Today is voting day (municipal elections), and dutiful citizen that I am, I left for work 15 minutes early so that I could hit my polling station on the way in and still arrive on time. Since I ride my bike to work, I also rode to the polling station. But after I got there, I realized I didn’t have my lock with me. I don’t need it at work, because I bring my bike right into the office…so I decided I would do the same at the polling station. (Sorry – no photos. I’m not sure what the rules about photographing in the polling station are, but I didn’t want to risk committing a federal offense).
No one really seemed to mind that I had my bike with me, although I did have an interesting conversation with the woman who takes the ballots:
“Is that a bicycle?”
“Yes – it’s a folding bike.” (I quickly demonstrate the folding mechanism).
“And you rode it here?” (She asks incredulously).
“Yes – I’m on my way to work.”
“You ride your bike to work?” (More incredulous than before).
“And how far is it?”
“About 5 miles – takes about a half hour.”
“Yeah – sometimes it’s even faster than driving, depending on traffic.”
The bike is, and for such a long time has been, such an integral part of how I get around the city that I am always a little taken aback by people who find the idea so foreign. It just seems to make more sense to me to ride most of the time, than to drive or take public transportation (although I do like that these options are still available to me with a folding bike). But I suppose people who don’t ride are equally taken aback (as this woman was) by the idea that someone would actually ride a bike as regular, every day transportation.
Reactions to your Choice to Ride?
Have you ever had to defend you decision to use your bike as transportation? Do you find non-cyclists are receptive to your reasoning? Where’s the most interesting or unusual place you’ve taken your bike inside with you?