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Until You Bike a Mile in My Shoes

November 1, 2010

I rarely ride my road bike anymore.  I take it out when I feel like I’ve fallen behind in the exercise department and need to push myself a little harder.  It has clipless pedals, so I have to dig out the shoes that work with the bike.  Once I dig out the shoes I then feel the need to wear bike shorts, a lycra shirt, gloves, and even the sunglasses with the interchangeable lenses I bought for long rides, races, and lap sessions.

The problem is that when I think of what getting ready to ride that road bike entails–suiting up in a special uniform–the motivation to ride starts to fade very quickly.  Imagine if every time you went for a walk you had to put on a specific walking outfit: special shoes, shorts cut just so, a shirt to wick away sweat, and more.  You’d never leave the house.

I thought about this today when I took my D3 out for a ride down to the grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner.  I wore jeans, a sweater, and Camper shoes, their bubbly soles all I needed to grip the pedals, no cleats required.  I wore gloves, but only because it was cold, not because I needed them to take some of the pressure off my hands.  (Another benefit of riding upright.)  The only bike-specific items I wore were a helmet and a green Swrve Milwaukee hoodie, a remnant of my Boston bike commuting days.  But even that jacket hardly qualifies since it’s warm and stylish enough to wear whenever.

So all I needed to do to ride today was grab my helmet, unlock my bike from its parking spot in our building’s garage, and roll it outside.  One, two three.  I didn’t even have to change my shoes.

The next time you’re out for a ride and want to see the changing face of New York City riding, don’t look at the type of bike a person rides.  Look at his or her shoes instead.  When biking is seen as something as simple as one, two, three and not something one has to suit up for, you’ll know how far city cycling has truly come.

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One Comment
  1. November 3, 2010 10:19 am

    I wish I could bike to work in clothes that I can actually wear at work, but alas, my job sucks. But it’s not a big deal, I just leave a few clothes at work, then change into them when I get there.

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