Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lucky

Ride Studio Cafe, Sunday Ride
Overheard while doing errands in a local suburb:
Woman Walking Out of a Gym: Oh, what a nice bike! 
Woman on a Roadbike: Thank you.
Gym Woman: How lucky you are to have time to bike. I wish I could, but after work and cooking dinner I'm just exhausted. 
Bike Woman: Oh I'm sorry. But it's nice that you get to go to the gym, isn't it? 
Gym Woman: Sure. But, you know, I have to. It's such hard work! 
Bike Woman: How often do you go? 
Gym Woman: Hmm... Four days a week I guess? 
Bike Woman: Oh wow. And how long is your work-out? 
Gym Woman: Usually an hour. Sometimes the pilates class is an hour and fifteen minutes. 
Bike Woman: That's impressive. And how long does it take you to get there and back? 
Gym Woman: What? Oh, I don't know. Let's see... maybe 20 minutes in the car? 
Bike Woman:  Each way? 
Gym Woman: Yeah, I guess so. 
Bike Woman: Well you know, my bike rides are only 2 hours long - you can ride a bike instead of going to the gym if you want and it would be the same. 
Gym Woman (giggles nervously): Really? No, that can't be right. I'm only at the gym for an hour. Plus I have to work out or else I gain weight like crazy... You're lucky you're so thin...
It's hard not to feel defensive when receiving backhanded compliments about how "lucky" we are to have all this supposed free time to ride a bike. I've gotten plenty of comments like this. But I have never, not once, heard the same reasoning applied to people who go to the gym on a daily basis. After all, the gym is "hard work" and going shows that the person is disciplined and responsible about staying fit. Cycling on the other hand, apparently shows that we have too much leisure time. It is not logical, and it is not "fair," but the perception is nonetheless there, and I think it goes a long way toward explaining why non-cyclists dislike cyclists - roadcyclists in particular. Lucky us indeed.

71 comments:

  1. This conversation and the commentary on it reminds me of the Seinfeld episode in which Elaine bristles at the apparently snide tone used by a woman who makes a comment about the place where Elaine bought her shoes. Of course Jerry, being a man, is completely oblivious to the slight.

    That observation aside, I agree completely that biking instead of driving is totally doable.

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  2. That isn't you in the photo, is it?

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  3. How interesting. My experience is completely different. I've never gotten a comment like this - often people thinking biking to get places is too much of a hassle, but not that it's too slow. (Or if they think it, they don't express it to me.) But I have heard people say many, many times "I wish I had time to go to the gym."

    I must say, too, that I don't really see any insult in what the gym-woman said. Just maybe a bit thick. She has time for a workout for the gym, but is somehow not understanding that a workout on a bike could replace that - which makes both of them lucky, to have a spare hour or two in the day to themselves. It seems that the gym feels safer to her, as a workout, than bike-riding. It would be interesting (not to mention helpful) to know exactly why she and apparently many other people feel that way.

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  4. Who the f* goes to a gym 20 minutes drive from their house? Just sayin!

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    1. Just speculating, but it might have to do with the quality of their pilates classes. For those who are into that, it can be hard to find the right class and instructor.

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    2. I do. The gym by my office where I shower after riding to work every day. Great yoga classes too. used to be Pilates but the instructor I liked left to pursue a career as a musician.

      Jay in Tel Aviv

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  5. There was a women who was a member of my gym in Harvard Square, who I saw every time I went, at any time of day. Seriously. She was a law student and read her law books while she worked out on the elliptical trainer. And you know what? Good for her. She got through her course, and worked off the anxiety at the same time. She made When she graduated, the staff there joked that she could stay on as their corporate lawyer and she laughed with them.

    In fact, it sounds as if the two that participated in the conversation you quote had too much time on time on their hands if they were able to calculate the number of hours the other was spending in physical activity. Unlike you, I have not ever had such a conversation with a non-cyclist. In fact, I haven't experienced a general dislike of road cyclists. I think this may be a sensitive issue for you, because cycling is not simply a sport for you. Like the law student, you are doing double duty and earning money while you pedal.

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    1. In my life I've only made very feeble, sparse attempts to go to the gym. But the law student type you describe has been an iconic presence every time. I have no problem with it at all.

      My earnings (very much partially) come from writing about bikes, not from riding them. Interestingly, since I've switched from an office job to freelance no one has commented on my free time when they see me in a cafe in the middle of the day; somehow there is an inherent understanding that I am either working or studying.

      Road cyclists frequently report being shouted at to "get a job" by motorists. It's a common thing in some areas apparently. I see a connection.

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    2. Somewhat related, but I can't help but get defensive when people tell me how lucky I am to own my own business instead of working 9-5. They really see it as similar to not having a job, especially because it's such a "fun" industry (I am a wedding planner). Of course the reality is completely different!

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    3. OMG you're a wedding planner? How fun, you're so lucky!

      Joking, joking.
      I planned my own and that was quite enough.

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  6. I used to get comments like this from my friends, before they knew better, but never from a stranger. Oh yeah and my boyfriend has been told to "get a job" by drivers. I suspect that happens to men more so than women.

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    1. I think you're right about that, I have never been told to get a job by a driver but my husband has. Ironic, considering he works 10 hour shifts and cycles on his lunch break.

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  7. I honestly do not see the insult in the initial exchange posted. Maybe if I had been there I would have picked up on something. Or maybe women live in a different cultural universe (in fact I am sure they do when they are among themselves) where certain phrasings convey particular attitudes or judgements. If I find anything strange in the conversation it is in this exchange:

    Gym Woman: How lucky you are to have time to bike. I wish I could, but after work and cooking dinner I'm just exhausted.

    Bike Woman: Oh I'm sorry. But it's nice that you get to go to the gym, isn't it?

    Why is the Bike Woman expressing pity over the woman's condition? Her focus on the positive aspects of the Gym Woman's woman's gym routine is fine, but then the question at the end reverses the positive tone of the comment, as if to say: "What are you complaining about, you obviously have time to go to the gym."

    In my view, Bike Woman is the passive-aggressor. I thought women were supposed to be good at listening empathetically without trying to make their interlocutor feel better. To me it just sounds like Gym Woman was sweetly starting a nice conversation with Bike Woman.

    Here is how I imagine the conversation happening, ideally, between two men:

    Gym Guy: It's cool that you have time to bike. I wish I could, but after work and cooking dinner I'm totally beat.

    Bike Guy: Yeah, I hear that. It's good that you get some gym time in, though.

    Anything else would be too intimate and prying. What irks me about the Bike Woman is that her expression of sympathy drags the conversation down into the mud. To add the "Isn't it?" at the end is like saying, "It's great that your son got got that scholarship. Isn't it." Why wouldn't it be?

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    1. Funny, I didn't read it as the bike woman being passive-aggressive, but as trying to explain to the gym woman that she too can ride a bike if she wants to. It's a matter of choices and not a matter of luck.

      Of course keep in mind also that this is my recollection of the conversation and not a verbatim transcript. Memory always distorts things.

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    2. I think the point was just that the woman coming out of the gym saw biking as a sort of fun time leisure activity, saying the woman was lucky to have all that free time to bike, when in reality, she was also doing her workout, just in a different environment. I don't think either party meant to be insulting, but I can see where the cyclist might feel annoyed that her workout is seen as maybe not being valid in the same way as a gym workout.

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    3. Thomas: The Gym Woman's second comment, assuming V related it accurately, implies that the Bike Woman must not have the same responsibilities as she does. That's what makes it a back handed compliment, especially after she first disarmed her by complimenting the bike. We ladies can be sneaky.

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    4. Yeah, I think this goes back to your earlier insight that women are generally more concerned about what people think of them than men are, especially when the perception is that the woman is somehow enjoying herself too much. I think there is also a stricter code among men to let each guy live his life the way he wants to, for better or worse. Anything else comes off as invasive.

      In any case, Velouria, I love the fascinating variety of your posts and their high quality. From dumatic hubs one day to the psycho-politics of biking the next, you really can do it all! : )

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    5. What Jordan and Anna said. The conversation was longer and more rambling than what I've posted here. The woman who'd just come from the gym kept repeating the term "lucky" in reference to the cyclist, and the term "work" in reference to herself, and it struck me as an interesting contrast. She seemed unable to view the other woman's cycling as filling the same amount of time as her own gym-going. She also seemed unable to see that the "skinny" cyclist got that way through cycling, just like she'd gotten that way via the gym.

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    6. "I think there is also a stricter code among men to let each guy live his life the way he wants to, for better or worse. Anything else comes off as invasive."

      You guys are so lucky! : )

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    7. Yes, Thomas, women have to live in a different world than men. As women, our sanctioned role is as caregivers to others, and thus every moment we spend solely for ourselves is always up for public scrutiny and comment, as are our bodies, clothing choices, spending habits, etc.

      And if a woman has figured out that such stuff is patriarchal horseshit, there's another one who didn't and gets resentful and wants to drag her back down. Women use words to keep women in their place, men tend to use their fists.

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    8. "I think there is also a stricter code among men to let each guy live his life the way he wants to, for better or worse. Anything else comes off as invasive."

      I'd agree completely. I also think it illustrates a wider issue, in that maybe women tend to see their choices as superior to everyone elses in any context. Men simply see others priorities as interesting at best, then carry on their own way. [light touchpaper, retire!]

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  8. Oh, how I wish the bike would be enough for getting thin! Bike+gym is much better.

    At the moment I live in a city where you must have a bike to be taken seriously. Everybody cycles to work. It's true that in places with no "bike culture" people cycle just for fun and only if they have a lot of time to do it. This attitude also depends on the distances and infrastructure.

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    1. I get skinny from strenuous roadcycling, but not from casual or transportation cycling. 2 weeks in Ireland on the Brompton and my flat tummy is gone : (

      Unfortunately I can't stand the gym, and I absolutely lack the discipline. Supplementing cycling with walking is the best I can do.

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    2. I remember reading it takes 40mins of exercise b4 we burn fat efficiently.

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    3. "but not from casual or transportation cycling."

      it is possible to strenuously cycle on roads for all your transportation needs.


      "It's true that in places with no "bike culture" people cycle just for fun"

      i find urban cycling to be both fun and transportation. and given alarming increases in obesity i suspect that more europeans will learn to combine transport with exercise.

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  9. Biking is certainly better than no exercise at all, but it's really no substitute for a full-body workout -- if you want to work your upper body and core, you'll probably need to do something else. Of course, you could just ride your bike to a park and do upper/core exercises on your own, for free -- but that might take discipline that a lot of people (like me) don't have. I'm lucky that my partner enjoys playing personal trainer; she directs our park workouts using, in great part, this excellent book: http://www.amazon.com/Tina-Vindums-Outdoor-Fitness-Shape/dp/0762751290 .

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  10. Boy, I wouldn't last two seconds as a woman.

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    1. Thomas wrote:
      "Boy, I wouldn't last two seconds as a woman." Now that is a sentiment that I share!

      But onward: I don't get the impression that the gymn-woman was being offensive, instead a bit defensive ("I wish I could bicycle, but I only have time for the gymn ...").

      When I first had the option of cycling some 16 miles to work, I wondered about the time -- rt over 2 hours, what with this being a cross-town commute and all. But I figured that if I subtracted an hour in the gymn and at least an hour rt in the car (20 minutes in, 40+ return -- Albuquerque's Rio Grande bridges in the evening) I'd be even.

      The funny thing is that I live literally across the street from a large Defined Fitness and several times have actually gotten up the initiative to go in and inquire about the facilities, but I've never, ever gone further to join. Back in my grad school days at Universite Laval in la Ville de Kebec, straight from So Cal, I spent one trimestre running 4 miles fast on an indoor, 1/8 mile track that was overheated and crowded at the lunchhour, walls papered with "Defense de cracher" signs. I quickly learned to hate it and started running outside in the cold -- typical highs midwinter in the 5*F range and of course the remnants of the city's average 13 feet of snow a year. Much nicer!

      (Gymn? Gym? Catalogue? Catalog? Oh well.)

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  11. I like the photo you chose to illustrate this post. That young woman is glowing!

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    1. Thanks. It was one of those spontaneous poses that you just can't direct.

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  12. I share the author's sentiment, I would see the comment as backhanded. I get this a lot where I work, I am "lucky" to live so close to work/shopping that I can bike(I am pretty sure I had that in mind when I bought the house.

    People act as they don't control their lives, then they feel so sorry for themselves because they have to work so hard and spend so much more money than the "lucky" ones.

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    1. Could it possibly be that certain personal characteristics or life circumstances prevent them from biking? These could be any number of things ranging from health issues to cultural values to family obligations to concerns about their own personal safety. I can certainly do pretty much whatever I want when I want, but I don't think most people are like that, nor do I think I necessarily have the better life with all of my freedom and ability.

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    2. It could "possibly be" that, but it's usually not. Cycling is perceived as a childish/frivolous pursuit. Thus it is something done in extra "free time" that many people don't have. Even for people who are doing solely transportation riding, I can assure you they occasionally get the "I wish I had time to ride to work" line even after they've assured the commentor that driving would take longer. It is difficult to change someone's perception even when presenting them with facts.

      Of course there are good reasons many people do not ride. I wish I had time but I have to drive to the gym just isn't one of them.

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    3. I'm not so sure it was backhanded. I think people really have difficulty understanding is not time consuming or difficult. Annoying? Yes. Backhanded? Not necessarily.

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  13. Well, I guess that you are "lucky". Just read through your past posts. How many people realistically can take a 2-hour bike ride in the middle of the day on Wednesday?

    Most of working people don't work as freelancers. Those who do can plan their own time and are therefore "lucky".

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    1. What about on one's lunch break, or after work, or before work? Same as when they'd go to the gym basically. There are loads of roadcyclists who work standard 9-5 jobs and get in 100+ miles per week.

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    2. Maybe they only have a half-hour for lunch, maybe they have to use that time to eat lunch, check in on an aging parent or pick a child up from school, maybe there are no showers at work, maybe they work in an area that is too dangerous or unpleasant for biking, maybe they are obese and cycling is not an option, maybe they have knee problems . . . ?

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    3. Sure, sure, and sure. Cycling is not for everyone. If someone told me "wish I could bike, but I have knee problems" or "wish I could bike, but I live in a dangerous area" I would find that entirely valid. But when someone says "wish I could bike, but I have to work, then make dinner, then go to the gym" it's different. The person is choosing gym over bike; it's their choice. Making the opposite choice does not make me lucky.

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    4. you lucky bastardsMay 30, 2012 at 5:27 PM

      wish I could bike, but I like to get drunk after work... and read this blog

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    5. Come on. There is no reason you can't do that AT work like the rest of us, then go cycling.

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  14. It sounds almost a 180-degree turn from biking, but I hear the same thing about knitting. I will keep a small project like socks with me at all times (in the purse, in the panniers, etc), and if I have to wait for something, the knitting tends to come out. I knit when I watch TV, while I chat with friends, and I used to knit on my lunch breaks (work was stressful, and when you can't get away from the office, knitting is a relaxant).

    Just like the person who was told that they were "lucky" to have time to cycle, I generally get comments like "It must be SO NICE to have the time to sit around knitting!"

    And y'know what? Usually that person is watching TV (but not doing anything else), playing on a computer or cell phone, waiting for an appointment (and complaining due to boredom), etc, etc, ad nauseum.

    We *make* the time for the things that are important. :)

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  15. This reminds me of a post Tom Vanderbilt put on his blog recently.

    http://www.howwedrive.com/2012/04/04/about-that-moment-of-silence/

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  16. I think there are two kinds of people when it comes to exercise: those that make it a unique activity and those who need it to be part of their everyday lives. After purchasing gym memberships and home exercise equipment that was unused, I realized I am the latter. My exercise comes from biking everywhere, as transportation, and also as entertainment. Gym woman is perhaps one of the first type of people; she only sees exercise as valid if it is a distinct function. She cannot conceive of exercise incorporated into one's daily life routine. It's a matter of perspective and finding what works for each individual, but it also creates an opportunity to help others see differently.

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  17. I'm surprised at many of the reactions to this column. The point is that many people do not equate biking with exercising. People confined to equipment in gyms may even feel resentful at the fresh air and change of scene that bikers are having (in addition to exercise). Why is this so confusing?!

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  18. It does seem to be a matter of perception. Here in Southern California, the weather is almost always perfectly suitable for outdoor riding, and there are endless paved paths and bike lanes with beautiful scenery. And yet, whenever I ride past a fitness center, I always see several people riding stationary bikes, looking out the window ... rather than actually being outside riding.

    Maybe being inside, in an actual fitness center, feels more like "working out" ... and riding outside just feels more like having fun?

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    1. Or maybe they just like riding stationary bicycles inside! Argh!

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  19. Bicyclist ARE lucky. We get to exercise, transport ourselves, see our neighborhoods up close and reduce our carbon footprints all at the same time! On my 30 minute commute home from my office on a beautiful day today after twelve hours of work, I thought I was the luckiest guy in the world. If people think I'm lucky, I won't disabuse them of the idea because they're right.

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  20. The OED says that a "lucky" is "the mistress of an ale-house, a landlady."

    Maybe that's what Gym Lady meant.

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  21. Well, I know I risk censorship but that Gym lady is just a dumba$$.

    Your explaination was basic arythmetics. It is cristal clear. And she totally understood it. But she didn't want to take responsibility for her passive lifestyle choices. She totally has enough time on her hands to cycle your way. Period. Her reaction was just passive-agressive denial.

    All lazy people always call "lucky" those who are assertive enough in their lives to try and change stuff.

    All I can think of really is Étienne de la Boétie's "Discourse on Voluntary Servitude" which clearly explains how people will put themselves into slavish situations (buying Mc Mansions, having a gazillion children, having family over every other day, 10 cars, 3 meter TVs, vacationing on the moon every 6 months, the latest stupid gadget, on million cable channels they never watch etc.)and then b*tch about how they can't afford or don't have time to do things.

    Ugh...

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  22. I've had similar conversations with people who say "I'm lucky" to live close enough to bike to work everyday. Of course, it's not luck, I deliberately chose to live in an area that was likely to be close to where my job would be, even though my job has moved 4 times since I bought my house.

    Also, I point out to some of these people that they onlylive 5-8 miles from work and so are at perfect bicycling distances. They always say it would take too long or is too dangerous or ....

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  23. Hmm...I'm not liking the bike woman's attitude.

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  24. It appears as if she was being friendly, making conversation. In any case, why should you give a hoot whether her reasoning for not cycling makes any damn sense or not?

    Gym Woman: How lucky you are to have time to bike. I wish I could, but after work and cooking dinner I'm just exhausted.

    Bike Woman: I AM lucky, aren't I? [Smiles] Maybe some day you'll get lucky too! Bye now. [Waves as she pedals off.]

    Please don't turn this into Cranky Bicycle, that's well-covered!

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  25. Maybe Gym Lady thought Bike Lady looked like a Lucky Strike. Was she wearing cigarette pants by any chance?

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  26. As mentioned above, the variation on this theme is the commuting question: I ride my bike every weekend for fun, but take the subway to work during the week. Every day on my way to the station, I see streams of people riding toward the Brooklyn Bridge to cross into lower Manhattan to work, many of them without baskets or bags of any kind and no one wearing suits or ties - and think that they must have someplace at work to take a shower; or else they work in an office that has a fairly casual dress code.

    In theory, I could join them. The route and distance to my office are not a problem. I've covered it several times on the weekend just to prove to myself that I can ride it. But those weekend rides are done while wearing casual clothes and with no particular haste: The idea of doing that same route five days a week in a suit and tie (especially on humid days)? Not something I'm likely to try. In other words, I'm one of those "or" non-commuters mentioned above!

    Anyone living and riding in NYC is inherently an urban cyclist. But I feel a kind of peer pressure/guilt trip/wistfulness because I don't commute, as in, "gee, how can I think of myself as an 'urban cyclist' if I don't commute?" I'm pretty sure that I'm not unique in that feeling.

    I see this as no different than another rider being intimidated (or put off) by a group of roadies, or a person who works out in a gym being unable to imagine riding a bike instead of going to the gym. In each case, there's an element of doubt, of being afraid that one is unable "to do it the right way" or is otherwise "unsuitable" for taking up the activity.

    A toe in the water is probably called for in each case. The Gym Lady described in in the initial post might try some brief rides on the weekend and find that she likes doing it. Of course, Velouria, you've already demonstrated how someone can grow to appreciate and enjoy road cycling.

    I think I'll start by riding the half mile to the subway.

    Rudy

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    1. Main problem is where to park the bike -- apparently there's no safe parking provided/allowed at many NY workplaces. The clothing problem you solve by bringing a change of clothes or leaving sets of clothing at the office; off with the (somewhat) sweaty stuff when you arrive, on with the nice clothes. For less sweat, try less speed.

      There is one aspect of cycling-in-good-clothes that I don't get -- the durability of the pants. I have multiple pairs of shorts (Lands End, cotton) where I have pretty much worn through the butt. Rivendell MUSA (not cotton) seems a good deal more durable, I am sure there are others.

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  27. I think some of the posters here are missing the point. Trying to deconstruct a remembered and overheard conversation is silly to start with, and especially so since this same conversation is being used in an engaging way to illustrate a perfectly valid and interesting point: the way cycling is perceived to be a leisure activity unlike 'working out'.

    This was a nicely presented post, well told in a nice narrative style.

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    1. +1 This is a bikeblog (and a really great one) not Dr Phil. I admire Velouria for not giving up when things she is writing is being twisted and interpreted again and again.
      badmother

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  28. So true! It's one of the things people don't initially consider when giving me all of the reasons why commuting by bike is a bad idea. OK sure, it takes me about 90 minutes to get to work. Occasionally it can take that in the car but usually more like 50-60 mins. However, on top of all of the other benefits (costs less, less stressful etc.) I never have to go to the gym, out for a run or anything of that sort. Put that time on the end of a car commute and I reckon I win every time!

    Great blog BTW - I just love that bare steel Brompton :-)

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  29. To me it seems like gym woman admires bike woman and her looks. However cycling fast is outside her comfort zone. She does not really want to admit this, so she uses the "lucky" word and "don't have time" to get out of bike woman's suggestion that she should start biking too.

    I think people quite often react in that way. On one hand they feel attracted to the concept of doing certain things, on the other they do not wish to change their routine to that extent and therefore make up reasons why it isn't possible. Sometimes they just need some time to think about it though.

    The reason some people seem to hate road bikers is probably more complex, but some reasons are purely practical I am sure. For instance a driver may have to wait several seconds to find an appropriate opportunity to pass 20 cyclists in a paceline. The driver have to make the hard choice of waiting for the appropriate moment to pass, or risk their lives passing immediately, hoping there wont be something in the meeting lane. Most drivers chose to risk their lives. The paceline consists of road bikers.
    Certain drivers then draws the conclusion that road bikers are a lethal menace. However I find most people to be rather tolerant even if they may talk about how much they hate road bikers.

    I suppose if you want people to see biking more as training you shouldn't say I am going biking.
    No instead you are doing for instance 4*4 intervals, 70 km at a 32 km/h rolling average and 20 min of hill training or 150 km at 65% maximum heart rate. This sounds much less enjoyable (and therefore serious and important) than meeting up with some of your clubmates to go riding, even if it is exactly the same thing.

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  30. Clearly no need for gym and bike. Some years ago I had a gym membership and 3 times a week would cycle 10km to the gym, do a 1.5 hour workout and then cycle home. My gym monitor was worried about my excessive weight loss, not surprising as I was eating the same amount as before starting at the gym.

    Mind you, all is not good re cycling as last weekend I suffered a broken metatarsal from a high speed MTB wipeout. Now I'm supposed to not cycle for 3 months, hmmm. I can still play the trombone though, so all is not lost.

    Looking for an exercise bike!

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  31. I find people yelling at cyclists "get a job" interesting, as most road cyclists keep trying the one up manship of getting more stuff for their bike which makes it a very expensive hobby. This week I caught this news story where there is a cycling club for executives http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-28/business-execs-take-to-bikes/4037416. Apparently it is the new golf. As I work for a transport department I find I turn up to events in the work cycling kit and end up having those networking kinds of conversations, but I am just a humble cartographer so don't really help anyone advancing their career, unless they need a map. But I do know a lot more people in the industry than my colleagues.

    I have always been too tight to persist with gyms I can't see why I should pay money for pain/effort when I can save money by cycling to my destination and getting fit. The wind in your face is so much better.

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  32. I do feel pretty lucky, managing to have a long enough commute to justify riding my bike 2 hours a day, most days. If I were working closer to my home I would never be able to justify it.

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  33. I've just written a blog post of my own on this subject -- and of course linked to Lovely Bicycle several times in the process!

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    1. Whoops, forgot to include the URL! Here it is: http://josette-the-voice-within.blogspot.com/2012/05/every-day-is-bike-to-work-day.html

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  34. motorists think other forms of transportation (bus, train, bike) are just too "time-consuming" even though it's sometimes just a matter of 15 minutes. what are you really going to do with that extra 15 minutes? or sometimes it actually takes less time. for example, it takes me 20 minutes to bike to work. if i drove, it would take me 12 minutes, but i would have to park and walk, which eats up another 10 minutes. yes, this was in reference to sport cycling not transportation cycling, but i think the same applies. do you want to spend 1 hour at the gym 3 days a week, or an hour riding outside 3 days a week?

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  35. Hmm. I've never had this reaction. Oftentimes people (usually mistakenly) will react to cycling as being "too hard" and that the gym offers the same benefit with a bit less strain and without having to deal with the elements (weather, wind, traffic, etc).

    Either way I like to live and let live. Cycling isn't for everyone, so I'm not trying to preach that it is. If someone is interested in cycling, I'm happy to help them out however I can. I suppose - in the end - it's like the gym. We all have motivation and determination to do different activities. For some people the motivation is to cycle, for others it is to go to the gym. I don't think there's any ill-intent meant, just differing interests. In Velouria's example, it seems like the Gym Lady and the Bike Lady just have different interests and therefore, will prioritize their free time differently.

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  36. That is an interesting conversation you overheard. I go to the gym around 3 times a week and people frequently ask me how I can find the time. I should add that I have a toddler. I usually bike around 10 km to the gym and no one has been supprised I do that. It just makes sence to use the ride there as a warm up. Mind you I lift weights not cardio. Without hearing the driving lady it's hard to judge but I think she just wasn't preceding what she was hearing.

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  37. ya gotta lol. I get the "you're so lucky you only work 4 days a week" comment, which always makes me a little cranky - no, I'm not lucky. I decided almost 10 years ago that I didn't want to drudge my life away in admin any more so went and started a degree at 28 years old, and spent 8 years getting a qualification that would net me more money for less hours, and made sure after 2 years in underpaid jobs that I got myself into a well paid job rather than staying there. And instead of being greedy and going for the big bucks, I work only 4 days, so I stay sane. Less about luck and more about long term planning and proactive choices. Luck makes it sound like someone just hands it to you for free, and I think for me, this is why the comment grates, even though it's generally not meant in an offensive way. :)

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  38. MelissatheRagamuffinJune 2, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    To people who think biking places is too much hassle: Within city limits, I can get most places I want to go almost as fast on my bike as I can in my car. In some cases, I can even get their faster on my bike because I can cut through places on my bike that I can't in my car.

    I went to the movies with my roommate today. I rode my bike to the theater. She drove. When we went home I rolled in just a few minutes after she did, and at one point I was right behind her. The only reason she got a few minutes ahead of me was due to a large hill.

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  39. I have sensed the same lack of appreciation for the work we are doing and the skills we have developed. No one says "Thank you for the parking place you gave up," or "thanks for saving a gallon of gas for our grandchildren."

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