A lot of people stop me on the bike trail and ask: It must be really glamorous using your bike as a primary form of transportation, right?
Well, yes it is quite glamorous, but don’t get your expectations too high. There is a distinct hierarchy of bike glamour out here in the biking world. I’d like to propose a new international standard of Bike Glam (bike glam iso-9000):
Bike Glam Level 1
“I’d like to thank my fans for believing in me and helping me win this incredible victory.”
Bike Glam Level 2
“I’d like to thank my family and friends who have supported me on this epic journey.”
Bike Glam Level 3
“I’d like to thank the car drivers who chose not to run over me in this lovely rainstorm.”
So, if you are driven, sorry can’t use that word, ridden, only by extrinsic motivational factors, then be prepared for a bit of a letdown. We bikers don’t get a lot of respect out there in the urban environment. Sometimes people yell at me: “Did you get a DWI? Is that why you don’t drive–because you can’t?” Usually I find it’s just better to smile and ride away.
It is true that many of us bikers dress in a way that gives us a distinct appearance, which may be one cause of negative feelings. I have a bike light attached to the front of my helmet (which is permanently attached to my head) and I’m usually wearing bike cleats which make a nice metallic sound when I walk. My own mother says I look like a tap dancing coal miner. We all know they don’t get any respect.
Be that as it may! The intrinsic rewards of using a bike as your primary form of transportation are many. It’s like having a lot of little adventures all the time. You see and experience so much more of our world from the saddle than you possible can behind the wheel of a car.
So even if you love Bike Glam Level 1 or 2, think of biking to work as a little daily dose of those more elevated Glam Levels that you can enjoy all the time and not just during those special events. If you are speed racer, or a road warrior, or a mountain maniac, consider bike commuting as an activity that brings you closer to what you love, while providing real benefits and allowing you to spend more time in the saddle, experiencing more of the world around you, and enjoying life!