Sunny California is not entirely sunny at the moment which means my rides to and from work are damp or wet or soaking. That's not a big deal. The following isn't a big deal either but it does get annoying. The endless "did you ride today, did you get wet, are you afraid of death" questions. Yes I rode. It was that or I just stuck my head under a faucet, right? Yes it was wet. Yes I am wet. Yes my bike got water on it. That's not even the annoying part. The story is the annoying part. The story is some version of "I knew someone who biked in the rain and both his/her arms got torn off. Wow. Do you worry about your arm getting torn off?"
Yesterday I made the mistake of mentioning this annoying fact of being a bicyclist in rain, how every person wants to tell some story and I was immediately interrupted by This Guy and he said "oh, oh, I knew this woman---"
I interrupted This Guy and asked, patiently, "Death or Dismemberment?"
This Guy paused thoughtfully, "Neither really."
I smiled warmly, "Public humiliation?
This Guy looked annoyed. Bike accident story-tellers don't appreciate feeling as if they are not first. I think it harks back to a primitive guy thing where they want to pretend every girl they are interested in is a virgin but really, I digress. This Guy continues "I saw this girl, on a bike? And she crashed right into the back of a car!!"
The look on my face must have said "THAT'S IT?"
This Guy nods and says, a trifle defensively, "She was really embarrassed."
I nod. "Neither death nor dismemberment. Public humiliation."
The thing about bicycling to work and then bicycling home again is this: two little adventures every day. Maybe that doesn't sound like much to you. Two adventures per day. Relatively small adventures overall. But how many adventures do the rest of you have? Watching the Paris Hilton pr0n tape does not count. Watching anything does not count. Watching is to see someone else have the adventure. Bicycle commuters have their own two little adventures every day. Adventures are cool. Doing instead of watching is cool. Biking through sheets of rain that scare off other people...is cool. The best part is, anyone can be cool. Get on your bike and ride to work. Arrive spackled with mud and the slightly secret smile that comes from book-ending your day with an adventure on either side.