I, Anonymous: Fuck You, Bike to Work Day People!

Comments

1
^5
2
well, good for you, miss europe.

my ride is +8 miles and therefore i enjoy a padded short.

you know, i stopped too, and quickly assessed that there was no purpose to the station except promoting shit no one needs, and the swag was just something i'd need to recycle eventually.
3
Wow, who fucking cares. You're not part of the club. You already know that. But you stop at the communte station to prove what you already know - you don't fit with this crowd. So what. Do what you do because it works for you. Do it without bitterness about what others choose to do. Christ!
4
I don't know anyone who wears spandex for a 15 minute commute who isn't going to ride later. I used to commute from Capitol Hill to Downtown in about 5 minutes by bike wearing the entire spandex getup because I was going on a 30 mile ride as soon as I leave the office.

I don't understand the point of this rage. You enjoy having no padding on your ass and wearing pants that reduce the energy you put out by a few % points? Ok that's fine but don't knock everyone else who does it.

FWIW I also ride my bike in street clothes plenty. When will bikers realize there are not spandex riders OR street clothes riders with no overlap. This is the same bullshit thinking that makes motorists think that drivers and cyclists are completely separate crowds.
5
How does someone this smug even own a car?
6
Great IA. I can't get over these bourgeoisie tools that wear a goddamn spandex uniform every time they go for a bike ride. Well said, sir.
7
I'm there with you! Same. Exact. Shit. Happened to me at the Myrtle Edwards stop.
8
Normally, I walk or take the bus.

Did you know bicycles use oil as a lubricant? The same oil fouling the Gulf right now, with a spill the size of Puerto Rico?
9
Wait, they refused to give her a water bottle and socks and stuff because of how she was dressed? I doubt it.

This actually played out one of two ways. Either A, she was told "You can't have this stuff, it's for bikers only, and you're not dressed like one," and if that had happened, she definitely would have described the encounter. Or B, she approached the booth, and nobody said anything to her right away, and then she left without saying anything either. In which case: what exactly is she complaining about? That nobody offered her free things without her even saying hello, let alone asking? Really?
10
@8 So do buses, Will.

I'm a daily 'street clothes' rider cause I can't afford any of that fancy biker stuff. But I stopped at two bike stations today (SU and Columbia Tower) and had a nice conversation with the guys behind both tables.
11
I got 2 Bike To Work water bottles this morning, if you shut up you can have one.

PS: I wasn't wearing spandex either.
12
You missed something great at that stop.
PCC Fudge brownies.
Brownies for Breakfast. Yumm
13

I've been a cyclist for 26 years. That rest stop was silly.

Where I'm from, cycling is a sport and a way to get from A to B. Not a political statement.
14
Yeah, all you oil-guzzling, metal extracting, plastics extruding cyclists are DESTROYING THE PLANET!!!

Get off your fat, lazy asses and WALK fer crissakes already!

(/sarcasm)
15
This girl is awesome. No wonder some of you tools don't like her.
16
@8 Yep totally equivalent there Will. The four ounce bottle of chain lube I bought four years ago and still haven't used up and a few tablespoons of grease for bearings vs. 95,000 barrels a day for a month.
17
good letter. but here here for fat asses! i dont like your skinny bitch ass, makes me limp. i hate skinny bitches that think they hotter than thicker girls
18
"But what do I get when I go up to the booth? Nothing. Not a glance."

So she's pissed that nobody fell over themselves to say hi when she showed up at a booth? What's wrong with saying, "Hey there, I came up to pick up some free stuff; what's available?"

Also, are Pashmina and Capri special words? I mean, I understand Capri is a place, but I thought pashmina was just a type of goat. Her unnecessary capitalization baffles me.

Anyway, it's Playmobil. Respect for an awesome toy line, yo.
19
I was fine until this "pashmina" business. I'm gay and all, but what the fuck! What is this! Why is this relevant! Why are you fucking with my head?
20
For the record, I don't have anything against bikers who DO wear spandex - hell you can do whatever you damn well please. It's the ones with the 'tude that get to me, and this rest stop was crawling with them. Nothing makes my day more than hearing 'Nice boots!' from a bike commuter in a full kit (as s/he passes me on the hill, fat/skinny ass and all). And I say that with 0 sarcasm!
- IA author
21
Um, here's a hint for you Little Miss Thing: the next time you go up to a booth and no one says anything, it's OK to say, "Excuse me? May I have one of the bags?"

Or you could just go to work all in a snit and bitch about it anonymously. *rolling eyes*
22
Everyone is missing the point. The cyclist obviously isn't worried about the SWAG. The problem here is that too many of us in the cycling community really do come across as militant or elitist fringe, alienating our own, potential converts, and genuine assholes in kind. Is it so hard to nod or wave to a fellow cyclist, or slow down and chat with someone wearing street clothes? Those who ride 30-mile workouts will not be the keys to changing our auto-dependent transportation culture. The author and those like her are the keys -- those who use the bicycle as a utilitarian vehicle to forego short vehicle trips (see data below). Don't hate her because she's angry -- just take time to say "hello" and encourage more people to do what she's doing. And realize that she is the solution, not the problem -- see data below:

A short, four-mile round trip by bicycle keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe. (WorldWatch Institute).

According to the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey, 25 percent of all trips are made within a mile of the home, 40 percent of all trips are within two miles of the home, and 50 percent of the working population commutes five miles or less to work. Yet more than 82 percent of trips five miles or less are made by personal motor vehicle.
23
You might not have the clothing, but you sure have the attitude. I ride constantly, pretty much every day, and what I wear is totally beside the point. Biking is fun, it's cheap, it's fast and it's relaxing. If you're getting worked up into a lather over clothing - ANY clothing - then you're doing it wrong.
24
I drove myself to work today in my old piece of shit junker (bought used for $1500) because I had to work late and the buses only run about six times a day past my office park on the Eastside. I used to own a bike that I rode to work for a couple of years, until some skate punks bent it into an abstract sculpture in our office underground garage while I was working overnight about 12 years ago and I gave up on that.
25
Who the fuck wears a pashmina while riding a bike? Did Isadora Duncan die in vain?
26
I bike regularly, too, also sometimes in heels. But today I got free smartwool socks. WIN!
27
I'm a spandex-clad cyclist, but there's definitely a snob effect. If you aren't dressed in bike gear, you're not serious. I dress in bike gear because I stink it up and change it when I get to work.
28
I really hope she wears a helmet with her pashmina and ballet flats.
29
I wear bike gear for pants/shorts even though I have a really short commute because I bike that commute a lot and I got sick of wearing holes in my jeans.
30
I'd ride if I felt I could meander along in street clothes and neither be run off the road by cars or spandex-clad bicyclists. The biking culture in the U.S. simply doesn't work that way. You ride to get an intense workout or you don't ride at all. I admit that this is more a function of a lack of amenities. It's a lot less frightening to ride when you're at or near the speed of traffic on streets without bike lanes, but I still want no part of it.

Wake me up when Seattle turns into Copenhagen.
31
Also, virtually all bike helmets are fucking ugly, and don't seem to be well designed to protect a person's head anyway. I'm not Lance Armstrong; I don't need an aerodynamic helmet.
32
truth: people who wear this spandex crap can be awesome, some can be dicks..... just like every single person in this world

truth: I don't wear spandex, ever, and my commute is 22miles one way.

truth: you're a fucking cunt
33
sigh, this is the first/only post so far about bike to work day? I wanted to read about how fun it was to see so many bikers out there, and how friendly everyone at the commute stops were, especially if you came up to the booth and said "hi."
34
@ 31, they are well designed, but they must properly fitted and worn. You should see some of the helmets they had 30 years ago, if you want ugly and poorly designed head gear.
35
hooo raaaah!! Such a weird thing with the outfits. Most times these are seemingly important people, who ride to important buildings and make important decisions yet they wear outfits into work where they look like a dildo. I don't get it but I enjoy it everyday. They failed a life test.
36
i go out running a lot, usually with my dogs and usually in rural/residential areas. (cougar mtn, etc). i see cyclists all the time ~ sometimes solo, sometimes in packs.

i see them coming and i make sure i'm out of the way, i yoke the dogs' leashes up. i always wave and say hi. they look right through me without so much as a nod. i can count the number of times i've gotten a reaction of any kind AT ALL on one hand. they aren't in the middle of a competition. they aren't in the middle of anything particularly strenuous. they're just riding. spandex and logos head to toe, clipped in and taking themselves really, really seriously.

it's become a game for me. eye contact and a wave with a hearty "good morning!" just to see if they'll condescend to acknowledge me. they never do.

wtf is that? i'm out there too, usually in some type of gear that a serious runner might wear. we're in a fucking neighborhood for chrissakes. is it the dogs? is it the fact that i'm on feet instead of wheels? i don't expect any real kinship to be born over the fact that we are exercising near each other, but fuck, where are your manners, guys??!
37
@34,

I know what they used to look like. I'll take that over something that barely covers the crown of my head.
38
@36 I'd mostly guess that its a matter of their relative speed, reaction time, looking out for cars pulling out of driveways, watching out for broken glass and the fact that maybe they are just kinda daydreaming and didn't notice ya. Overall most people don't really interact on the streets here in the Seattle area so maybe they weren't anticipating your gesture and perhaps it took so long to react and get one hand off the handlebar. I know I find it hard to react when people talk to me while I am riding..within 1 second you've traveled a reasonable distance (22 feet?) at 15mph.
39
When I rode a motorcycle, I was delighted and reassured when I discovered that all motorcyclists wave to each other on the road. It gave me the assurance that another biker would stop if I had an accident. It also encouraged me to stop whenever I saw another biker in need somewhere. It's an invisible solidarity out there on the roads.

I've been bicycling for over 20 years as my primary form of transportation: commuting, buying groceries, trips, getting drunk. It's been great. But there is no similar bicycle siblingry out there. Bicyclists seem to stratify themselves into "sporty" types, "commuter" types, and "lifestyle" types --- never the twain shall meet. Apparently.

It would warm my heart if we bicyclists could find a simple communication system so that we could have a common ground on which to ... cycle. Wave at each other on the road instead of ignoring each other. Use "on your left" more often (as Hikers should, btw!), and perhaps offer some simple pleasantry - "Ride Strong", or something. Just basically respect each other. Whether you ride a carbon-fiber road bike, or a townie bike with baskets, or a commuter bike with panniers, or a touring bike that you only take out thrice a season for a trip --- we are all brothers and sisters. We've GOT to find a common language here.

What gives? Why do motorcyclists have a secret comradery, but bicyclists do not?
40
@37 try Nutcase Helmets out of Portland: http://www.nutcasehelmets.com/Pages/inde…
or Yakkay Helmets which is coming to america soon: http://www.yakkay.com/

"Hub & Bespoke" which just opened in Fremont and they should have some stylish helmets very soon.
41
I kind of like the blinky lights.

They work fine when I'm walking from Fremont to the U Dist in the winter dark.
42
@22- No, you're missing the point. Bitch is complaining about people not kissing her ass at the free stuff table.

@31- They all pass the same safety tests. They're not a fashion item and they do protect your head.
43
@39- While I always "on your left" when passing, I'm really not going to start waving at every bicyclist I pass. I don't wave at every pedestrian I walk by.
44
aww andy @ 38, i wish that were the case but it's not really like that where i'm talking about. the streets are wide open, the bike lane's super wide, i'm up on the sidewalk. not very many cars/distractions.

i've long given them slack for being "in the zone" or whatever, but it's not that. honestly, they aren't flying by. and when they are i know not to distract them.

they see me. they hear me. they have time to respond. they just ... don't. sometimes there's even prolonged eye contact and they don't even nod.

it's weird and it's rude, and i'm sick of making excuses for them and giving them a pass. c'mon guys, stop being dicks!
45
@36- Why the fuck do you want stranger's attention so much?

We're out for a ride, not trying to make friends.
46
This IA poster sounds like a real JOY to ride along with. Lame.
47
@36, I hear ya.
Seattle = fanatic about sports. It makes me sad that we judge each other by the gear we have (or don't) rather than what we are actually doing. Wearing Patagonia doesn't make you a mountaineer, and wearing Spandex doesn't make you a cyclist. We all need to untwist our panties and be glad there are other people out there who like doing what we're doing too, even if that is digging a cave into a snowbank or some other crazy shit.
48
I've always said bicyclists are just as big of dicks to other bicyclists as they are to pedestrians and drivers.

When bicyclists talk about car drivers having a narcissistic bubble around themselves, yes, they are on to something, but more importantly, they're projecting, big time.
49
@44- Let me elaborate: It's rude of you to intrude on other people. Just because YOU want a social interaction doesn't mean other people want it, and forcing them to have it is very, very uncouth.
50
@ 39 AMEEEEEN!!!
51
it's rude and uncouth to wave and say good morning when i come face to face with people in my neighborhood and to think it's strange that there's never any reciprocation? hmm. i didn't know that. thanks!
52
@47- I'm very happy for everyone out there doing what they're doing (except brakeless fixies), but I don't want to have to say hi to every person I ride by.
53
let me elaborate: i'm not trying to stop them on their way and force them to interact. i'm not trying to have a conversation. i'm acknowledging them. i don't stop moving either. it's just a gesture, like giving someone the little wave when they let you into traffic.

what is so offensive about that?
54
@51- Do they know you? Do you know them? I ride past a few hundred people every morning. Am I supposed to say hi to all of them? Do you say hi to every person you walk by downtown?
55
i'm not IN DOWNTOWN!! i'm on a residential street in the middle of fucking nowhere! the cyclist(s) and I are the only ones around! they look right at me and i smile and say good morning!

and somehow to you i'm the one being the dick. i give up.
56
@53- Did they let you in traffic? No, you were walking one way, they were riding another, and you forced them to pay attention to you in a really passive-aggressive way.
57
attention everyone: acknowledging that other people exist is passive aggressive. pass it on!
58
@39: It's weird, isn't it? I always carry a patch kit, a pump, tools and a first aid kit with me, and I always, always offer to help people who are stuck on the side of the road. I can't tell you how many of other people's flat tires I've fixed, how many band aids I've given out, or the time I gave a woman with a potassium deficiency my Bumble Bar, even though I was hungry and 20 very hilly, very hot miles from home.

But the times I've been bleeding on the side of the road, or fixing my own flat tire? Sometimes people ask if they can help, but most don't. I've always thought it was because I was a fat woman. Most cyclists are men, and it seems like they take personal offense to my existence. Except when I'm fixing their fucking tires.
59
personally, i like to wear little red shoe booties over my heels when i ride.
60
How about we stop fighting each other and focus on eliminating the real problem: roller bladers and long boarders
61
EVERYBODY knows that if you don't wear padded spandex shorts and shirts with red flashy logos, clip-on shoes, blinking lights, aerodynamic helmet and shades, whilst riding on your $10k Trek you're a loser. It's the law. Darn hippies.
62
You can bike to work in a gorilla suit for all I fucking care.
63
No no! Please don't discourage people from wearing spandex! I love it.
64
@ 57, that's just dwight. He's made snide comments about the people he encounters on the street before, so it's clear that he thinks he's too important to be inconvenienced by things like friendly greetings.

As to your original question, I would guess that your bicyclist neighbors are similarly afflicted. Is your neighborhood the kind of new development populated by ambitious professionals? Anywhere you go, those people are rude to anyone who is not part of their circle, or anyone they are not being forced to deal with. I wouldn't take it personally.
65
No, no. Leave the public displays of group association to motorcyclists and pre-wedgie VW bus drivers - you know, the professionals.

You amateurs, especially those of you on wobbly two-wheelers, could get yourselves hurt trying to wave and pedal at the same time.
66
When I was a student, I was too cool for spandex togs and proudly wore jeans on my 7 mile bike commute. Then I'd sit smelly in class in my wet shirt with the crotch ripped out of my jeans. But now that I have a big people job with a dress code I am forced to don the spandex and change into business casual in the locker room.

Up until this point I was under the impression that my commute uniform made me look like a tool, but apparently I look "elite"-- sweet!

67
thanks matt! dwight somehow got the impression that i jump up and down on the crowded city sidewalk yelling "pay attention to ME!!" at bicyclists who are trying to not get hit by trucks, then chasing them down and forcing them to interact when my tender feelings get hurt. i must not have made myself clear.

as for the neighborhood, it's mixed - condos and older, modest houses as well as multimillion dollar ones. lots of woods and trails. it's very hilly out here. i'm not sure if the cyclists live in the neighborhood or if they make cougar mountain state park a destination by car and then do the hills on bikes or what.

the only thing i really wanted to point out was that in my experience, cyclists are the one segment of "traffic" (foot/wheel/otherwise) that i see out here who are consistently rude to runners/walkers. maybe to each other too, based on some comments here. i simply wanted to get some feedback on why that is. i guess i have my answer.
68
@ dwight moody

Let me guess... You played Francis in _Stripes_, right? The guy who always demanded everyone call him 'Psycho'?

"You look at me or say Hi, I kill ya."

lol....
69
@dwight moody

sorry, YOU are the one that doesn't get it. @22 is the only one that does.
70
I bike commute and I don't care if people wear spandex or not but the line-up of 20 commuter nerds riding up the Dexter Hill at a painfully slow 2 mph every weekday morning makes me laugh everytime.
71
I feel like I've been left out of bike-to-work day too - it's my day off. I'll be biking the usual 30min commute tomorrow, but to zero fanfare.

And I don't get the spandex crowd. You changing your pants in the men's room when you get there? Fuck that, just buy a comfortable seat. Oh, but then you won't be hardcore.
72
Hell, yeah.
What's with the costumes? Is it not possible to get on a bike and ride without half an hour of preparation.
Also, the rule is not thus: the more I spend=the better "athlete" I am.
73
I have never encountered a "road cyclist" in spandex that I haven't been able to pass up-hill in my jeans/shirt/$200 fixie. I HAVE been giving SO MUCH SHIT by them though. "real cyclists" are the ones who can ride up a hill without breaking a sweat. They're not douche bags who have $5,000 to spend on equipment nobody needs unless they're IN Tour de france. JEALOUS MUCH?! :)
74
The whole spandex-Nazi scene is so "Stuff White People Like" it makes me wanna puke.
75
Good lord. After reading @73, I don't want to know what judgements people pass on me on my road bike and spandex. I don't wear it for you, i wear it for me.
76
@ 73, what's with the passive-aggressive smiley face? If you're going to talk smack, do it like a man, okay?
77
Bicyclists wearing spandex is weird to me, because if you have a Vespa, you're inundated with constant warnings to wear full-head helmets and armored clothing at all times. Apparently a 35 mph scooter requires full armor, but someone going 25 mph on a bicycle can get by wearing clothing a micron thick.
78
71 - no bike seat is comfortable. No matter how fancy-shmancy, no matter how expensive or how many holes it has in it, it is never going to be "comfortable."
79
78 - Comfortable in relative terms. I've got an 11" wide Cloud-9 seat, and while it's no la-z-boy, it was cheap and is most decidedly not UNcomfortable.
80
She's angry probably because she knows the spandex-wearing bikers are really just SUV /Hummer driving eco-wannabees who like to pretend they sympathize with the hard working little people who look down their snooty little noses at everyone *not them*.
81
@68- I don't remember that character for Stripes. I haven't seen that movie in a couple decades. But I liked it.
82
@60- AMEN. Man, rollerbladers on bike paths are annoying, but longboarders flailing down a sidewalk have got to be the most dangerous unmotorized vehicle on earth. And they never say hi to me.

@68- I don't remember that character for Stripes. I haven't seen that movie in a couple decades. But I liked it. Anyway, I don't have a problem with people saying hi, just people expecting a response.

@69- I've been bike commuting for the vast majority of the last decade and a half, which is most of the time I've been out of college. I completely understand how great cycling is. That wasn't the OP's point AT ALL.
83
This is probably dead but -
Here's my beef: One of the purposes of Bike to Work Day is to get people who DON'T usually ride to work to try it, yes? In that case, the organizers/volunteers at those commute stops SHOULD be jumping up and down like a goddamn kangaroo when they see someone pull up in street clothes, saying 'YAAAAYY! You biked to work! Wasn't it great? Thanks for trying it! BTW here's some stuff to make it easier next time!' and hand them a water bottle. I'm all for supporting those who bike everyday, but if anyone who isn't on Team Unitard is made to feel like they don't belong, then, guess what, they won't do it anymore. Bike to Work Day should be inclusive, not elitist, IMHO.
84
@83 Come now, don't be logical.
85
Ugh, Capri Pants.
86
It must be tough to ride with that enormous chip on your shoulder. Perhaps you should try pulling some of those specials shorts over your head to pad your shoulders....
87
Ever hear of Occam's Razor?

Some volunteers are at a busy booth on a busy day, with many many people trying to get service in a very very small space. They don't respond to you INSTANTANEOUSLY. Is it because:

a) they're BUSY and run off their feet, and will get to you the second they deal with the 8 other people who got there before you;

b) they're BUSY and distracted by the 5 other tasks they have to do in addition to serving people;

c) they actually have the time to notice what the hell you're wearing, let alone harbor some bizarre prejudice.

I'm going to go with A or B, since they actually make sense.

Signed, Someone Who Has Recently Volunteered At A Public Information Booth, and promises she had no time whatsoever to notice or care what anyone was wearing.
88
spandex clad dildo's in clown suits, wont say hello but always give unsolicited advice about proper gear ratio to use, why do you ride a brooks leather saddle, why the pannier bags,you ride in street clothes ??? but when the light turns green they clip in & speed off looking back at me & my 40lb bike like they just won a medal & the yellow jersey. the next one to overtake me with out a "passing on your left"
' is gonna get a big snotty nose bullet fired at them. what a bunch of self rightous TOOLS. if you ride with ear plugs in you're an even bigger FUCK HEAD !
89
@dwight moody - Seek help. You're not well.
90
Wear whatever you want. Go at the speed you want. And let me do the same.

OTOH, I love the people who bash Lycra-wearing cyclists, or gloat about passing them. Funny, you haven't passed me; I'm sure I would remember.

And about the Lycra? I don't love it, but hot day + 50 mile roundtrip commute + NO chafing is reason enough for me.

91
Wow... I guess I'm just secure enough to not really care what s/he is wearing or riding. I just dig people cycling. As for SWAG, I suppose my take is I didn't have it when I showed up, how am I diminished if I ride away without it. The microcosm of cyclists (roadie, fixie, trail, unicycle) is representative of the greater society to which we all belong. Some are nice, some are not, some have an agenda, some don't & there's everything in-between. I just can't get my panties in a twist over any of this, too blissed out from my commute... me