Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bike Commuter Tips You Won't Get Anywhere Else

Bike to Work Week is coming up soon and I strongly encourage those who haven't tried cycling to work to do so at least once. And then once more. You can find a multitude of commuting tips on the Internet, but I want to share a few that you probably won't find. (I should qualify that some of these are from a guy's perspective.)

1) You will forget something every once in a while. Someone is bound to notice if you're not wearing socks and you can laugh that off. If you like you can tell a funny story about drying off with paper towels after your shower. But it's not necessary for you to share that you're going commando.

2) It's best to double check that you locked the door of the room your changing/showering in before you undress. Your coworkers already have enough to talk about.

3) Nearly 100 per cent of the time you have only a split second to respond to passing cars in which someone screams at you, calls you a name, or yells for you to get off the road. Rather than developing a reflexive "f*#% you!", which could backfire on you occasionally, you can enjoy passing the time by thinking of creative ways to respond if you had their attention for a minute or so.

* The intellectual insult: "A thinking person would disagree with you and also wouldn't waste his time talking to you about it."

* Shame: "Your momma would be so proud to see you now."

* The straight up insult: "I'm trying to see things from your point of view but I can't get my head up my @$$."

* Go Pulp Fiction on 'em: "Well allow me to retort! The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and fu-u-u-u-urious anger...."

Whoa, whoa, WHOA NOW!!! Take a deep cleansing breath. Whew!

This can be an enjoyable exercise as you explore your creativity and pleasurably appreciate your thoughts. But don't go too far. Happy bike commuting!


Pat S said...

Great tips Hank. I'm not a bit shy about sharing my, umm, status, though - a broadcast email with nothing but "Commando Today!" in the subject line pretty much ensures that I will be left alone and can get some work done.

Ken Paulman said...

I keep telling myself that the next time some jerk yells at me to get on the sidewalk, I'm going to blow him a kiss. Hard to suppress that middle-finger reflex, though.

Anonymous said...

I think I like the pulp fiction response the best.


Immigrant said...

I commuted to school when I was far enough away and didn't bother changing. But it was fun to be in the middle of winter and sitting class bright red, sweating and taking layers off as people complain about the cold!

Oh, and I spend time thinking about ways I could rig up a spring-loaded bar that would scratch the passing cars who yelled at me...a bit militant, but fun nonetheless!

Anonymous said...

I'm lucky to pocess a yodel that can shatter glass, metal, and flesh.

BiketoWork Barb said...

These are more entertaining than my mental prep post ( piece that skips right over reflective clothing to talk about the interior dialogue.

At a dinner party with friends some time ago, we laughed so hard we cried as we came up with the idea of a paintball helmet with shots triggered by appropriate facial grimaces so you could mark cars that threatened you. Drop your chin against the strap just right and kapow! We figured that way law enforcement could find them, kind of like marking the money you give the bank robbers. But how to mark cars of drivers who are NICE to us? They deserve kudos.


Not said...

Cars who are nice to us are at home in their driveways.
- Ventura