The Reflections of an Idiot on Bike
Posted by Pedal Powered Anthropology
So I’m happy with my decision.
I’ve biked for a few years now. Actually at this point I think you could say it’s been a bunch of years. Even many years!
I mean, I’ve biked since I was a kid. But I wasn’t a cyclist until I dunno…2007 or so. So really it’s been like a decade that I’ve actually considered myself a cyclist.
So yeah, I’ve been biking for a while.
I don’t expect not having a car to be a very long term thing. But for now, I don’t have a car.
Today I biked home. I wasn’t sure I wanted to, but my partner isn’t feeling so hot, so she drove me to work so I could bike home and she could have the car to get to work.
Can we take a second to appreciate how wonderful a person must be to wake up at 5:45am to drive me to work so that I don’t have to find a ride some other way?
To say I think daily of how thankful I am to have someone like that in my life sort of falls short of how often I am actually thankful for it.
Anyway. So I rode home.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to. It’s starting to get chilly. It’s overcast. I get to work at 7am and it’s starting to darken already when I get out at 3:30. And It’s just over 15 miles to get home. But I kind of didn’t have a choice, so I rode home.
And as I usually do, I got to thinking. And today I had a lot to think about.
I’ve got a lot going on, a lot to figure out. I’m doing some things that I don’t really have a template for and it’s all weighing on me.
And today as I was riding home I was thinking about where I am. Literally, figuratively, emotionally…all those things.
And I was thinking about why I ride. What it’s done for my health physically, mentally and emotionally. What it’s done for my appreciation and gratitude for the state of those three things I just mentioned. The way it’s shaped my identity through allowing me to finally find one.
And I was thinking about why I was riding today. About my partner driving me to work and how incredible that is that she would even offer when to ask me to find a ride would have been not only reasonable and fair but also entirely feasible.
And I was thinking about the other people: cyclists, pedestrians, drivers, and otherwise, that I would encounter. And how they would perceive me.
To some, I’m probably barely noticeable. To some, I’m just some schlub who probably lost their license in an OUI and now has to bike to get around.
To some, I’m probably some hipster who bikes around in his tight jeans and lives with his parents while taking philosophy classes to out argue conservatives on facebook.
To some, I’m an asshole and an obstruction who is effectively blocking more efficient and safer modes of travel.
To some, I’m some idiot who thinks it makes sense to ride a full-carbon competition bike while wearing jeans.
To some, I’m just another cyclist.
Really, I was just on my way home from work.
But even though I’m not necessarily any of those things, I’m simultaneously all of them because in the reality of those people, I am whatever they perceive me to be in the seconds of today that we shared. And in some ways I’m a patchwork of some aspect of any of them. And cyclists as a whole aren’t really well accepted in the States.
And really, whichever one of those I actually am (if any) it doesn’t matter. Because any incarnation is still a cyclist. Still getting where they’re going in whichever way makes sense for whatever reason it does.
So it’s up to me to be a good representation. To set a good precedent for the next cyclist that person meets. Whether that person is in a car, on a skateboard, walking their dog or in a Chinese restaurant.
So I was extra mindful today. Of the box truck that really thought they could pass me up that hill despite not gaining on me and a car being 4 feet ahead.
Of the people trying to get through a right on red without stopping because they don’t think I’m actually an entity.
Of the Ford F-32,975 pickup truck taking the speed bumps like a geriatric on a Rascal.
Because we’re all just doing the best we can. And whatever else is going on in my life, I’m doing pretty awesome.
About Pedal Powered AnthropologyI have a degree in anthropology from Rhode Island College. My focus was in biological anthropology but I also have a broad interest in cultural anthropology, archaeology and linguistic anthropology. This blog is intended to be for the development of my own positions and ideas, mostly regarding paleoanthropology and paleontology in general, with a heaping helping of evolution on top...but also includes bits about a lot of different aspects of culture, primarily race, gender, privilege, the environment and my own personal relationship with anxiety.
Posted on 11/18/2015, in anxiety, fitness and athleticism, Freewrites or short stories., Health, fitness and athleticism, identity, introspection, personal perspectives and tagged anxiety, Health, identity, patchwork cyclist, personal perspectives, prejudice, social issues. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.