Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Still ridin'?

What rush hour looks like on my commute.

Before the Grill Meister recently migrated south, he and I had a conversation about being “the guy who rides his bike to work” at our respective places of employment.

He worked at the same place—with many of the same people—for a couple of decades. But they would still ask him, “So, you ride your bike to work in the winter?” And he would reply, “Yeah, for 20 years now.”

I know how he felt. People from other parts of my office building routinely see me walking in and out of the place with a bike helmet on my head. Many of them walk by my bicycle where it’s parked near the back door every day. They’ve seen me show up on a bike in the darkest depths of winter, but they still greet me with lines like, “So, you still ridin’?”

Understandably, most of them don’t know me all that well, so they’re just looking for conversational filler on the order of, “Been fishin’ lately?” The only thing they know about me is that I ride to work all year, so what else could they ask?

Still, it bugs me a little bit that the “still ridin’?” question seems to imply they think that one of these days I might quit.

They obviously don’t understand how deeply I hate idling at stoplights.


Jeff Moser said...

Yeah, I've had people from outside my area say, "Won't be able to do that much longer, eh?" Seems it's always too hot or too cold for most folks to imagine riding a bike.

On the days when I think that I don't feel like riding home in the cold and dark, I ask myself, "Would you rather drive home?" The answer is always "No." And that's all I need!

bikegirl said...

The Miss Manners reader in me says the perfect reply would be: "and are you still driving?" Followed by: "Gosh, that must be annoying warming the car and scraping the windows when you could be pedaling your bike." Keep practicing a winsome smile for that one...

Sadly, I'm not commuting as much as I typically do, so thanks for keeping it real.

JordyB said...

Yup, happens every day I bicycle commute and folks see the helmet or greet me @ the front door either coming or going. No love for me today tho, got a couple of blocks on the studs and decided it was to far and to hard to keep going. I was sad. Time for a Fatback!

Tim said...

Jordy, go fat, man. This morning I followed the lone track of a mountain bike with skinnies; it was slipping and weaving all over the place in the new snow.

The ol' Pugs churned through pretty nicely. Still a good workout, but I got to work without any walking. Can't say the same for the poor rider who preceded me on the same route. I saw plenty of bootprints by the tire track.

JordyB said...

I think my new rule is if my pedal stroke hits snow, its too deep for the studs. ;p I was weaving and sliding all over the place!

Will said...


Winter snow rides are great. It's just a different challenge

MELI. said...

love the snow shots, since I never see snow out here :/

Grill Meister said...

Yo! Big Karma - I love the stories of commuting. I have to echo JordyB's comment about riding the skinny tires and the toe's touching. Prior to Fat technology that was always my rule of thumb. As for the comments from co-workers about commuting more often than not they would follow up the "Still riding?", with "How old are you?", as if I shouldn't be doing such things at my age. I'd just laugh, because, as you know, they just don't get it.

So be prepared that the older and grayer you get, the weirder the looks you will get from non-riders. Keep on pedaling Mr. Big!