Skinny Daily Post


After walking to my new job every day for the past few weeks, it finally dawned on me that I had an alternative. I went down to the garage, (literally) dusted off my old bicycle, blew up the tires, and grabbed my helmet. Its a cliche, but even though I haven’t been on that thing in five years, it was no problem to hop on and ride away. I got to work in about five minutes!

Taking advantage of my new-found freedom, I decided to come home for lunch — thereby saving a little money and having the option to eat something healthy. My dog was certainly happy to see me.

It was a cold and windy day and the traffic was pretty heavy, so the conditions weren’t exactly perfect for a ‘ride.’ But since I view the bike as a means of transportation rather than an exercise device, it didn’t bother me all that much.

In fact, I have a sort of ‘Dutch’ view of the whole bicycle thing. Its just a great device for getting around. For years when I lived in Washington DC I used my bike for every errand that was within a few miles of home. And I rode in all but the most inclement weather, wearing my normal work or play clothing.

I’m not knocking the fancy outfits people wear and their specialized cycles with water bottles and all kinds of fancy gear. For me, however, that kind of cycling always seemed luck such a ‘production’. And I wonder if such people think that every time they want to go out on two wheels they have to find a place to shower and change.

Of course, there’s a reason I haven’t been on my bike in so long. The first week I moved to San Francisco, I hopped on my wheels to go to the gym, and on my way home while crossing Market Street, my wheel lodged in the track for the streetcar and I flew head over shoulders and got pretty banged up. After that I was just too nervous to get back on that thing.

So hopefully I’m not just a little older, but also a little wiser, and I’ll be paying more attention to the road, to traffic signals, and to the vehicles around me. This could be the start of something new! I’m already feeling a nice kind of soreness in my thighs from all of those hills.

3 thoughts on “Wheeling and Dealing

  1. Anne-Marie says:

    Being Dutch it is always funny to hear people talk about cycling this way. For us it is such a natural thing to go everywhere by bike that we don’t even think about it. Obviously it is the flatness of our country that makes it an ideal means of transportation.

    From an early age we cycle to school, to friends and to the shops. It is ingrained in our genes. You should see how many plastic bags of groceries I can hang from the handles! Once I cycled with two loaded bags, a bottle of wine and a weeping willow (the last two items being presents for friends). The bottle of wine got stuck between the front wheel and I arrived at the party with my shoes covered in wine, but the tree still in tact.

    In Amsterdam we also have those dangerous tram tracks. They are really life-threatening, so please do be careful out there Jonathan! Don’t want you to end up with a broken jaw from a nasty fall!

  2. Greta says:

    It’s wonderful that your new job is so close to your home making the bike ride possible. My hat’s off to you for your continued athletic endeavors.

  3. Kate says:

    I would guess that those with “fancy” outfits and water bottles don’t feel the need to shower and change after *every* journey. How do you know how far they are cycling, though? From experience, a 10-mile commute is easier in appropriate clothing, and refreshment is welcome in the summer.

    However, when I began cycling, at over 200 pounds and extremely low fitness, I needed to change (and shower in summer) even after the 1.5 mile commute I had in those days.

    It may be a bit of a production, but if it gets people out of their polluting tin boxes and gets them to move their backsides once in a while, then a place to shower and change has to be a good thing, right?

    Happy cycling!

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