Thursday, July 10, 2014

TAKING THE LANE: Reasons You SHOULDN’T Ride Your Bike To Work

Let’s face it. There are some die hard people who ride their bikes nearly everywhere.  Every errand, every trip to/from work. In the rain. In the cold. On the street. And let’s admit it, they kind of rub it in your face they are so eco-friendly. Always blasting off all the reasons you should ride your bike.  Talking about the calories you’ll burn, the feel good hormones you’ll get, the gas money you’ll save, on and on.  Annoying aren’t they?  Well I’ve decided to write an article about why you should not commute by bike.  You can throw this list in the face of the next hippie biker touting off all the great reasons they ride as to why you don’t ride.

1. Commuting by bike takes extra time you don’t have.  Let’s face it, you are a busy person.  Right now you are probably spending a considerable amount of time driving to work, finding parking, walking to work from the parking area (why can we never park right by the doors the cyclists), then you have to spend time driving across town the gym for 50 minutes, and still drive home in time for supper.  If you bike you will not have time to go to the gym and you will waste all the money you are paying in monthly gym membership fees.  So there are two reasons wrapped into one: No extra time and wasting money by biking.

2. You probably don’t even have a “commuter” bike.  There is no way you are going to spend money on another bike.  People would look at you funny if you rode a mountain bike or road bike as transportation to and from places.  Especially those people commuting on their 1983 Schwinn, or those fat tire bikes.  I’m not even sure they can be trusted on the trails anyway.

3. Trails!  Another reason not to commute by bike. Where do these trails even go?  And there are other people on the trails you will have to maneuver around with saying things like “On your Left” when you pass.  You would have to brake, or might get passed by someone.  That’s just too scary.  Plus they wrap all around town and are just confusing. There is no way to figure out how to ride one to get to your destination.  It’s not like Google Maps has an option to show you the best bike route to take instead of a car route.  Plus local bike stores very likely don’t carry maps of local trails.

4. Which brings me to my next reason you should not ride your bike. It’s not safe.  You will likely have to ride on a main road.  There are all those quiet side streets with little traffic on them right next to the main road, from which more cars will eventually emerge and further congest the main road you are riding on.  And drivers and dangerous.  They have all that road rage going on from being stuck in traffic, stuck at red lights, getting cut off, and dealing with road construction and congestion.  You don’t want to deal with those people!

4. There is no way to drop your kids off if you ride a bike.  How do you get your kids to daycare if you ride a bike?  How will they get to school on their own? Are you expected to strap them to the handle bars?  C’mon.  We all know there is no way to haul kids by bike or to even let them bike on their own.

5.  You might sweat.  No one wants to deal with your sweaty stinky body.  You are most likely one of those people who really stink.  I bet when you sweat at the gym, people evacuate all gym equipment next to you for fear of throwing up from the rancid smell.  There is no way you can show up to work after breaking a sweat.  Yep, you are that stinky.  You probably can’t use something like baby wipes or sports wipes, or use a shower at work.  That kind of stench just can’t be wiped off your body.

6.  Let’s assume that you actually can make it to work without breaking a sweat, how are you even supposed to bike to work in your work clothes?  You can’t.  Can. Not. Be. Done.  Your skirt will be flying in your face, or your work clothes are so tight and restrictive you can’t even get on the bike. We all know there is no way to ride to work in a skirt.  And there is not a chance you can even change into clothes after getting to work.  You can’t stash anything at work in your locker or office/cubicle area.  Or wear a backpack with supplies in it.  You cannot realistically ride a bike with a backpack on.  You’ll fall over.  Can’t. Be. Done.  And no one bikes in heels.

7. What happens when you start biking and burning extra calories?  You will probably get extra hungry and have to eat more food.  No one likes eating more food and not gaining weight.  No one.  I don’t even need to discuss this further, because the only alternative to this would be to eat the same amount of food and lose weight and that is a subject we don’t like to talk about. Look at the people in the photo above. They couldn’t keep up with the calorie burn and their clothes just fell off while cycling. True story.  I wouldn’t make that up.  I’m feeling a little uneasy just thinking about this and need to move on.

8. You could get a flat tire. Women are incapable of learning to change a flat.  We are.  It is not in our DNA.  So let’s assume you get a flat and are smart enough to carry a spare tube and tire levers, and perhaps a cute tiny bike pump, or one of those even tinier CO2 cartridges in a bike bag under your seat, it’s all pointless.  You can’t learn to change a tire.

9. It will probably cost a lot of money to commute by bike.  When it’s time to change your tires it will get pricey.  We all know how much car tires cost. Bicycle tires will probably cost just as much.  And a tune up can’t be cheap.  And the gas money you’ll spend!  Oh, no wait, sorry, there isn’t any gas to buy.  Ok, nix that one, I’m sure there are plenty of other expenses, like perhaps buying new clothes because your old ones are too big (assuming you couldn’t eat enough food to keep up with the calories burned), and you’ll end up buying cool/cute cycling clothes that make riding even more fun/comfortable.  It’s adding up really fast.  I’m pretty sure with gas at $3.60 a gallon even not filling your tank nearly as often wouldn't pay for a single super awesome bike accessory like these.

10. Helmet hair.  There is no known way to deal with it. I would bet your hair takes many, many styling products, and tons to time to perfect.  You can never pull it back in a braid or ponytail, or don a hairband.  You can’t pull that look off as a professional look at work.

By now you have a pretty good list of reasons not to commute by bike (which can’t be refuted).  I think this top 10 list is probably all you need should you feel cornered on why you don't commute by bike, even just once in awhile.  If you think of any more reasons you shouldn’t commute by bike, please post them in the comment section below.  I know there are more reasons out there, and we need to discuss all of them so that someone can come up with ways around these problems we face.  Until then, stay off the bike.

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