While most of us loathe our daily commutes to work and school—enduring white-knuckle, traffic-choked drives into downtown office buildings or waiting forever for some crowded mode of public transportation to deliver us like cattle—there are others among us who look forward to the journey.
These are extreme commuters, men and women who use mostly human-powered alternative modes of transit—be it a stand up paddleboard, a unicycle or a zipline—and harness the forces of nature, like wind, currents and gravity, to make their way into work. We're talking extreme commuters—people who ski through the dark Alaskan winter, put in thousands of miles climbing over and over up the same mountain and sail over a 1,200-foot gorge tethered to a cable.
They put your grandpa (who, we know, walked uphill both ways to work, barefoot in the freezing cold and carrying a 100-pound bag) to shame. On top of that, they stay functionally fit, save money on gas and, as a bonus, save the environment by not burning fossil fuels. And, most importantly, they get a taste of nature and take a measure of themselves two times a day, a claim few of us can make.
Here, we present you with extreme (ly active) commtues, 11 instances where outdoorsy people have figured out how to get to work without, you know, feeling like they're going to work. Give one a try, and your commute might actually put a smile on your face.