a left-eyed girl

living in a 2 dimensional world

Conversations with strangers.

with 8 comments

Yes, this is another bikey post. Sorry. It’s somewhat consumed my life to the point of thinking about using my Caltrain pass (I get free pass on all zones on the weekends) to go up to SF with my bike so I can be like one of those crazy tourists biking on Embarcadero. Yeah.

The nice thing about a bike is that somehow it makes you more approachable by strangers. I think it also helps that I’m not a spandex-clad biker, so I look like a normal person out riding their bike from A to B. (Not that spandex makes you less approachable, but maybe you would look more like a “real” biker who might not want to be bothered and you might be training for something really cool too.)

I was leaving my building on the way home from work. I usually stop right outside the building to fix my garter (it keeps my skirt down while I’m riding), so I stopped as usual and clipped the edge of my dress to the garter. A lady who came out of the building right behind me exclaimed, “Oh, how nice that you ride your bike!” and we had a short little conversation about how she used to bike to work too, but now she has to drop off her son and has to drive. As we parted, she said, “Have a good weekend and a nice ride home!” Yeah. It was really nice.

Plus, I’m getting to have all kinds of random conversations with the other bikey regulars on my train. I take the same trains everyday, so you get to see the same people over and over. I feel like I’m even more conspicuous now, compared to the regular rider, simply because I am one of the few people who bring their bikes. Well, it’s not really a “few” people who bring their bikes; there are actually a decent number of us, but still a small percentag compared to non-bikey riders.

I also ran into Fritz again and we had a random little conversation about the skirt clip thing with another female biker who was wearing a skirt. She mentioned it looked like a good idea and a nice alternative to flashing most of downtown San Jose.

Oh, and then there’s the whole secret bikey subculture… This is getting interesting.

Written by Reese

July 10, 2009 at 7:01 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Well, if that’s a good thing depends on your point of view, of course. Biking builds a flashable tush. πŸ˜€

    Biking is a good default subject of mutual interest. And much more conspicuous than most other possible subjects.

    For some odd reason… and probably my lighting configuration, blue bike and, in the winter, my blue-striped jacket probably contribute… people occasionally think I’m a bike patrol cop. They also ask me for directions, which is really really difficult at times because I’ll think about where they want to go and realize that, while I can mentally picture the route they would take, I cannot remember a single one of the street names.

    I keep thinking I should take the CalTrain up to SF and bike the Embarcadero. On the other hand, I’m probably at or near the point where I can just bike straight up to the city and back without any train interactions at all.

    It’s a lot like being a motorcyclist, except that instead of leather, you’ve got spandex.


    July 10, 2009 at 7:28 pm

  2. Wirehead – I used to ride a black Trek w/ a rack and trunk, I tend to wear a lot of black, and I look very nerdy. I’ve had people say bad things to me about law enforcement officers.

    The problem I have w/ giving directions is I know how to get there by bike, but have problems directing them to take I-280 to Bascom (or wherever).


    July 10, 2009 at 9:30 pm

  3. Oh, and Reese, welcome to the Cult πŸ™‚


    July 10, 2009 at 9:30 pm

  4. Well, Fritz, it actually happens that my bike really *is* a police bike that’s been rebadged. Whenever the sticker they put over the “POLICE” lettering wears off, I’ll really get people confused. πŸ˜€


    July 10, 2009 at 10:20 pm

  5. =v= I know a woman who carries two binder clips everywhere and knows how to use them to keep her skirts from flying around. Dagnabbit.

    When women started riding bikes like crazy in the 1890s, it alarmed the Victorian patriarchy. They launched counter-propaganda with illustrations showing cigar-smoking women ordering their husbands to do housework. But secretly they also circulated postcards that depicted women falling off their bikes, thereby scandalously exposing their ankles and petticoats.


    July 11, 2009 at 1:09 pm

  6. Jym, I believe that woman would be Cheryl?

    I ran into Reese again today and took a photo of her garter and clip.


    July 11, 2009 at 10:20 pm

  7. Ahaha…isn’t bicycle obsession great?! I recently got a used bike – my first bicycle in London – and I love it! Great idea with the garter!


    July 12, 2009 at 1:50 pm

  8. @Wirehead: Ha, I’ve totally turned into the person who doesn’t know street names along her commute at all. If I had to tell someone how I go to work, I don’t know if I could describe it to someone else, other than using landmarks.
    @Fritz: The cult pretty much rocks my face off!
    @Jym: Ha, that’s awesome! Binder clips are so useful.
    @Su-Lin: Ya seriously. Bikes are fun!!


    July 13, 2009 at 8:01 pm

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