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Bumps in Bike to Work Week: It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!

by Ted Johnson

The oil companies and the auto industry control the weather!

Wake up people!

That’s how I felt yesterday afternoon, riding into what felt like a relentless spray of icy buckshot.

Commute by Unicycle

The morning was fun, but sinister machinations were already at play...

The day started out just a bit chilly and drizzly, but that didn’t keep more than 100 dedicated bike commuters from visiting a “Bike to Breakfast” stop I was helping to run.

But in the afternoon, Nature sent a snowstorm to Commute by Bike headquarters. As in Arizona. As in May 18th. As in right in the middle of the week where we are focused more than ever on encouraging bike commuting.

Coincidence? Hmm….

I rode a Hebb e-bike to pick up my stepdaughter from school. Before I even arrived at the school, I was soaked and cold. I could hardly look at where I was going due to the tiny ice knives hidden in each snowflake.

I have goggles and shell pants for such contingencies. But not today. Did I mention that this is the month of May in Arizona?

I entered the school covered in wet snow. I said to my stepdaughter, “We need to think about options.”

Immediately she said, “Call a taxi?”

“That’s exactly what I was thinking.”

The truth is that I could have carried her all the way home on the Hebb. And if my goal were to make her hate cycling for the rest of her life, that’s exactly what I would have done.

Hebb Electrocruiser on a bike car rack

Hebb Electrocruiser on a bike car rack

So we called a taxi. The school let me store the Hebb in a locked closet overnight. This morning I arrived by car to retrieve it.

Normally it’s difficult to find parking right in front of the school at 8:30 AM, but not today. Today is Bike to School Day.

Oh the shame.

But it’s true what they say: The more bikes there are on the road, the less congested the roads are, and the less competition there is for parking. I proved that this morning, thanks to all the parents and kids that didn’t drive.

Hebb Smacks Cannondale

The scene of the assault

I lifted the heavy Hebb onto the bike car rack. I didn’t like the way the frame design made it stick out from the side of the car. I took a picture.

Just a few minutes later I was parking the car, and indeed I did swipe something with the protruding Hebb. I backed into an innocent Cannondale. I took another picture.

To make it worse, this was right in front of Biff’s Bagels, co-sponsor of yesterday’s Bike to Breakfast stop. Only my ego was harmed.

So the oil and auto industries conjure up a snowstorm, and then I become an accomplice to an assault wherein a car and an e-bike sucker-punch an innocent pedal-powered bike.

Some readers will find symbolism there. Knock yourselves out in the comments folks.

Happy Thursday.

Tomorrow is Bike to Beer Day. It can’t come soon enough.

 
Burley nomad 229

9 Responses to “Bumps in Bike to Work Week: It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!”

  1. Janice in GA says:

    Bike to Beer Day — I like it!!!

  2. Bill Hebb says:

    Ted,
    When you haul the Electric Bike around on a bike rack – please take off the battery. It takes about 7 pounds off the weight.

    • Ted Johnson says:

      Dang, what a good idea that would have been!

      Had I done that, I could have run one of the car rack’s arms through the frame where the battery is, and the bike wouldn’t have protruded so far off the car either.

  3. Dan says:

    I’ve never heard of Bike to Beer day before, but I plan to celebrate it tomorrow.

  4. BluesCat says:

    I celebrated an unusual Friday — I did not have any appointments which required an auto — with a bike-to-work and a beer-at-lunch!

    Definitely a Bike to Beer celebration.

    Big Oil and Big Auto definitely are running a weather scam: why else would they call the AC unit in cars “climate control”?

  5. Shanyn Money says:

    Ted- in 2009 we had a full-on snowstorm during BTWW. On thing you can count on in May in Northern Arizona- unpredictable weather…

  6. Andrew J. Smith says:

    Last week here in Colonie, NY; very much wet. We had Green Commute to Work Week last week. Some rode, but the rains kept me away.

    aj
    Facebook: Human Powered Commuting

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