I have a bike. Anyone who has been to my apartment has seen it, sitting, looking cute, in my entryway. I don’t ride it often. I tried to this morning, farther than I’ve ever ridden it before, and that was a mistake.
After my fender practically bent in half (I mostly bent it back for the above photo), I had to ride home on the roads instead of the nice, quiet path I initially traveled. And when I managed to make it home in one piece, I decided there are a few things I need to get before I become a big bike-commuter:
1. A helmet. It is stupid to not already have one, I know. But I feel relatively safe on my rides to and from work – the vast majority of my rides thus far – and my bike’s a loaner. The company could ask for it back at any moment and then I’d have a helmet and no bike. (Dumb excuse!) And I know helmets only do so much – if you get really slammed by a car, you’re done, so being alert is your best protection – but still. I’d feel more comfortable with fast cars around me if I were helmeted, cycling snobs who think helmets are lame be damned.
2. A messenger bag. Backpacks = giant sweatstains. Disgusting but true.
3. Stronger lungs and legs OR a lighter bike. The bike I’m using weighs at least 30 pounds. I get overheated just carrying it down the stairs. Going up small hills is nearly impossible, and it’s not like I’m out of shape. I know running and cycling are two different animals, but I never had this many problems riding Christine’s road bike. A nice, light fixie might be just what I need. (And I’d have some hipster cred, too.)
Until these needs are met, I’ll be spending a whole lot of money to buy gas and kill the planet (when I don’t have time to walk places, that is). If any wealthy environmental types would like to furnish me with the above supplies, feel free to comment with your contact info.