“Move over Lycra-bottomed bikers, racing past in a flash of blinding neon, and couriers, weaving through traffic in edgy-looking gear. A growing number of cyclists are taking to the streets for transportation without changing into special apparel.”
I can’t say that I’ve witnessed this work clothes movement in my travels, yet. I do most of my bike commuting in and around Worcester so there is a bit of a lag time. I far as I can tell Worcester is about 18 months behind Boston on many trends and I assume this is one of them or at least I hope it is. That means I should start to see people in business attire cruising around Worcester any day now.
The best lesson I pulled from this article has nothing to do with attire but attitude.
“We see bicyclists doing the same thing as every other kind of commuter: going as fast as they possibly can to get where they are going,’’ says Watson. “If you are riding the way you should be — stopping at lights and driving defensively — going faster gives you no advantage in terms of shortening your commute. You’re just getting yourself hot.’’
It took me quite some time to shift from my old bike racing mindset to my commuter ride mindset during this transition, but now that I have, I’m much happier and dryer. The last few days commuting back and forth to and around Boston, I’ve had no choice but to take it easy but yesterday gave me hard evidence to embrace a more relaxed attitude.
I had to take Washington St from Brighton to Newtonville which is one long road with a number of small hills and traffic lights. At 96 and humid, slow and steady really does win the race. Early in my ride, as I was stopped at a red light, a gentleman buzzed by me and the waiting cars at the light like he was on a mission. As I casually peddled along, I caught up to him again as we approached the next traffic light just in time to watch him blow another red light and weave through traffic to keep up his frantic pace. Along the way, I watched as he not only endangered a number of driver, other bikers and himself but generally pissed everyone off.
Sweet revenge came when I passed him, mind you I never peddled above my light casual cadence, just before I got to the Newtonville Commuter Rail stop, as this sweaty panting mess was crawling along a tiny uphill section before a wobbling right turn.
The main point, is to take it easy out there but if you must go fast, at least obey the traffic signals so that you’re not a complete a**hole.