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.