Sunday, March 16, 2008

Top 10: why many bike bloggers work in IT

More than 3/4 of the bike bloggers whose writings I peruse definitely work in IT, either as worker bees like myself or in IT management. There are a handful of others that I suspect work in IT but I'm not certain about. Then there are a few who are definitely NOT IT folks. Even among the non-blogging bike commuters I know, there's a similar bias towards techy folks. What's with the disparity? I have my own thoughts on it. This isn't commuting specific, but there seems to be a tie between bicycles, geeks, and bloggers. Here are 10 of my primary speculations for this seemingly unfair balance of us versus them.

10) This is the Internet -- arguably, geeks are the home team around here. Not specific to bicycles, most bloggers have technical tendencies. If you're looking at blogs on the Internet, you're going to find mostly tech-savvy writers.

9) Blogging has a certain social aspect to it, regardless if you're just ranting about life, writing a bunch of short stories, posting your photos or artwork, or working on a serious, industry-relavent blog. IT geeks seem to enjoy the intersection of technology and social circles.

8) Many problems that IT workers face require time alone and away from the problems to work through in their mind. While this is true for many professions, I think a lot of IT-working bike riders use their bike riding time to sort out their thoughts. I know I do.

7) Working in IT teaches you to make adjustments for the sake of efficiency. Applied to real life, it's easy to see that bicycling is an efficient mode of transportation for certain tasks.

6) After dealing with spreadsheets, programming languages, and being stuck "in the matrix" all day, there's something about metal, rubber, sprockets and levers that makes you feel like a real person again.

5) Most office workers sit at a desk all day long. Most IT workers are office workers. Many of these people sit on their butts in their cars, at their desks, and at home. Bike commuting offers them a reason and some motivation to get some exercise.

4) Cooped up in an office is no way to spend a life. A car is usually even more cramped. You have seemingly infinite room to decompress when you're on a bike.

3) Ditching the Information overload. Facts, figures, names, policies, places, numbers, graphs, stats, procedures, schedules, commands, configurations, prices... UGH! At the end of the day, sometimes I just want to hammer out some mindless miles so that there's absolutely nothing pestering me by the time I get home. I can only imagine this is one good reason that anyone with a stressful job would want to bike commute.

2) IT people multi-task without even thinking about it. We're not talking about reading the NY Times while shaving, brushing teeth, drinking coffee and attempting to get to work. There's something blissful about getting time to think, getting where you need to go, and getting your daily cardio all at the same time.

1) Writing regularly in structured sentences, often in narrative form is completely different from most office communication. This exercises different parts of the mind, keeps things interesting, and provides a creative outlet for those who don't have time for more involved expression.

5 comments:

jdoublep said...

excellent!

Apertome said...

Great post, and I agree on most points. Personally I like my riding time as time not to think about work, to give my brain a rest from all that stuff, but I can see how you could use the bike for away-time from some problems. I usually alternate between projects while I'm at work, instead.

#2 is a bit of an enigma to me, as it's true you're accomplishing all those things at once, but without really even thinking about any of the things you listed, and only thinking about riding.

Dan said...

#11 IT departments are usually relegated to the forgotten or undesirable corners of the building, so it's easy to bring a bike inside during the work day without raising the ire of the higher ups.

Noah said...

... coming from one of "the higher ups" that's kind of humorous, Dan...

Fritz said...

Good points, Noah. Also, engineering is an exercise in cost optimization. In other words, we're all a bunch of tight fisted cheapskates.

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