Spring Fling
0 comment Thursday, June 12, 2014 |
It's that time of year again, when the weather gets nice, people start spending more time outside, and bike-bloggers everywhere start posts with "It's that time of year again..." and promptly proceed to complain/gush about all of the new riders out on the road.
I must confess that I haven't been Mr. Awesome McCommuter this past week. I took some time off work to get moved (Geographically, not emotionally. It takes way less than four days to move me emotionally.) and it drained my body and my mind. I even called out of work for an extra day to try and unpack boxes and rest up. I say this just in case my dream has finally come true and someone is stalking me and posts some kind of angry comment like, "You haven't even ridden to work all week!" I hate to say it, but I was just too damn tired.
That being said, I'm already getting annoyed at all the new people riding bikes in my area. Driving home yesterday along my normal route I saw no less than five people on bikes. I've been riding that same route at different times for about eight months now and have maybe seen four cyclists total. Which is pretty much how I like it. New riders mean potential new obstacles (like the guy who wanted to play chicken in the bike lane of a busy road), and a higher probability of someone riding on the wrong side of the street or some other mess and pissing off motorists even more than I do now. And then when the weather turns "bad" guess who's still out there with the drivers who have negative past experiences with annoying cyclists? That's right.
Also, I'm not welcoming the wave of trendy kids on fixed-gears who either won't know how to ride, won't have brakes, or won't use their noble machines for anything other than track stands and other bike-trickery. And being subjected to lycra-ed anatomy isn't much better.
On the way home I was talking to my lady on this very subject and she told me that I complain about every season. Which I guess is sorta true. But for the most part I don't really mean it. I'm like an crotchety old man, and biking is like my yard. I'm out front in one sock, dirty bathrobe in danger of falling open, brandishing a rolled up newspaper and yelling at people to get off my lawn, even though they're on the sidewalk. No one really pays attentions, besides shaking their heads and laughing good-naturedly at the crazy man.
I think what it boils down to is a sense of snobbery and superiority. Whenever I see a new commuter during the spring months my first thought is, "Hmph, where have you been all winter? This is my city cuz I'm out here every day! You got nothing on me!" Sure my arms and legs are just as pasty as theirs, but my smug self-satisfaction is already tanned to a nice deep bronze.
But at my core I'm a softy and a glass-half-full kinda guy, so really I'm looking forward to the warm days and sunny weather. It will be a big change to go for the least amount of layers instead of the most when I get ready in the morning, and more riders means bigger and funner Critical Masses and turnouts at our little races.
Plus, I was a beginner at one point, and I started during the summer, so I've been there. I just hope no hobos or college kids take me out on my way home.

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