On Monday night, I went to a one-night cooking class that Jess had bought me. This being Utah and the location technically being in the suburbs (South Salt Lake, I’d guess), I wasn’t too surprised to find that the class was mostly full of women. Middle-aged, house-wife-looking, made-up, big nails and hair, really white teeth, kind of women.
It was a fun class. I learned a lot and the chef (Gretchen O’Connor) packed a lot of different recipes into a few hours.
Having ridden in on my bike that day, I grabbed my bag at the end of class (about 8:45PM), tossed it over my shoulder and picked up my helmet. One of the women turns and gives me a dumbfounded once-over.
“You rode your bike here?”Here we go
, I think. I’m not much of a preacher when it comes to bike commuting. However, if someone asks me about, I do my best to answer all of their questions and add a little sell: “You should try it,”
I finally respond that yes, I did in fact ride my bike here (hence the helmet, gloves and rolled-up pant legs), and that I try to commute by bike to work as often as I can.
“But isn’t it dangerous? I mean, it’s so dark out.”
I tell her that I use lights—three, in fact—a blinking white light in the front and two blinking red lights in the rear. Further, I choose my routes a bit more carefully at night and try to ride on quiet streets with less traffic.
This would generally be the part of the conversation where I expect to hear questions like “Yeah, but why ride a bike when you could drive?”
and start to plan my polite counterattack. The ‘sell,’ if you will.
That didn’t happen this time around.
“I don’t know. It still seems so dangerous,” she said. “Why don’t you let me give you a ride home? I’ve got a really big SUV and it’s just me in it.”
In my head I’m thinking, That’s the point, lady
. But she was so damned sweet, albeit ignorant, all I had the heart to say was, “No, thank you. I don’t live far.”
Labels: bike commuting, bikes, Utah