On Cycling…

So with my ankle still being finicky (oh, fussy ankle) and my return to running progressing… not as I’d like it to, I decided to try my hand at biking. After braving the dark recesses of That Area Behind the Couch Where We Keep Our Stuff, fighting off roving tribes of dust bunnies, I cornered my little blue bike behind the foozeball table and dragged it back into the light. It’d gone a little feral, but I wrestled it down right quick and reestablished dominance. These are things you have to do, you know. Because my life would be dependent on my bike I wanted it to be in tip-top shape and being a Loki-worshipping instrument of chaos, I did not want to be the person who got it into shape so I hauled it down to my Local Bike Shop (LBS) and presented my lovely blue darling for inspection.

They laughed at me and offered to sell me a real bike. :( Undaunted, I paid their outrageous fees for everything they said needed to be done (my life, sirrah! I will negotiate next time when I’m better informed) and began my trek into the World of Cycling. I bike to school and back twice a week and run all my errands within a 5 mile radius on my trusty bike. I have to admit, I love it. It’s a great calorie burner (10 calories a minute at my pace!) and doesn’t hurt my ankle. I thought it’d be a huge time loss since it takes me roughly twice the time versus driving, but I don’t have to fight for a parking space so I slide happily into school, lock my bike to a handy, immovable object, and stroll into school. I may be a sweaty, puffing wreck of a woman, but I am timely! Love it! There’s also a certain moral superiority to cheerfully telling people you bike your commute. It implies you’re the type of person who has serious concerns about the environment and is doing something about it!

… Which is so much better than implying you’re the type of person who has a zero tolerance policy towards cookies and owns a rapidly expanding ass. Yeah.

There are downsides! Cars find my existence highly entertaining and like to tell me so. Loudly. My professors find an adult woman biking equally amusing, as do my classmates. The frequent questions of “Did you -really- bike today? In the -rain-?!” are pretty rhetorical when I’m dripping on my exam and do nothing for my morale. Biking is also expensive! Everyone tells me how jealous they are of the money I’m saving with my biking… but don’t believe a word of it. I used to spend about $10 a week on gas. So far in two months of biking I have spent: $45 on my bike (it’s 16! Almost legal to ride!), $205 at the LBS to get it tip-top and taken advantage of, $15 for a basket to carry my stuff in, $20 on a helmet, $10 on a bike rack, $15 on a bike rack that fits, $30 on panniers (used) to carry my stuff in, $40 in bike lights, $40 in bike shorts (worth every penny, so says my bruised sit bones)… and I’ve got my eye on some new pedals. Ooh, and some blue LED spoke lights. Don’t judge me!

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