Wednesday, January 11

Just Call Me Crazy...But Expect Retaliation

"Did you ride your bike today?"

I grit my teeth. I know that if I say yes the person will call me "crazy," and I've gotten to the point where that will offend me, and I won't keep silent. If I say no, then the person will gush "Oh good!" and go on as if I had been saved from certain death, but it won't end there, they'll go on about how I would have been crazy if I had decided to ride.


Ride Today? Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery

I'd like to think my coworkers are just concerned about their own greedy interest, like Thistle's, but I know they're not. There is no office pool where I work, just over-reaction to a perfectly sane mode of transportation.

I used to think they understood my riding. But this past cold weather season the slamming comments have gotten worse. Even from those coworkers whom I believe I have mutual respect with.

I've started calling people on it.

"It offends me when you say I'm 'crazy' for riding my bike."

But they don't take me seriously. And I am offended by it.

Four years I've worked in the same place, and four years I've been at least a part time bike commuter. The past year and I half, all through last winter, I have been a full time bike commuter. I've ridden in rain, snow, wind and blistering sun. I don't complain to my co-workers when I've had a rough commute, and in fact, I do as much as I can to mitigate the visual, auditory and olfactory impacts to them. It's just common courtesy.

And when they ask I try to be as frank as possible, without sugar coating the issue.

"Yeah, it was cold, but I was sweating by the time I got to work."

Or,

"It was cold, but I was comfortable once I got warmed up."

Or,

"Yeah, I got caught in the rain, but I had a rain jacket so it was no big deal."

The one plus I can claim from the whole affair, is that when the weather is bad, they do recognize that I'll be riding, that other people will be riding, and hopefully that makes them more aware as they drive in to work themselves.

DISCRETION BEING THE BETTER PART OF VALOR

For the record, I did not ride my bike this morning. When I woke up the snow was insignificant, but the wind was blowing. Since I won't need a ride home tonight because I'll be meeting Mandy in Golden, it made more sense to see if I could catch a lift with someone headed that way. So I made a phone call and arranged a ride. And then a half hour later, when I would have been halfway to work on my bike, the snow in Arvada started coming down fast and thick.

The snow has gotten worse since that time, and it would have been a long treacherous ride in, but I would have been fine.

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2 comments:

  1. I had a good friend say I was crazy for commuting in sub-freezing temps. I laughed because I knew how much fun I was having.

    Here at work, we have a friend (I'll call him Rick) of one of the employees who happens to be mentally challenged. The only way Rick can get around town is by bike. He and I talk about how the weather and the streets are. He wears a helmet and has lights. I always tell him to be careful out there. He responds, "I ride slow!"

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  2. In the town where I grew up there was a similar guy, and when I first started riding "seriously" as an adult I always felt like it was only he and I on the roads on our bikes.

    The cold doesn't affect me as much as the ice, especially after my crash on the railroad tracks back in the summer. I just don't want to go down like that again, and I'm afraid now if I did I would hurt myself a lot worse. So the ice has definitely been a huge factor for me when it comes to deciding to ride or to carpool.

    I guess if I were just going out to ride for fun I wouldn't give it as much thought, but seeing as how I have a certain amount of time and only a few route options I feel as if I am compelled to ride in places I don't want to ride, and mentally I rebel against that idea.

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