Rides 4/20: stop right there

Rock Creek Parkway (not the trail)
31st Street

L Street
Pennsylvania Avenue
East Capitol

Not too many. The mehness was pretty strong in both directions and I wasn't really feeling too great on either ride, but that's not really the bicycle's fault.

Colin, who rides bikes, wrote about Bike to Work Day, which is right around the corner. You should really his post because it's really good. And by really good, I mean completely wrong in every way. So, I, who also rides bikes, have corrected it. You're welcome, Colin/America!

How to behave on bike to work day: A guide for the seasoned cyclist

I know you at some point in the next four weeks you will be tempted to tweet “Every day is bike to work day” with a picture of yourself braving the snow or the torrential rain or whatever on your noble steed.
Don’t do that. Tweets are too impermanent. Tattoo that shit on your knuckles. Or forehead. People need to know! 
Then, take 19 seconds and do this: Copy and paste this into an email to a coworker: 
“Hey, want to ride to work together on Bike to Work Day? 
But don't write this (even though you want to)
P.S. Because I'm pretty sure I'm faster than you and crushing you on Bike to Work Day will prove for once and for all that I'm better than you. 
Here’s the deal. Bike to work day is about you. 100% completely. It’s a recognition that that thing you do every day, or most days, is pretty awesome and you can and should feel proud about it. Accept your t-shirt and granola bar and ankle strap with magnanimity, then step back and get back in line for another granola bar and ankle strap because you deserve it and some wuss who never ever rides except for one day is not even going to use the ankle strap again until next year and he doesn't even need the granola bar because he probably ate a doughnut for breakfast already. Noob.
I know it’s tempting, but let’s all avoid not being smug, OK? Because, to reiterate, bike to work day is (totally)  about us. It’s about our neighbors and our coworkers and our family and our friends who don’t ride every day, who we can ABSOLUTELY CRUSH because we have trained every fucking day of the year and those layabouts haven't. It’s a chance for them to try out this neat thing called biking to work and learn that it is hardcore* and they will suck at it compared to you, who is awesome. 
So here are some do’s and don’ts to think about:


  1. Enjoy the company of someone who’s new to this. You will enjoy it more because you will be better than them at it. They'll appreciate your pointing that out frequently. 
  2. Be patient. You're going to have to wait for them, as you will be significantly faster. 
  3. Offer to ride with a friend who’s never ridden to work before. He or she will be the easiest person to beat in races. 
  4. Volunteer to work at a pit stop. You'll have plenty of extra time to volunteer because you'll be faster than everyone else and when they finally show up you can be all like 'oh hey, you finally got here? I've been here so long that I volunteered. Here's your shirt (if you feel like you've earned it...) 
  5. Do not give other cyclists three feet of space if you pass. You need to show them that you have masterful control and handling. 
  6. Obey traffic laws. Set a good example for people who are new. Then as soon as the light turns green, AFTERBURNERS and leave them in the dust. 


  1. Forget to ding your bell or snap your brakes or sigh loudly at people going slower than you.  If you’re late or bored or just want to go faster, just do it and then make sure to give Armstrongian looks over your shoulder to exhibit your utter domination of the chumps who can't keep up. 
  2. Miss a chance to shoal, or engage in other cat-6ish behavior. This is your chance to dominate and with such a weak field, you're going to be able to beat so many people in impromptu commuter races. This will be a huge self-esteem boost and you should not pass this chance up. THIS IS WHY YOU TRAINED. Take your reward. 
  3. Assume that the person with a flat is clueless. You don't need to assume it because it's completely true. “Do you have the all tools you need?” is a way to point out to them that you know have copious knowledge about fixing flat tires and also that you have an amazing tool collection, which they probably don't. “You look like you need help” or “Do you know what you’re doing?” are rude things to say because they're super obvious. They definitely need help and you shouldn't bother pointing that out. Generally, if you just pass them at blazing fast speed when they're stuck on the side of the road floundering in helplessness, do that instead. It'll save you the awkwardness of them developing a huge unrequited crush on your when you save the day by fixing their flat after their multiple bungled attempts. 
  4. Decline any swag at your pit stop. You deserve it all. In fact, you deserve 365 times as much because you bike all year round. If you don't house like 18 bananas and don't park your SUV around the corner from the pit stop the night before so you can fill it with all the sweet loot you procure, that's a totally lame and a little bit disrespectful to the event. It's there for you, so not taking the stuff is kind of insulting. 
  5. Keep to yourself which components or bike they need to be better at bike commuting. Remember, you do this everyday, so you're smarter and more informed than everyone else. Not sharing with everyone how their bikes are deficient and fail to live up to your expectations is pretty selfish. 
  6. Fail to constantly shout advice at strangers: mechanical diagnoses, bike fit suggestions, clothing tips, whatever. If someone asks your opinion, fine. If someone is in immediate danger of hurting themselves, fine. “Excuse me I can’t help but notice your quick release is open and your rear wheel is about to fall off” is a-ok, but even better than that is getting a bullhorn and a laser pointer and just going absolutely buck wild pointing out all of things that everyone who comes within shouting distances needs to do to stop sucking at bike commuting and/or life. People definitely want to hear your feedback on issues as they relate to: body type and overall appearance, how they should or could be spending money on having better stuff and just overall ways that they could stop being so insultingly embarrassing in the way that they're going about their bike commute. You know better than them, so don't keep mum! They wouldn't be riding on Bike to Work Day if they didn't want help from experts like you! 
Just be patient and nice to everyone ok? It's called noblesse oblige and it's something you're just going to have to do in the presence of so many people who are mostly terrible at bike commuting and definitely aren't as good at it as you are.
*Think about that for a minute and let it sink in. The inevitable consequence of more people biking is that it ceases to become something that sets you apart. That's pretty crummy, but the good thing is that you'll be better than them and you'd probably be better at them even if you commuting by unicycle. 

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