Today, in lieu of an update on my life, I will post a list of stupid things non-cyclists have said to me recently. Of course, all you cyclists out there know that non-cyclists say stupid things ALL the time, but going around with visible bandages is (apparently) an open invitation. (Names are changed to protect the innocent.)

1. What happened? Did you fall off your bike?

No less than eight people have asked me this. I have to confess I was a little rude to the secretary today, who finally noticed me on my third straight day of bandages, and being the eighth person to ask the exact same stupid question is a little like being the 247th person to ask the Subway employee if she can do the "wrap dance" (okay, that was a while ago). But "fall off" my bike? Come on, people! First of all, it's a really insulting question. Second, it's not actually physically possible. You can fall off a horse. But to literally fall off a bike, you would have to end up on the ground while the bike was still upright, and unless you have training wheels, well.....

I emailed Nate, complaining about this, and he pointed out that under certain circumstances, such as "tallbike jousting tournaments," it probably would, in fact, be possible to fall off of your bike:

I also discovered a four-person bike that would be possible to fall off of, although it would take a very special person to manage this:

So maybe you can. But they have all seen my bike. On two separate occasions it has spent the entire day leaning against the wall in the lunch room, and at one point I actually ended up giving a demonstration of how clipless pedals work, so there should be no ambiguity over whether it would be possible to "fall off" my bike. So I'm back to just being insulted.

2. Why didn't you just tell her you were there? I always tell my son to say "on your left" when he's passing people.

Ah, if I had a dollar for every time I heard a question starting with "why didn't you just," starting in childhood with "well, why didn't you just ninja-kick him? I would've!" Now, I'll give poor D some credit here, because "on your left" is good bike etiquette, but there is a world of difference between a finish-line sprint and a Sunday-morning toodle down the bike path on your Huffy. Imagine the mass chaos if one of these guys suddenly hollered ON YOUR LEFT! How would anyone know who said it or who it was directed at? What would be the point? And who has the breath to spare for etiquette when you're sprinting for the line anyway?

Nate pointed out that I did tell her I was there. In fact, I swore at her rather loudly. Unfortunately, I didn't remember this while I was actually having the conversation with D. I could have suggested that she teach her son that instead.

3. Why don't you guys have mirrors to see who's behind you?

I don't think I even have to say anything to that one.......

4. You're not going to ride your bike this weekend, are you?

Uh, yeah, actually, contrary to popular belief, you don't really need that skin on your elbow (hip, knee, etc.) in order to pedal. That's a little like stubbing your toe and then refusing to walk for the next two weeks. If I had actually hurt myself, I might think about it. But I'm supposed to be scared now? Jesus.

5. (And now for a non-crash-related one that took place several months ago between me and the other secretary):

secretary: So have you got any big plans this weekend?
me: Yeah, Nate and I are going to go up to Detroit Lakes to see his family.
secretary: Oh, that's nice. Are you going to ride your bikes up there?
me: Yeah, we'll bring them.
secretary: I mean are you riding there.
me: Like from here to there?
secretary: Yeah.
me: (laughing) Uh, no.
secretary (puzzled) Well, how far is it?
me: I dunno, two hundred and some miles.
secretary: So how long would that take you? About six hours?
me: (laughing even harder) Jane, it takes four hours to DRIVE there!
secretary: So?
me: So it would take like TWO DAYS to ride there.
secretary: Oh my gosh! That long?
me: (having Google-mapped it by now) Jane! It's TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY FOUR MILES.
secretary: Oh. Well, I thought people who ride a lot like you do could.....

Could what? Ride at highway speeds? This is the only non-cyclist I've met who is consistently UNDERwhelmed by how far/fast I ride. I suppose it's refreshing.

And now we will all see if my new HTML tags (yeah, look at me go, I learned how to make bold AND italics) work.....


Blogger Nathan said...

"Nate pointed out that I did tell her I was there. In fact, I swore at her rather loudly." LOL

And that last one, that's just too much! I give it a ROTFLMAO, to continue the AOL theme I've got going on here...

7/29/2005 1:02 PM  
Blogger sasquatch said...

Seems to me like you want it both ways. At least Arlene gets the fact that you ride the hell out of your bike. There's worse things than having somebody around who knows you're capable of epic behavior.

8/11/2005 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Paul Kramer said...

Dear Ladyvelo,
As publisher of Riders' Collective, a free on-line cycling journal, I search out quality content and repurpose it within a print-magazine format.

If you take a look at my current and past issues you'll see reviews, ride reports, essays, tips, travelogues, even poetry--and if you like what you find, perhaps you will agree to be included in my upcoming issue.

I think my readers—to date, over 10,000 in over 75 countries—will enjoy this piece as much as I did.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Paul Kramer

8/19/2010 9:33 PM  

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