How was my weekend? Loaded question, but thanks for asking. I actually had a very relaxing weekend. Obviously I needed it. Why obviously? Oh, had you not heard? I bike to work now. Like, every day. Twice a day if you're being specific. It's no big deal -- I'm just doing my part to help the planet go green. Diminish that Shaquille O'Neal-sized carbon footprint. You know, a lot of people say bike riding is the car driving of the future. I like to think that they're right.
Sure, it started out as a fun way to get a little extra exercise every day, but it's turned into a real passion. A lifestyle, really. Those guys you see on weekends -- the ones with the shirts that have sponsors on them even though there's no way any of them are being sponsored -- they're my brothers now. We travel in packs, like wolves -- and like wolves, whom some have called the "bicycles of the animal world," we protect our own. Or, well I guess there's probably a more apt analogy but I'd hate to expend too much energy on this -- after all, I have to bike home after this and that's a strain both mentally and physically.
Hey -- what do you call a CBS procedural starring James Spader as a bike cop? The Cyclist! (I cannot tell you how hard that killed in my bike riding chat group over on the Yahoo. I'm hoping to develop next season, pending network approval!)
While a lot of people are annoyed by bike riders out in the middle of the street, acting like they own the darn thing, it's clear that they just don't understand that we, the bike riding community, can't just go up on sidewalks. We're not pedestrians. We're riders of the road. Road Warriors. Going up on the sidewalk would wreck the Life Cycle (nailed it) that everyone has grown accustomed to. Plus, there tends to be a lot of loose gravel up on the sidewalk. Any cyclist worth his weight knows not to mess with stuff. You'd be much safer out in the middle of the road, limply holding up your left hand to signal you're probably turning.
Not to namedrop, but I once saw Mike O'Malley, yes, Glee's Mike O'Malley, riding a bicycle over on the Warner Brothers lot. After that, I started calling him Bike O'Malley. He never heard me, but if he had, I'm sure he would have loved it. We cyclers tend to stick together.
A historian once wrote, "A wheel is round, it has no end, that's how long I want to be your friend." Many have said that he was talking about a "bike wheel." Certainly something to think about.
I hate to get preachy on this giant platform, but I would like to say, that if you care about the Earth, and don't have a similar commute to me that would ultimately clutter the lanes I currently ride along, I would urge you to trade in the auto for the cycle. Sure, it may have taken a lease that's over its mile limit to open my eyes, but I like to think I would have ridden to this conclusion on my own. Now I'm just confidently riding there at a breezy six miles per hour.
Follow Joe Cristalli on Twitter: www.twitter.com/joecristalli