I’ve had a tough couple days on the bike. The roads are a mess, the bike lanes aren’t clear. Motorists turn into snarling beasts when a bike is in their way. I usually try to yell, – ‘tell your city government to plow the bike lanes asshole’ as they pass, but they can’t hear because their horns are blaring or engine’s revving.
It’s also been a physically exhausting commute both days. Slush, snow, ice, it takes everything I have to keep my bike moving and upright in some spots. I develop quite a sweat. I’ve also taken a couple spills (not in traffic thank God).
I’ve been thankful for my athletic gear, lights, and even my helmet while I bike through this rough patch. I know there’s no way I could do it in my work clothes; there’s too much effort required.
Then I got a twitter update about an article update from The Urban Country. A great blog about cycle advocacy. It looked like he added a picture of me (or at least a reasonable hand-drawn likeness) with the caption “Added the ridiculous photo seen above”. Huh. That sure is a kick in the rocks while I’m down.
Then I saw the follow up from biking’s CPO (chief promotional officer as I like to call him) at Copenhagenize where he calls me ‘silly’. Another blow to my fragile cycle-psyche.
All that gear isn’t necessary for every winter commute. I personally consider some of that gear indispensable for mine, but I won’t go on about how you’re under dressed or unsafe without it.
It could be that you are in a much more bicycle friendly city, or better climate. Maybe the drivers are more used to seeing bicycles on the road and are more welcoming. Maybe you live closer to work, maybe there aren’t any hills, better infrastructure…
Whatever your situation is, I’ll keep my mouth shut about what you wear when you bike. I don’t see a need to create a division where there wasn’t any before. We all want better dedicated infrastructure, acceptance from motorists, and more cyclists on the roads. That’s a lot of common ground to work with.