Me and my bike, making snow angels.
I sent this essay in to a contest for to promote bike commuting, and it was not good enough to win a prize, but it’s plenty good enough to annoy you people with.
Mental Health: I am the last sane person at my office, because I never have to worry about the over-capacity parking lot. Whenever I arrive, I put my bike in the same bike room. And if the racks were full, I could lock my bike to another bike, or I could chain it to a railing. If I were really stuck, I could put it in my office. Try that with a Jeep, and you’ll find you can’t. My tinkling laugh rings out when co-workers run into meetings panting they had to park and walk from Vancouver.
I am guaranteed an hour and a half of quiet “me” time a day, when I am not annoyed by the horrible, grating chitchat of friends and loved ones. If you are a friend or spouse, I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about the others.
I can pull a blown tube, replace it, and put the tire back on the wheel while standing. It’s like the world’s slowest, lamest magic trick. I can trigger the signal at stop lights by rolling over the mysterious tar circles. The motorists think it’s magic, or that the light turning green has something to do with elves. br /br
Fitness: I have calf muscles that could cut diamonds, or at least slice bread, or definitely spread butter on bread. Unfortunately, that makes for really greasy, buttery calves.
In closing, go ahead and ride a bike, because who wants to live forever anyway?
It is a statistical fact, well documented by me, that if you ride a bicycle with any kind of regularity, May is the month in which you will eat a bug. It may not be the first or last time that year, but during the month of May, you will definitely find yourself with a bitter, dusty bug in your mouth. I decided that this year I would avoid my own curse, but they are very persistent. They flicker around you and buzz “you’ve got to breathe sometime.” This time, for the sake of variation, I got one in my eye, and I think it’s possible that it was worse.
It will be of great interest to no-one that I hit 2000 miles on the bike odometer this morning. That’s right, just like the Pretenders song. Or the Proclaimers song about walking 500 miles back and forth to your chick’s house, but if you played it twice. I’m not sure how big Scotland is, but I think that to do 500 miles you’d pretty much be limited to walking around the edge of Scotland. All the way from Thurso to Dumfries is only 341 miles. Where does this chick live, anyway?
Anyway, I am glad to know that I could pedal from Portland back to my native land of Dallas in one hour a day, and that it would only take me seven months.
As long as we’re talking about my bike, a vintage Trek 720, let me make some etiquette suggestions. If you wish to drive past a cyclist and scream something unintelligible that ends in “bitch”, you might want to check that you aren’t running into a traffic jam that will cause her to catch up with you in 15 seconds and spit gum in your passenger’s lap and ride off laughing. Not that I would ever do that.
After a cyclist recently got clocked by a bus rider in our fair city of Roses, not only am I mostly not spitting gum at people, but I have put a bumper sticker on my bag that reads “Don’t Hit Me! I love you!”