In the months since I started bike commuting, I have had a handful of interesting “conversations” with my fellow employees as a direct result of them seeing me with a bike. When I first started, they were surprised to see someone walking down the office hallway with a bicycle.
– “Isn’t it too hot out there?” [it was August in Phoenix, AZ]
– “How far do you ride?”
– “Do you bike every day?”
I explained to my co-workers that I committed myself to biking to work every day in the month of August. It was a sort of experiment. An older gentleman from the Bronx would tell me about how he used to go for bike rides on the concrete paths around his house in South Florida where he just moved from. The receptionist would tell me stories of her being a tomboy and always playing sports with the boys in her neighborhood in the 1950s.
August came and went. Those who knew about my self-challenge began acting surprised that I was still riding my bike to work. That is when the conversations turned from genuine interest (and the occasional reverie) to more defensive.
– “I would ride my bike, but it’s too far…”
– “I would ride my bike, but it’s too dangerous…”
– “I would ride my horse if I had a place to keep her during the day.” [yes, someone actually said that]
There are tons of excuses that people use for not bike commuting, many of them legit. But part of me wonders why, without any mention of the subject on my part, these people feel they have to justify or defend themselves? Could it be that most Americans inherently believe that bike commuting – or even alternative transportation – is ethically and environmentally more beneficial?
This gives me hope that convincing the average middle-class American to consider alternative transportation is not as hard as some may think. The more important challenge might be to present the doable options, provide realistic opportunity – and the rest will fall into place…
As an aside, I would like to hear the kinds of comments you get from people in your office. Do people try to justify to you why they do not bike to work when they see you standing at the elevator with a bike by your side?
Sonsabitches! As if we didn’t have enough to worry about out there with the douchebags in Hummers, rich assholes in Mercedes and all the glass, debris, substandard bike lanes, shoddy law enforcement and rough streets we bikers have to face!
Bring out the torches and pitchforks…it’s vigilante justice time!
About a week ago my email was hacked. Guess what — this hacker is part of the bike industry. How do I know that? Well, for one thing he was emailing my bike industry contacts. People that we deal with for reviews, ads and etc. This punk sent an email to some of the major players that we’re working with for ’08.
He sent emails basically trying to ruin my name and our site’s credibility. After a few phone calls to do some damage control with some of our contacts, we’re back on track. If you’re one of the companies we deal with and received an email from my old account asking for money to do product reviews or anything that doesn’t sound like something I would write, I do apologize in advance. It wasn’t me who sent it, it was the hacker. Besides, we’ve never charged for our reviews and people of the industry know that.
To our readers: Please note that we have never been paid to do a review and although you see ads on our site, the revenue from these ads are solely for the purpose of paying for hosting services, going to Interbike, Sea Otter and other events. We do this because we love cycling, not to get rich.
I was really bothered by the “Dumb Driver.” So I decided to see about clearer images from the video I took. After playing with the videos and taking screen shots, I finally got a clear shot of his license plate and his face. I’m making a copy of the video and photos and sending that over to the Fullerton PD. Now if I see him living in the area, I’m giving him a copy too with a note saying that its been sent to the PD.
Click on image to make it larger.
So this evening I was helping my daughter with a school project where she’s talking about how she can make a difference by riding her bike. We had pulled off to the side to get some video of the local traffic to use for her project. Check out what this driver does to us.