So I bike into work, dressed for work. I don't wear spandex. Bike nerds like to comment on this as they whiz by me with their fancy clicky shoes and clingy bike shirts that read something clever amidst the sponsors' logos. "Hey, nice bike shoes" one guy said about my (modest) wedges. I don't have enough time to decide if he's being cute or a jerk, and he's gone so fast I can't even say "OH YEAH!? WELL YOU... YOUR... SHORTS ARE SHORT!" or something else that occurs to me ten minutes later. All I want to hear from you if you're on a bike near me is "On your left" or "Hello, good morning." No need to comment on what I am or am not wearing, and that includes a helmet.
I wear a helmet now, thank you very much. I wear Ayano's helmet, to be exact, because I bought a helmet after my little accident back in November and then promptly gave it to Dadgery, the 11-year old who lives upstairs from us, because I decided he needed it more than I did at the time. So yeah, I wear the helmet because it helps me not die, and I cut myself bangs so I would have a cute hairdo to go under the helmet.
Two things about being a bicycle commuter:
- It's not about anyone else. I am going to get where I'm going when I get there, and it usually takes the same amount of time each day (20-25 minutes from Harvard to Kenmore Squares). I am not trying to race you, bike or car. I am not trying to be evil by pedaling through red lights after I've already looked well in both directions. Until Cambridge raises the fine for J-walking to more than $1.00, I will be a participant in anarchy. Sorry if this makes you furious. How's that feel? It's working for ya? Not about you.
- While I don't actively fear for my life while riding (I'm too busy paying attention to what I'm doing), riding in Boston is crazy. Both because of the hyper and aggressive "cyclists" and because there are basically no rules on the road. Yellow light? 7 cars go through. Red light? 3 or 4 cars go right through. Turning? Sure let's just turn whenever into whomever (that would be my accident). Don't even ask about walk signs. They are entirely unreliable. And seriously... pedestrians? I love when they make fussy noises at me for going through a green light when they're attempting to J-walk. On their cell phones. At night.