Cold and dry; Non-bikers

February 3rd, 2012

This morning was the first “cold” morning at about 25 degrees. My face regretted the lack of protection, but otherwise I was nice and warm. It was one of those really borderline days, where a few degrees colder, or a little windier, I would have had to cover more skin. Still on the fixed gear bike.

Clothing: Heavy winter jacket, wool gloves, messenger bag, waterproof shoes.

As a transportation cyclist in a world (at work) nearly devoid of such people, there are often conversations about how awful or dangerous biking must be. I think the attention one draws may be enough to discourage some people; I know walking into the office covered by soaking wet rain gear gets no small amount of unwanted looks and remarks. (I happen to love biking in the rain, for the record.) On windy, stormy, cold, wet, slick, or even hot days there are constant questions “why would you bike?” A few months back my dad called me in a panic to tell me how dangerous cycling is, as a colleague’s son had received brain damage from a crash.

I haven’t found a good way to deflect these unwanted questions, but bland responses of “I take all the precautions” and “It’s a lovely day out” usually diminish the responses; attempting to explain the  philosophy of vehicular cycling may be sometimes useful, but it is always painful. What does anyone else do to deal with the unwanted remarks garnered by your relatively banal choice of transportation?

2 Responses to “Cold and dry; Non-bikers”

  1. hughkelley Says:

    I start with all the same token comments you mention – mitigation through appropriate lighting, hi-viz apparel, etc.

    If the he/she hasn’t been squelched by then, I resort to relativism – I’m simply taking on a bit more near-term risk instead of the longer-term risk of heart disease, diabetes, etc. associated with a sedentary lifestyle. That, and traffic makes me really depressed.

  2. Weather Guy Says:

    I take the relativism approach when trapped in a corner (i.e. in response to my dad). These are all points the bike blog media likes to make, but don’t hold a lot of water face-to-face. The traffic one, though, is very effective with coworkers. 🙂

Leave a Reply