04 May 2012

I rode my folding bike on the street to work today and somehow didn't die

I was so cautious, it was stupid.

First, I tore my closet apart looking for something bright yellow to wear, when it became apparent that it was too warm outside to comfortably wear my sweatbox of a Showers Pass jacket, and then I nearly had a panic attack when I could find only two reflective velcro straps. Two, only two?!? I'm pretty sure I have six of them! Where are the other four? I must have given them to n00b, but were they freely gifted, or did he keep having to "borrow" one because his own kept disappearing? Should I have demanded those back from him as well? The last time I saw him, he had his right pant leg rolled up, so what's up with that, if there are no less than four of my reflective velcro straps in his possession? Nucking futs, half his bike shit used to be mine, or was purchased new by me for him, the cheating bastard...

And so on. That took all morning.

Finally, having located a suitably garish BLT volunteer t-shirt, donned my roadie helmet with the yellow Tron striping, velcroed my two remaining reflective straps to both ankles, and successfully convinced myself that additional reflective velcro straps on both wrists were not, after all, absolutely necessary, I emerged outside with Scooty-Puff the Undauntable Folding Bike into weather that was partly cloudy with wisps of fog drifting off the lake, so I turned on both the front and the rear flashing lights, just to be safe. Safer. Exceptionally super-extra-safe. Whatever. Scooty-Puff has a full suite of reflectors but no reflective tape because the frame is too physically small for reflective tape to do any good, so I wasn't going anywhere in that mild haze without the Superflash on.

Yes, it's overkill. Car. Hit by. Recovering from.

And voila, there I was on a bike on the street, riding as slowly as I dared, pausing for a full 2-3 seconds at each stop sign, planting both feet on the ground if a car approached from the cross street or looked to be turning left. One driver waved me on, but her wheels were still rolling, so I stood up from the saddle and shook my head at her, as if to say, sorry, but you and your car are telling me two different things, so I don't trust you, or anyone else for that matter. In fact, I think that's the best single piece of bike commuting advice I ever found. Trust no one. Assume that everybody in the world wants to kill you, and act accordingly. It was probably said tongue-in-cheek, but you have to admit it's still pretty good advice.

So, here I am at work. In yellow. I may even ride home.


At 04 May, 2012 20:58, Blogger Sproactually said...


At 05 May, 2012 00:23, Blogger David Johnsen said...

Congratulations, Jennifer! Seriously.

"Trust no one" is great advice for cyclists and drivers.

At 05 May, 2012 07:31, Blogger Scott Loveless said...

Right on!

As for reflective tape, cut some into little squares and put it on your rims between every third or fourth spoke. Passive blinkies!

At 05 May, 2012 07:55, Blogger Eric Allix Rogers said...

Glad to hear you're back on a bike! I'm trying to ride more often too. I'm also finally trying to sell the folding bike that does nothing but gather dust. Sadly, someone stole my fancy headlight at the grocery store last week, so now I need to shell out a bunch for another one.

At 05 May, 2012 08:31, Blogger Jennifer said...

I'm not really back. I did it once (seriously, I walked home), and I won't do it again for a while. And I still feel like worthless crap.

At 06 May, 2012 12:15, Blogger Jennifer said...

In addition, I want my fast bike back. I'm neither 8 nor 80, and I don't see why I should have to act like I am.


Post a Comment

<< Home