Now that we’re acquainted, my first and biggest question is:
“How are you not constantly having a heart attack?”
I know some of you are totally chill. I see you. I have this amalgamation of chill cyclists in my head, based heavily on a few in particular. One looks more like he’s hovering along, and there just happens to be a bike under him. You know the guy. No helmet, no hands on the handlebars, not even aware of the potholes, wearing all black sometimes with a plaid flannel variation, and certainly unconcerned with vehicles. He’s glorious. Sometimes he’s female. She has the cutest little basket in front of a big heavy cruiser, wearing a dress and sandals, and without any effort whatsoever is passing me up a hill. Sometimes it seems like folks of all kinds are passing me and not at all having the same level of stroke-inducing-crazy-car-magnet-luck I’m having.
Be honest with me, okay? Is there some law of diminished returns on wearing reflectors, all the lights, Day-Glo green and pink, and two rolls of reflective tape? Is there a point at which it starts being more like a flame-to-a-moth scenario? I know it happens with emergency vehicle lights and traffic, so you can tell me. I’ll believe you.
Maybe all of you really aren’t chill and secretly you’re covering up that little pulsing vein with your adorable fresh-cut bangs.
To remain chill back when I used to car-commute from Reed to Hillsboro, I’d listen to Audible. Let me tell you, Jo Nesbo during winter on the Sunset Highway crawling along in winter is extra creepy. Two problems with that. My car had airbags, and I can’t bike with earbuds. I know, I see some of you with your speakers and that’s cool, but I’m barely functioning here as it is, right? I’m not ready for speakers.
Maybe I’m just preaching to the converted. Maybe all of you really aren’t chill and secretly you’re covering up that little pulsing vein with your adorable fresh-cut bangs.
Granted, I don’t have a very chill personality. It may shock you to know I’m pretty “Ready, Fire, Aim.” I like to jump in with both feet, and when someone nearly kills my daughter and me on our bikes, I tend to release a tirade of expletives and epithets that would make sailors blush.
So, please tell me, oh Zen Bike Guy, how can I be more like you, if only while biking?
Photo courtesy of Krishna Muirhead, Zen Bike Guy, old friend and bike mentor, IG @ilefteye
— Becky Jo, @BeckyJoPDX
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Becky Jo lives in North Portland with her husbeast, four children, two cats, and has packed more fabric into their modest house than anyone will ever know. While she knows her way around a sewing machine, cycling is new, filling her with great wonder, confusion, and occasionally panic.