Not everyone has the option to commute to work by bicycle. Some folks live too far away or along dangerous high-speed roads. Other folks have balance issues or perhaps have unruly children that need to be strapped down or they’re likely to hurt themselves or others. My point is that while I do think that more people could bicycle to work (and would enjoy it) than currently do, I recognize that our current lifestyle and infrastructure makes that a bit unreasonable for some.
My annoyance stems from the idiotic comments from folks who seem to find it incredible that cycling to school is either borderline impossible or evidence that I’m mentally disturbed.
It was drizzling slightly this morning as I made my way into work and while my glasses did get slightly more difficult to see through (yes, I have all 3 strikes on the Sexy Scale; overweight, bald, and glasses. Amazing, but true) it was a perfectly ordinary trip in to work. In fact, I had already changed and was storing my bicycle when one of my colleagues delightedly pointed out that today probably wasn’t the best day for that (pointing at my bicycle). It took me a second to realize what he was talking about and my nonplussed expression must have communicated something to him because he clarified with, “Did you get wet?”
I really wanted to respond with, “No I didn’t get wet, because if you ride fast enough the raindrops can’t touch you,” but I didn’t because it was the first thing in the morning and even I have ramp up to that level of sarcasm over a few hours. The next few minutes were spent (of course) discussing the weather and the grim announcement that it was supposed to rain off and on today and tomorrow. O the Horror!
Since when has getting wet become the Worst Thing Ever? Have we become such whining babies that even the slightest discomfort is something to be avoided? Is being slightly damp for 10 minutes at the start of your workday more horrible than contributing billions of dollars and thousands of lives to foreign adventures in order to secure fuel for our vehicles? Is having to wipe off your head (I don’t have to fix my hair anymore) and glasses worse than paying thousands of dollars in taxes and upkeep for a vehicle that pollutes the air you breathe? Is having a few weird creases in your pants (from being in your backpack) worse than doing what you can to ward off heart disease and diabetes?
It seems to me that some folks don’t have a good grip on what the worst case scenario might be, despite being fervent viewers of FOX or MSNBC. On the other hand, how awesome is your life if the worst thing you have to worry about today is getting rained on?!