Friday, June 3, 2011

Commuting Etiquette

Dear drafting commuter...

So begins a subchapter in my forthcoming book on cyclo-commuting etiquette.[1] As our cities become decreasingly bike-unfriendly, cyclocommuters can expect to see more of each other out on the roads. Where he was once a solitary creature, the bike commuter now finds himself part of a community, a community with standards of etiquette. It is our job to define those standards.

And one of those standards is to announce yourself when you creep in to the draft of another rider with something louder than than the misaligned drivetrain on your retrofitted Raleigh Technium fixie, preferably your voice. You see, when one sneaks in to the draft like that, unannounced, it has the effect of turning every conceivable landmark into a finish line. Lamp posts, street signs, particularly large trees, a gap in a speed bump, fire hydrants, trash cans, the top of a hill, a bend in the road.

What was once a leisurely, if a little brisk, morning commute has now become a drag race, which can only lead to one thing: hobo showers at work. So, dear drafting commuter, please give a friendly "hello" when creeping up behind another rider, unless you're especially fond of cleaning up with sink-wetted trifold paper towels.

1. I do not have a forthcoming book on cyclo-commuting etiquette