Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Indignity of Commuting By Bicycle: Woes

Not so much an indignity, but I had to bite BSNYC's headline.

The following woes are some that I found out quickly in my early days of bicycle commuting. Even though they now seem like common sense, some of them occasionally come back to bite me.

  1. Riding in business casual attire on a regular basis -- even to the bus stop -- is an easy way to prematurely wear out, stain, or otherwise damage your work clothes. It's not a sure-fire way, but it seemed to happen for me. I'd imagine a dutch cruiser with full fenders, skirt guard, and a full chaincase would solve this. I don't have one, or the means to acquire it.
  2. You have to remember to bring the stuff with you that you need. Access card, wallet, cell phone, clothes, lunch, or whatever you might opt to take along.
  3. Remembering to get said stuff packed the night before helps. You're not always thinking clearly first thing in the morning.
  4. Depending on the time of year, you might want to make sure your lighting solution is in working order: Bulb's not burned out, battery's charged, etc.
There are more. I'll spare you, though. Let's just say my routine got thrown way off this morning. Oh, and thank goodness for the secret stash I keep at work: An entire change of clothes. Just in case. I had my slacks with me, but I would have looked pretty strange (not to mention shattering the dress code) with a newLISP t-shirt, slacks, and dress shoes.

Oh, and I'm also glad I keep a battery charger at work, too.


amnee said...

It makes me laugh....I have forgotten at least one thing for each ride I have done this week. Too much stuff to remember for winter riding....Tuesday morning - it was the helmet?? I know, how do you forget a helmet! Tuesday afternoon - I left my glasses at work. This morning - I forgot my set of keys for my bike lock! Thank goodness for overzealous security guards :)

MRMacrum said...

A mechanic that worked for me many years ago commuted to the shop by bike for a whole season plus. Everyday, rain or shine. He had a dual purpose. He was trying to save money and then use that money and fitness he acquired from commuting to go out on a long, maybe never come back bike tour of the US. He would load up a BOB trailer on Mondays with a week's worth of clothes and extra weight via two six packs of Pabst and pedal in. Tues through Friday, just ride his bike in. Then on Saturday, he would leave early, stop at the market, pick up some necessities and a case of Pabst with his BOB and stroke it home. I never saw a more organized bike commuter than he until I ran into you.

I do think you are right though, street clothes are not meant for riding day after day. The slop and the action of pedaling just tears them up over time.

BTW - I only heard from that mechanic once since he pedaled off into the sunset. He called to say he had made it to the Left Coast and that it had been quite a learnig experience.

amidnightrider said...

I have so much stuff at work that I now use two lockers. That does not include the spare clothes. Also an iron and board, brown and black pairs of shoes, socks,underwear, toiletries and on and on.
The only thing missing the past few weeks is riding my bike.

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