decided to take a 4,000-mile, 90-day biking trip from Virginia Beach to Astoria, Oregon, and raise money for B4L along the way.

    Before kicking off their bike tour of the United States last week on May fourth, Hatton and Kays conducted extensive research on America’s most popular biking trails in order to plan their route. They have mapped out their full journey and will be following a system of biking trails that are geared specifically towards the safety of their travelers. Each trail will guide the bikers around major cities to avoid potentially dangerous areas, while also directing them towards several of nature’s major attractions. The two plan to venture away from their path occasionally for sight-seeing, but are determined to get back on track and finish their trip in a timely matter.

    “If we can ride our bikes across the country, anyone can ride their bike to work,” laughs Hatton when explaining his logic behind his extensive bike trip plans. “And we’re really looking forward to seeing the country up close and not from a car window.”

    And seeing the country up close will definitely be easy for these two adventurers as they’ll be biking nearly 50 miles each day and either camping, staying at the homes of family members who live along the way, or “couch surfing” each night.

    “I’ve been hosting couch surfers at my house to build up a positive repertoire for this trip so we can have places to stay and shower” says Hatton. And don’t worry, he’s not talking about the dangerously grungy couch surfing you might be thinking of. He’s referring to the hospitality exchange program, CouchSurfing, which allows travelers to experience staying with a true native of a specific destination city rather than a hotel. (If you’re interested in becoming a CouchSurfing host, or becoming a couch surfer yourself, visit the certified corportation’s website here!)

    As for everyone else celebrating National Bike Month and Louisville’s Bike Day, there are plenty of ways you can participate starting with the city’s Bike Day celebration at 4th Street Live! The celebration will begin at 11am and will feature several fun bike-related activities, including a drawing for a brand new bike, so don’t miss out!

    For daily updates on their excursion, visit Dan Hatton and Josh Kays on Facebook. And to donate to their cause, please visit their Go Fund Me page here. Hatton and Kays highly encourage those interested in changing their lifestyle for the better to become active in the community and volunteer for Bicycling For Louisville. For more information on this nonprofit organization, visit their website here

    Carly Garcia's picture

    About Carly Garcia

    Lover of vegetarian cuisine, Stephen King, puppies, camping and wine...lots of wine.

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