Panties in a Twist… Just Not Comfortable Biking!

Have you ever been in a situation that was so ENTIRELY awkward, uncomfortable, and near puke-inducing that the only way to get out of there fast enough would be to go back in time and put yourself in a sleeper-hold!?  I have.  As my train of thought is more like a train wreck on an acid trip than a linear thought process, I ask that the lovely and becoming Bike Commuters readers bear with me… I promise journey will end with bikes abounding!

This photo is a carrot to keep you reading on...

Ultimate Fail: The other day I decided to try to be a supportive co-worker by joining my colleague (let’s call him “Bloop” for the sake of anonymity) after work in his sport of choice: ULTIMATE. FRISBEE.  Bloop is a new co-worker at the office who bikes to work (he has single-handedly dismantled our 100% female bike commuters record) and is as enthusiastic about playing some Disc as I am about riding some Bike.  Bloop teaches a beginner workshop on how to play Ultimate at the Ala Moana Beach park only 5 minutes away from the office by bike.  Let’s all recap that I am anti-sports involving balls, equipment, and coordination of handling said balls or equipment.  I generally abstain from flying discs and balls but decided to make an exception.

I roll up to this beyotch (Macedonian pronunciation of “beach”) and see 30-40 people in cut-off tanks running, chasing, discing, throwing, and yelling simultaneously.  No noodley-floppy, dorktastic, non-disculated newbies eating shit and listfully prancing in the sunset like I had envisioned.  I frantically scan for Bloop who is sitting on the sidelines waiting to “sub in”.  Well shoot me in the faccia (Italian for “face”)!  I had shown up on Hardcore Pick-Up Ultimate Frisbee Day instead of Newbie What’s a Frisbee? Day.  Before me, the spartan kings of all unconventional, hippie, drunken-athlete sports were tearing it up on the beyotch.  Bloop insisted that this was “really no big deal, and nobody cares if you suck! It’s all just for fun!”  RIIIIIGHT.  I attempted to throw and catch some disc with Bloop for a solid minute (backhand, forehand, WTF??!!!) and then almost vomited on myself right before I grabbed the Xootie, hurriedly shouted goodbye and rode home.  Panties in full twist, I had to stand on the pedals the whole way back…  In a panic, I then plunged head first into the jacuzzi for an Ultimate cleansing, figuring the high temps would kill off the awkward germs.

Faccia is Italian for Face.

Back to Bikes: There are some individuals I know who will again remain nameless (for the sake of this article, let’s call them “Lumps”) who must feel the same way about cycling!  One of my aunties is a self-proclaimed Lump: she attended UC Davis in the 70s and wanted to fit in with all the bikey college students.  Auntie Lump was so uncomfortable with the act of cycling that she bought a bike just to walk around campus with it everyday!  Other Lumps tell me all the time, “No way in HELL I’d get on a bike… I haven’t been on one of those contraptions since my abacus broke!”  Some people have no desire to try, claiming phobia of two-wheeled objects, that pedaling gives them carpul tunnel, or taintal allergies keep them from perching their sensitive bums on bicycle saddles for longer than 5 seconds.

To me, and many bike commuters, riding a bike may have been a bit uncomfortable at first… the first time I used hand brakes instead of coaster brakes, road drops instead of flat bars, or clippie shoes have all put my bike shorts in a temporary twist at one point in time.  But eventually we come around.  I honestly have ZERO desire to ever come around to Ultimate Frisbee, or doing something weird with a “disc” that they call a Land Shark.  Are there Lumps out there with equivalent sentiments towards bike commuting?  You guys must know a few…  In the Lands of Nether, biking is an everyday means of transportation.  If that’s the case then maybe Tron is the the land where Disc is an everyday means of beating the living crap out of your enemies.

Anyway, thanks for sticking with it, Bike Commuters.  For those of you who made it to the end of this crack party ride, I leave you with some images from my Bike P0Rn presentation last summer.  Thanks to the readers who contributed their photos!

Me likey your Bikey!


  1. Steve A

    I guess I’m mystified about the point of this. Still, it got me to read the post a second time an I’m still mystified..,

  2. Mir.I.Am (Post author)

    @Steve A: I felt SO uncomfortable attempting to do Ultimate Frisbee, that I wondered if people have equivalent feelings about bike commuting/cycling in general. I (think) I have completely written off Utlimate Frisbee for life, and wonder if others have done the same for bikes… OR IS there some hope that people will change their minds someday and come around to either frisbee or cycling.

  3. BluesCat

    Great post, Mir.I.Am.

    I remember, way back when I started college at 18 (which was WAY back in the last century, in a time when engineers and architects still used slide rules and only guys in white coats worked with computers), and one of the guys in my dorm invited me out to play some “intramural sports.” I totally embarrassed myself by showing up with a case of beer and wearing my best looking-for-easy-chicks duds.

    See, I thought “intramural sports” were some exotic group sex games using doctor’s implements. Everyone enjoyed the beer, which I’d gotten by bribing a wino who was looking for some change to get another bottle of Thunderbird, and everyone laughed at the idea of my playing touch football wearing skin-tight bell-bottoms and Beatle boots.

    Ever since then, I’ve cringed at the invitation to play any kind of “beach sport” or “pickup game” or any other kind of group activity whose title could be misinterpreted as some sort of coital activity. I wonder if some of the “Lumps” you talk about have had a negative experience of a similar sort regarding bicycles. Maybe some of the males crashed and burned on their BMX when they were trying to impress the cutest girl in the sixth grade? And maybe some of the females had the wind lift the front of their skirt up over their faces so they were flying blind as they rode their girl’s framed cruiser bike past the practicing varsity football players?

    Just a thought. 😉

  4. Ghost Rider

    @Steve — drink a ton of caffeine or hold your breath until you are on the verge of blacking out…then re-read the article. It makes a lot more sense then. 😉

  5. Danielle

    I agree, Miriam! I was an Awkward Annie about bikes in adulthood, until I just one day decided to buy a bike and start commuting to work 36 miles roundtrip once a week. Let me tell you, I am so glad no one had a camera as I wobbled my way around the parking lot in back of the bike store after I bought it. Ha! Now that I have put lots of miles on my bike commuting and running errands, I am amazed I did it.

    For me, the scariest thing was definitely riding in traffic. If I had to do it over again I’d take a safety course, but then again I’m more of an “I made a decision and I’m just going to do it” type of person.

  6. Ginger

    I find (as many other do) that taintal allergies are best cleared by riding bikes in cool weather — keep it running. And I have a friend who claims if she has to perch her sensitive bums on bicycle saddles for longer than 5 seconds it will require a trip to the doctor and medications.

    My 12 year old has another affliction — he never learned to ride as a kid and now he’s too embarrassed to try to learn. I’ve offered to take him to a clinic of strangers teaching kids to ride and to avert my eyes but he won’t hear anything of it. It’s a pride thing now…

    To each his own…

  7. Mir.I.Am

    Huzzah! (That’s right, I said it. Huzzah!) I’m glad some people get my drift.

    @Blues Cat, I think some Ultimate Frisbee stuff does end up as intramural coital activity, but I didn’t stick around long enough to find out!

    @Danielle – I thought the same thing about the safety course in retrospect… but a friend of mine sat in on one that they give locally (approved by League of American Bicyclists) and said it is stuff most seasoned commuters already know/practice!

    @Ginger – Hmmm, maybe your son needs a carrot: like something awesome that requires a bike, then he would learn! But, I have truckloads of cousins in L.A. who have never ridden a bike outside of their driveway, weird huh?

  8. bdpickle

    I bike commute, therefor I must play “frisbee keep-away”, according to my locker partner at work. Nope, life is too short to waste even a second of it with a bunch of aging cubicle warmers reliving their glorious sporting years long past. By the way, they love it when I call it “frisbee keep-away!”

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