Thursday, June 28, 2012

I have a new bike (yes, an e-bike!) and have been experiencing urban biking again after several years.  I've crafted the 5 stages of urban biking (apologies to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross) based on my experiences so far.

The 5 Stages of Urban Biking:

1.      Joy.  Sheer unbridled joy of moving quietly, quickly and by your own steam with the wind in your hair (or over your helmet).  No more crowded hot trains or buses.  No parking fees.

2.      Shock and Awe.  First time you're doored, or have a 2 ton car cut you off to park, or wrench a muscle while evading a collision another bike, or realize that nobody hears that cute tinkling bell you keep using.

3.      Rage.  Forget the cute tinkling bell, now you're shouting or swearing or both.  When did drivers / pedestrians / other bicyclists get so careless?  Why hasn't the city fixed all those potholes and maintained the roads?  Why aren't there bike lanes everywhere?  Just get out of my way!

4.      Evasion.  To minimize the rage, you find back routes even if they take you out of your way, go the wrong way on residential one way streets, maybe even go on sidewalks where there are no pedestrians (silently apologizing to nobody).  Try to leave earlier or later than the rush or delivery vehicles in the bike lanes.

5.      Acceptance.  It is what it is, some days are just better than others and the road will always be bumpy.  You aim to remember the joy and just get from A to B.