missroserose: (Freedom on a Bike)
[personal profile] missroserose
It's been thirteen months, hundreds of miles, a few traffic near-misses, and a slightly embarrassing amount spent on accessories, repairs, and eventually a new bike, but I'm beginning to feel like a seasoned urban cyclist. I bike so much (and Brian works from home so much) that, for the first time since we moved here, I've given up our monthly transit pass subscriptions; it makes more sense now to pay as we go, or nab Brian a weekly pass if he's got an on-site job.

My unstated, very-unofficial goal for the spring/summer/fall has been to only use the car for trips involving at least two people. With the notable exception of my once-or-twice monthly Costco/Trader Joe's stock-up trips (I have yet to figure out how to load a pallet of toilet paper onto a bike), this has been surprisingly doable. Especially in a crowded city, biking is often faster than driving for short distances; it may not be quite as fast for longer ones, but that's balanced out by not having to search/pay for parking at the end. (The one exception currently on my regular schedule is the Sauganash studio, which is a fifteen-minute drive with a free parking lot at the end, versus a 25-30 minute ride. But that's balanced out somewhat by being a far more pleasant commute by bike, as well as getting to eat All The Calories afterward.) There's definitely been an adjustment curve with my physical condition, but I feel like I'm largely over the hump, even if my hip and glute muscles might not agree, heh.

All of which is to say, biking is feeling less like a novelty and more like a lifestyle change. I'm...torn on saying whether I'd consider it part of my identity; there's a lot of aspects of the urban-biker subculture I either don't fit into or am less than enthused with (I have zero desire to do triathlons or multi-city tours; I bike largely for commuting/eating purposes rather than recreation; I try not to look down on people who primarily drive, not all of us are able-bodied enough to pedal everywhere). But I think it is, to a degree; I like who I am better when I'm biking most places.

I'm not sure how this coming winter is going to shape up. Last year I put my bike away in late November when the temperature was regularly dropping below freezing; there was more than one period over the winter, however, when the mercury rose and I regretted not having it handy. I think I might try leaving it out this year and seeing how often I can ride it. I am nowhere near hardcore enough to ride in snow, but if the roads are clear and I have enough layers I don't see why colder temperatures have to be a barrier. I suppose a lot will depend on the weather.

In more fun news, I've been combing through Redbubble looking for stickers to decorate my new bike - hence the reflections on biking culture and where I fit (or don't) in it. Still, even with the hardcore athlete/snooty stickers discounted, there are some good candidates, even if my all-time favorite is untrue for me on every level, haha. I like the colors in this one, and the fanciful vintage air of this one; this one has a nice minimalist feel to it as well as being a good shape for a crossbar. This one probably gets the award for most accurate/most likely to be purchased, possibly with this one as a complement; also, it's nice to see an actively non-snooty message in a bike-oriented sticker.

How about you? Are there any subcultures you probably fit in but are hesitant to actively jump into?
Have you ever tried something new and discovered you hadn't even realized it was part of who you wanted to be? Seen any great bike stickers lately? Let's discuss!

Date: 2017-07-17 04:06 pm (UTC)
asakiyume: (good time)
From: [personal profile] asakiyume
That's excellent! Way to go--so healthy (and green) to do all that biking. The bike stickers are all great--I like that minimalist one a lot.

I wish I had good bike stickers to recommend, but the ones you show here are actually probably the first I've ever seen to notice--so thanks for introducing me to a new category of sticker ;-)

Date: 2017-07-17 05:10 pm (UTC)
ivy: Two strands of ivy against a red wall (Default)
From: [personal profile] ivy
I like the minimalist sticker too, as well as "Shut Up Legs", hah. I haven't biked much recently... I think part of that is that I've been doing my workouts on my lunch break (and thus the time to get there/get back is doable by motorcycle or car but not by bike), or I'm schlepping other people. (I have done a lot of caretaking lately.)

I do like the environmental friendliness of biking, though. I am aiming at a fall Chicago trip; I'll rent something and we can ride together! (Even if I miss the fireflies.)

Date: 2017-07-18 01:43 pm (UTC)
cyrano: (Smoke Me a Kipper)
From: [personal profile] cyrano
I was never sure I was cool enough to be a Goth. They dressed better, they knew poetry, they knew all the cool bands.

I biked around a lot until I moved to Michigan, but I never considered myself a cyclist. I was just a bike driver.

Date: 2017-07-25 12:18 am (UTC)
cyrano: (Dark/Light)
From: [personal profile] cyrano
I know all the cool bands *now*, sure. But by the time I knew all the cool bands, I was too old to be cool enough.

Date: 2017-07-19 09:13 am (UTC)
lilysea: Serious (Default)
From: [personal profile] lilysea
Thank you for mentioning the bicycle stickers. ^_^

It inspired me to go poke around on redbubble for stickers for my power wheelchair...

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