Any other avid bike commuters out there wonder why our co-workers and friends seem to ask if we rode to work when the weather is lousy? I commute by bicycle well over 100 days a year, but the only times I seem to get asked about it is if it is pouring rain, icy, bitter cold, or heavy snow. Typically, the phrase is, “So, did you ride your bike today, Rick?”
Perhaps they are just trying to make idle conversation. Or, perhaps they are just trying to be funny or edgy, but I usually laugh the comment off and/or make a flippant remark back, even if I had no intention of riding in such lousy weather. Usually, I will say something to the effect of:
- “Sure, didn’t you?” or
- “Yep, just pedaled once, hit the brakes, and slid the whole way here.” (when it’s icy)
- “Damn, I would have, but I left my speedos in the dryer.” (often made in the winter)
These responses usually elicit an odd, yet humorous look on their face that makes me laugh inside at the reaction. I’m a reasonable and rationale person. While I will ride in certain inclement weather, I definitely do not ride in lightning storms, hurricanes, ice storms, blizzards, tsunamis, or a tornado warning.
I guess the issue I have with these inquiries is why doesn’t the question come up in good weather? There are so many glorious sunrises I get to see; so many fresh, airy breezes I get to feel on my face; so many bird songs I get to hear; so many smiles I get to enjoy when I ride my bicycle to and from work, why wouldn’t everyone want to experience those joys as often as possible? All I know is the that days I don’t ride, I miss it. Perhaps it’s that yearning for the youthful freedom of riding a bicycle that leads others to ask if I rode or not in inclement weather? For they truly are envious of my great, good fortune.