I’ve Got a Bike, You Can Ride It if You’d Like

I guess I ride a bike now.

It’s not really something I like to talk about because bikes, like magnets and former governors of Alaska, have polarizing effects. Maybe it’s different in other towns, but here they’re a pretty divisive issue. Of course, neither side presents itself very appealingly.

On the one hand, you have the people who are decidedly anti-bike. Some of their points make perfect sense- I also drive a car. I know how annoying bicyclists on the road are. When I’m riding my bike and a car comes up behind me, I want to nod sympathetically and yell, “I KNOW! I HATE ME TOO!” The problem is, the anti-bike types are surprisingly aggressive. There’s no quicker way to get someone to call you a dirty hippy than to show up somewhere on a bike, and three bicycle-riding friends have been hit by cars in the last year. It’s hard for me to take your side when you’re actively trying to kill people I like.

On the other hand, the pro-bike crowd is full of terrible human beings. If they’re not hipsters with the name of their fixed-gear bike tattooed ironically inside a heart on their arm, they’re mountain bikers who won’t shut up about Moab.

I wrote this joke and then discovered Wonka had gotten there first. I’ve been Slugworthed!

If you mention bicycling in public, society breaks down. Relationships are torn apart. Brothers fight brothers. Once you’ve opened that can of worms, it’s not unusual to see a bicyclist wearing someone else’s skull for a helmet whiz past, while an SUV full of anti-bike crusaders sporting jewelry made from bicyclist teeth and waving a pig head on a stick drives by. It’s total chaos.

By the way, we’re playing “How many literary references can Stephanie fit in this post?”

To negate this unfortunate effect, I’m choosing to bring it up on the internet, a place known for nurturing respectful discourse and rational debate.

You Might Ride a Bike Because…

– …the environment is groovy, baby. (OK, fine. It’s not just hippies. I guess reducing your carbon footprint is a legitimate reason.)

– …it’s good exercise.

– …you have a superhuman heart, one gonad, and may or may not be powered by steroids.

– …you’re in France in the summertime and everyone is doing it.

– …it’s the early 19th century and you’ve just invented a two-wheeled mode of transportation, so now you need to test it. If that is the case, welcome to the future, Baron Karl von Drais! Congratulations on also inventing time travel!

– …you’re a child actor in a life insurance commercial.

I Ride a Bike Because…

– …I can’t afford gas.

Things You Don’t Really Think About Until You Ride a Bike on a Regular Basis

1) Hand signals.

It’s socially responsible to learn how to use hand signals on a bike because the drivers of the vehicles around you are having tiny heart attacks every time you swerve a little, and wondering if the noise your head will make when it’s crushed under their wheels will eternally haunt their nightmares or prove to be surprisingly cathartic.

Hand signals say, “I know where I’m going. I’m clearly conveying that plan to you now. Here I go.” It makes everyone involved a little less homicidal.

2) Proper gear.

I never see bicyclists with helmets around here, which goes against every Radio Disney PSA from my childhood. You also don’t see them wearing elbow, knee, wrist, or shoulder pads. (I guess I’m a little confused on appropriate protective gear. I remember someone telling me bikers should wear leather. Is this true? It’s 10,000 degrees outside. Not even cows enjoy wearing leather right now.)

They don’t like it because it squeaks every time they moooooove.
…Sorry.

3) Bike rack locations.

When you ride a bike, you can only take it to places with bike racks, reliably sturdy trees, or other things bolted to the ground. You start frequenting establishments specifically because they have a rack out front, and you spend a lot of time looking at scenery, thinking, “Could I lock my bike to that? Could I lock my bike to THAT? What about that?”

4) Sidewalk topography.

You don’t know true humiliation until you crash in a very public place. You only have to skid eight feet across a gas station parking lot once before you learn to spend most of your rides looking out for the sidewalk lips or divots that could spell your doom.

5) The care and keeping of bruises.

You have to base your outfits around your bruises. If you want to hide them, you make sure your clothes don’t rub them all day. If you want to show them off but you don’t want to bring up the conversation, you pick outfits that showcase them and then walk around all day “casually” doing stretches that place them in people’s line of vision.

At night, you develop a new sleeping position that doesn’t put pressure on any of your bruises. Sometimes, you discover you’ve been sleeping in a complicated yoga position and have literally achieved enlightenment overnight.

6) Animals.

The local fauna becomes dangerous. A bird with terrible timing hit me while I was biking home from the gym a few weeks ago. It was like a tiny feathered missile to the ribs, and I’m not sure which one of us was more freaked out. I saw a dog hanging out in the road the other day, acting kind of weird, and I started to worry that without the safety of my car, I was going to have to pull an Atticus Finch.

“To pull an Atticus” is a verb which can mean either “to shoot a mad dog” or “to act as a paragon of honor in and out of the courtroom”. I meant the first one.

7) Your butt.

My butt hurts so badly that I’ve developed a reflex whenever I see a bump in the road. It’s a total body clench that makes my toes curl and my face scrunch up, and it’s extremely attractive.

I don’t know who’s right in the bike debate. Certainly both groups are annoying, but I once read some sage advice from someone who always says the right thing:

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” –Atticus Finch

And also:

“I believe there were three solid literary references in this blog post, Scout. Four, if you count the double-whammy from ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. BLAMMO.” –Atticus Finch

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126 comments

    • Todd

      Well I am guessing u probably don’t look very cool without the helmet either. lol. It should be up to the individual if u want to wear a helmet or not.

      • lal

        why should it be individual? Children/teenagers should be forced to wear helmet it is much more secure. It is not your your individual choice if you want to wear seatbelt in the car or not. The society still needs to pay for medical help if the person gets hurt.

      • NFA

        Not sure about that. Save for say, crashing into trees* or empty pavements, when you’re involved in an accident you’re not the only one who’s impacted.

        (* I would probably make an argument for the welfare of the tree as well, but that’s not relevant to the helmet issue.)

    • berevington

      Don’t be fooled the the marketing. Sure, a helmet may help/save you, but it may also harm you and in many accidents they’d make no difference at all. What I’m saying is that one should make an informed decision and/or recommend that other cyclists do the same. I do wear a helmet (largely because when racing it is a requirement of entry), but I do not believe that it will necessarily save my life or prevent serious injury. I recall that when wearing a hard hat on a construction site, I banged my head much more often than when I was helmetless.

  1. Heather Tobey

    You seemed to forget that bike riding is fun! (hence my tricycle with the huge ass seat. stares of ________ (insert word here) included for free.)

  2. food,mostly

    Fabulous, funny and very apt post. I can relate to the polarization. I live in Toronto and the local media has dubbed the car vs. bike debate as being a full blown “war”. Intense!

  3. msperfectpatty

    I really do think about riding a bike sometimes but this post makes me rethink my thinking. I never would have thought that there were so many things to think about before riding.

  4. emisformaker

    Wait a minute, you’ve seen an SUV full of adult people? Where I come from, it would more likely be a convoy of SUVs with one adult each. Possibly with some kids or a dog, but unlikely.
    Most folk in my neck of the woods get around the “being killed in traffic” angle by riding on the sidewalk and endangering hapless pedestrians instead.

  5. Barbara Backer-Gray

    I like your post. It reminds me to write something about cycling here and about American bikes (which often don’t have springs under the seat). When I do, I’ll link to you, so people can see it’s not just me exaggerating.

  6. Mikalee Byerman

    Hysterical…

    Love the contrast between the reasons people might ride a bike and why YOU ride a bike. That made me smile.

    And I have to admit: Being a 38-year-old woman whose parents never encouraged me to learn to ride a bike, I’m jealous of your ability! Of course, I could ride a bike — if it had training wheels.

    ;)

    • jan lewis

      YA I GIVE RIDERS CREDIT. ITS NOT JUST OTHER TRAFFIC U HAVE TO B ON THE LOOK OUT FOR. MY DAD BOUGHT A BRAND NEW HOG. THREE DAYS LATER ON HIS WAY TO WORK HIS BIKE LOCKED UP FLIPPED AND LANDED ON HIM. HE DIED!!
      EVEN WITH THIS FACT I OWNED MY OWN HOG AND LOVED IT.

  7. So Resourceful

    Great post. I have come to take cycling for granted as I live in Cambridge, England, and your post reminded me that not everywhere is as tolerant of bikes as here, and not everyone takes cycling for granted. I cycle because it’s the quickest and easiest way to get around a city where there is hardly any parking facilities for cars, where it costs a lot of money to park, bike lanes everywhere, parking bays for bikes everywhere, and it’s cheap, fun, and gives me some daily exercise. There are still plenty of bike haters though, always motorists, usually taxi drivers too.

    If you want to stop the bum pain when you go over a bump just stand up on the pedals. Much more comfortable, especially when going over speed bumps.

  8. MikesFilmTalk

    This had me chuckling and snorting (thankfully I read this alone) I even laughed out loud, at least twice. I now have a vision in my head of a Winnebago chock-a-block with teeth wearing warriors carrying The Lord of the Flies placards and waving a pig’s head furiously at bike riders. The best bit bar none, was the “I know! I hate me too!” Flipping brilliant mate!

  9. nancyfrancis

    I also have a hatred of SOME bicyclers – but its based on my position as a pedestrian. There seems to be a constant battle in Toronto between cyclists and cars, or cyclists and public transit – but what about that dude that was killed by a TWO WHEELER crashing into him last summer? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a near miss when crossing at a green light with a cyclist doing as they please.

    You’re spot on with the polarizing effect though, its a strange phenomenon!

  10. TERRIfic Words

    I feel so bad admitting this, but I recently started riding my back and realized I don’t remember hand signals until it was time for me to cross the street! I am disgraced to call myself a licensed driver having realized I forgot the fundamental hand signals!!!

  11. laila Alive

    Thank you for the funny post. You’re dead on about the polarizing effect biking has, at least where I live.

    We’re in So Cal, in a little up and coming urban town that is being taken over by hipsters. (SIDE NOTE: I know why they’re all so skinny now. Because it’s sooo uncool to get regular bikes with gears on them, so they needlessly burn calories to stay on trend. Of course, they’re all still individuals. Really creative, unique individuals – not at all turning into exact replicas of each other because that would go against the guidelines of hispterism.)

    Woops sorry. Didn’t mean to derail the comments with some good ol’ fashioned hipster bashing :)

    Your post is awesome! My co-workers are going to spend all day wondering what I was LOL’ing about.

  12. Kiera McTigue

    Really enjoyed this! I live in rural NH and just recently took up biking. It is not polarizing here, mostly because no one does it to be cool. There are far too many hills, and everything is too darn far apart to do it just to show up in style. I have been amazed to find that there is no such thing as a flat surface. Everything seems to slightly inclined up hill.

  13. UtahMan&Wife

    Great tips for me to ponder before I ever decide to start commuting to work on a bike! Loved the post, the humor, and the literary references! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed :)

  14. The 3rd Coyote

    I hear you on all accounts! I too want to apologize to those in some automobile or another every time I’m force to cycle on a narrow road or worse yet and narrow bridge! It’s unfortunate that a few snobby cyclist gave the rest of us a bad name. I’m a motorist as well, and like so many others, when we see that weed on their 4 figured bike and poshy designer gear that’s at least 2 sizes too small for them, bike out in the middle of the road and flip me the bird if I come within 20 feet behind them …. ugh! … OK, I got some issues … Anyway, I can tell you stories about biking and urban wildlife! Thank You for posting! It’s so good to hear that there are some reasonable cyclist still out there!

  15. Emily

    I love To Kill a Mockingbird with all of my heart, and I plan on naming a future pet Atticus Finch. I also love literary references, oh and this post. (: It made me lol. And not in the the teenager texting lol to something that isn’t actually funny, way. But the real kind of lol in which the person actually lols.

  16. Papparaci

    Excellent work, made me laugh out loud when reading about your eight foot slide to Home Base in the parking lot! Good stuff and congrats on getting Pressed.

  17. Mountain Gypsy

    Ok, ok, I have stopped laughing long enough to take a breath and write you a comment. So, I have completely enjoyed your post! I too have a bike, and a car. I live in a wonderful city however, to get to the “cool” places you must be willing to take your life into your own hands. ( Or ride packing a cute little weapon – hippie styled of course )There is no way in or out of the cool spots without going through the “danger zone”. So, I drive to the cool places in my lovely beater and if I want to go for a bike ride I put my bike rack on the trunk and off I go……my bike, my beater and me. Thanks for making me laugh, enjoyed it very much. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed also.

  18. office of surrealist investigations

    The old phrase “It’s as easy as riding a bike.” still rings true. I love riding a bike. I commute and I’m one of those lycra clad roadies on the weekend.

    Ride a bike because you enjoy it. You are not saving the planet by riding a bike. Ask yourself this. If cycling was bad for the planet would you still do it? Rubber from trees if not synthetic, steel and aluminum mined from the earth, plastic or carbon fibre from toxic chemical concoctions and most parts shipped from far away parts of the world.

    Cycling is inherently safe, you just have to be aware on the road and as you mention use hand signals and let drivers and pedestrians know where you are going. Riding nights get lights.
    Most cycling deaths have nothing to do with wearing a helmet. Wear clothes appropriate for the situation. Commuting on the street wear street clothes, riding in the mountains and trails wear appropriate mtn protection here I recommend a helmet, riding a road bike wear padded shorts and lycra or wool if you prefer. You do not always need fancy gear. Racing, wear appropriate racing gear.

    Unless you are under the age of 12 Do Not Ride on the Sidewalk. The one exception is when approaching bicycle parking on the sidewalk, which is where most bike racks are found.

    If your butt hurts your riding the wrong size bike or your seat is in the wrong position. If you are riding long distances get some padded shorts.

    Nice post about cycling, but too often the concerns you list are often the things that deter people from jumping on a bike. And these concerns are either overblown or easily overcome. Keep riding.

  19. Jean

    “If you mention bicycling in public, society breaks down. Relationships are torn apart. Brothers fight brothers. Once you’ve opened that can of worms, it’s not unusual to see a bicyclist wearing someone else’s skull for a helmet whiz past, while an SUV full of anti-bike crusaders sporting jewelry made from bicyclist teeth and waving a pig head on a stick drives by. It’s total chaos.”

    This hyperbole exists in the hinterlands of the empty prairies and other seriously rural areas. :)

    But yea, riding a bike is really not a big deal. Just anti-cyclists and enthusiastic cyclists do go a bit beserk.

    It’s like brushing your teeth. Good for you and don’t think much about it why or where. Just do it and have fun, respect others on the road, watch those cellphone texters/gabbers.

  20. Danielle Ferretti

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks these things! Great writing. I laughed the whole way through. Thank you for that.

  21. char

    Loved this! There are a lot of bikers here in Boise, and thankfully, not many anti-biker crazies trying to kill them all. But I hear you on the body-clench reaction to a bump in the road; my butt is always sore after a ride (I guess I should buy some padded pants, but I already think my butt looks too big–why make it bigger?)

  22. G. M.

    This blog post was very funny and well written. I could see everything in my head and relate to both sides of the issue.

  23. riptherio

    Really funny post. Love the line “On the other hand, the pro-bike crowd is full of terrible human beings.” I ride my bike everyday but I live in Asia where if you do not have a bike people give you funny looks.

  24. Ruchika

    Loved it. I’m glad you made it to FP with this post! Especially loved the digs at Finch. And in words of the said genius himself- “Jem, Scout, all there is to a good blog is a good mind behind. Uhh- didn’t get it? I was just saying this blog rocks!”

  25. Katie Jane

    Wonderful post! Had me chuckling away and I loved the mockingbird references! I have to say as a driver in Brighton, where cyclists think they can do what they want, I have never considered cycling! Starting to think it would be a good way to save money so glad you’ve filled us in on things to think about beforehand!

  26. Meredith

    Come to Sweden the bike lanes are GREAT!! Although in the US I always felt a certain sense of danger when I would bike around. . .possibly because I never use hand signals.

    And I still hated bikers whenever I drove, even while biking most of the time.

  27. timberbookshelves

    Busted my knee some time ago so a bike is a good form for non impact exercise. It is difficult on the road. For the bumps I tend to get in a standing position on the bike with knees still bent to absorb the shock. Probably doesn’t look as well as your reaction though. Helmets have not, after research (heard it on the radio two days ago) proven to actually reduce injury stats. Also, they are two warm on most days. I thank you for your refreshing post.

  28. Valerie {all mussed up}

    This cracked me up — I had no idea biking was such a divisive issue! Granted, I’m living in the Netherlands, which is populated by more bikes per capita than probably anywhere else in the world. Everyone bikes. It’s not a cool or green thing to do. It’s an extension of your body.

  29. Engelsman in Afrika

    Excellent post. Not sure where you live but ‘black ice’ was another hazard which you had to look out for (especially whilst cornering). I was a pro cycle surfer by the time I left the UK!

  30. Jessica

    Hahaha great post! I bike everywhere, and it’s given me a new awareness of how effing crazy taxi drivers are. They are most definitely out to kill cyclists!

  31. declanwhite

    Self-effacing to have the comments accompany your blog on one half of the page every step of the way. I wouldn’t like that on my writing. I’d feel defensive on that point. The comments have the effect of being included in the article. Writers and commenters make uncomfortable bedfellows. Still, it’s remarkably easygoing of you. But it’s not a virtue I want to emulate.

  32. thinkingdj

    I ride a bike because I can’t seem to get out the door at the right time to be able to walk to the train without missing it. I rely on the speed of my bike to shave 5 minutes off my time ensuring that I only miss the train half the time.

    Also, if it’s ok for me to call my bicycle a bike, why do I have to be a cyclist instead of a biker?

  33. Julianna

    I ride because my kids love it. Doesn’t get any better than them getting excited for some fresh air, exercise, and wind in their faces! (I’ve also ridden for lack of vehicle while residing in Costa Rica…boy does life slow down and feel good when you’ve got no option but to ride!)

  34. Go Jules Go

    Congrats on more well-deserved Freshly Pressage, Stephanie!! I’m still trying to get over the shock that you’re a bike person now, but I appreciate the journey (har har) you’ve been on, and I promise not to hold it against you :)

    • Stephanie

      I honestly thought of you while I was writing this. My exact thought process was, “Man. She is gonna be so disappointed in me.” Then I made myself feel better by telling myself I’m just undercover, doing an inside job, so we’re still cool.

  35. katiewynner

    I started cycling more last year, and now that I am training for the Bike MS Coastal Challenge in October, your observations about the Hatfield and McCoy-esque bike feud are all the more poignant. I live in Long Beach, Ca – a city that is trying to become the most bike friendly in the nation, so it isn’t at a Lord of the Flies state currently. Here’s hoping the world can find a polite balance between neon-wearing hipsters and F150-driving meanies.

  36. kenroome

    Been riding a bike as primary transportation for the last 5 years, in Colorado. Been yelled at, spit on and been given little on the passing side by someone who thought he was getting the best of me. All that said,it pales compared to the joy of riding home in a rainstorm in only your underwear. I ride because I do and if there’s tension in that its of your own failure to understand the generosity inherent to the human heart.

  37. jillbware

    You might ride a bike also if you had a public seizure and had to hand over your license for six months – I wish I was kidding. That is how I entered the world of biking, but I have loved it, and will continue even when I get my license back:) And I wear a bike helmet. I can’t take any chances…

  38. natasiarose

    Why can’t bikers and non bikers just get along?! I wish I could ride a bike to work, for exercise and to give the MTA the old Boo Radley. I don’t know what I mean by that but I wanted to make a literary reference too. Great post!

  39. melvisx

    One thing I didn’t consider before I started riding was what would happen if someone opened the door of a parked car into the bike lane. It hurts. A lot. And makes a loud WHAM!

  40. Andreas Moser

    One big advantage of riding a bike is that you get to know your city, your county and your environment much better.

    Also, it’s easier to flirt with passing girls. ;-)

  41. brithehoneybee

    I ride my bike because I dont want to pay for the bus! Its my dads bike and its a bit to big for me, I absolutely love tipping over in public everytime I have to stop

  42. Sophie

    ….”At night, you develop a new sleeping position that doesn’t put pressure on any of your bruises. Sometimes, you discover you’ve been sleeping in a complicated yoga position and have literally achieved enlightenment overnight….”

    Best line I’ve read in quite some time. I love your post!

  43. missvulcan

    loved reading your post !!! and congrats on being freshly pressed :)
    I am from India and got myself a bike recently,road conditions here are bad and hurt myself a couple of times,went through a phase of having nightmares filled with huge potholes and suddenly popping speed breakers !!!! with some hard earned experience am able to navigate and drive without hurting myself now ,miss having company while doing so…woman here are yet to take to the pedal and rarely find any men plying on the city roads.All said and done,cycling gives me a great high,its empowering to know you and only you are in control …love it when I feel the sun and the wind on my face with my legs pumping away :) :) :)

  44. vandysnape

    I really love this post mainly because it has the references to my two most favourite books .. Those are some cool reasons to have a bike :)

    P.S : “To pull an atticus”. Ah I love that phrase. :)

  45. Elaine Ori

    Great post, you’re hilarious! I love your take on bicycling; I’m a fan of cycle commuting for the health factor, but your other points were great! And so true :)

    Awesome post!
    Elaine

  46. queenoffamilosity

    Love your post. Love your take on why you ride your bike. I personally like to use mine as a convesation piece on my patio. You did a great job of expressing why it is perfect for that.

  47. christianears

    I want a bike very badly. Mainly because I want to feel free and go places and even though I just got my license I still can not drive my mothers car. Anyway until then my two feet will just have to do. In other news good writing!

  48. Hibari

    You also forgot about wind! A half mile ride to work isn’t bad, but then you factor gusts of wind blowing at you while you’re pedaling uphill and it’s quite the workout.

    Anyway, I was quite entertained by your post, and I agree. Bicycles are such a polarizing subject, and it’s not just drivers who get mad. I’ve had pedestrians yell at me when I was riding around on my college campus. It took all my self-control to not run them over.

  49. SeedsOnFertileSoil

    When you are as funny as you are, you can be this verbose! Thanks for making me smile today. One thing to note; in countries where bicycles ARE THE mode of transportation, cycling is a part of life the way going to the market for the daily meal is…America would be a better place if we all decided to cycle at least an hour a week instead of driving. Just my two cents.

  50. Browsing the Atlas

    I love this post! It kept me laughing out loud all the way through it.

    I’d just been contemplating trying to ride a bike to work to save gas and get more exercise, but changed my mind after reading this. Really. What was I thinking?

  51. mrcrish_cjr

    Great post – riding a bike CAN be polarizing! I’m hesitant to call myself a “cyclist” specifically to avoid the “rogue, PBR guzzling, v-neck wearing hipster” connotation that term so often evokes – guess I’m not the only one:)

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  53. dyefeltsool

    Thank you so much for this. I truly appreciate anyone that can make me laugh that hard. I hate biking – bad hips and knees – but don’t worry – I don’t have any jewelry with biker’s teeth… or skulls… or bones, really any biker paraphernalia on it. Thanks for the great post, I really enjoyed it. And the literary references…And hopefully you won’t have to Atticus Finch anything.

  54. Me

    Great post, thank you. I was hit by a squirrel, dog, car, stone, and dragonfly once, but not all at the same time…

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  56. Kate

    Girl, this is so. good. Such well-deserved recognition! I’ve recently started riding my bike everywhere, too (for the same totally legitimate reason you mentioned), but I have been told my bike is “not cool.” What the what?! I know I drink my coffee out of a mug instead of a mason jar, enjoy music you can actually hear on the radio instead of songs no one’s heard of, and occasionally sport a pink hairbow to channel my inner child (she’s fun), but I didn’t realize my 2005 Huffy was going to be an additional source of mockery! Sheesh. So much controversy.

    • jim157

      I’m in Bend, Or.
      The home of some bicycle Nationals, with several Racers training here. That is fine, but we have many “wannabees”. They are usually the problem. This is a very old town and quite hilly w/no bike lanes. and very narrow streets. Therefore we get many bicycle surprises each day. That starts the anti-bike crowd going and each side escalates until they are polarized.

  57. Janet

    Laughed about achieving nirvana. Pretty sure I saw Kwan Yin while lying sprawled on the pavement after my last crash.

    So initially I started riding because I didn’t have enough money for a car and the bus didn’t get up early enough for my coffee-shop gig. My first bike was this rickety thing from Target. Yet almost instantly I found myself thrown into a group of cyclists who’s long been living and preaching the green dream. They were incredibly seductive. And right.

    The anger both sides of the transportation spectrum shouldn’t be directed at each other, but an infrastructure that makes it difficult to accommodate the two types of vehicles. Maybe the skull-wearing, hummer-revving, tattooed badass fix-gear hipsters can save their intimidation for town-hall time and demand some bike lanes. Go team.

  58. littletash

    This is brilliant! I lived in Chicago for a bit and knew some seriously geeky cyclists. I ride my bike because I can’t afford a car, but I’ve no idea what all the parts are called and I definitely don’t want to sit in the pub talking about inner tubes.

  59. backpackerina

    These are good lists to keep in minds, especially the little issues bikers might not think about during their rides. Your post makes me realize how hipster of a place I live in, as riding a bike always gets a round of approving nods

  60. shenanitim

    Get a shopping bag, and load it with some “D” batteries. Tie it off, and whenever a car comes too close to your bike, WHAM! Best piece of biker safety I ever learned from a city rider.

    Might be the only reason stores still sell “D” batteries…

  61. berevington

    Much as I hate the whole cool/uncool phenomenon (not least because I don’t really understand what it means), I’m aware that I need some ‘cool’ cyclists and/or drivers to support the cause. Sadly, unless there is some form of celebrity interest, the great unwashed masses are simply not interested. Well, that’s how it seems in the UK anyway.

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  65. LifeLoofah

    Wow this is like a blog post from my dreams! It contains everything good about the world – literary references, humour, lists, biking insights, sarcasm and truth! I totally evaluate all sorts of sidewalk and building apparatuses in terms of whether I can lock my bike to them.

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