Jen reposted some "rules from a cycling 'expert'" from Brown Girl in the Lane, and asked us, "What are you an expert at? Do you have any rules for cycling?" I started to type up a comment response and got so into it that I thought it deserved its own post! So here they are- more words from another "expert".
This post from the Surly blog pretty much sums up how I feel. If you haven't read it yet, check it out! The main message is that riding a bike is inclusive and no matter what your style, you're doing it right.
One of my big rules is, "Don't sacrifice personal safety for someone else's comfort." I try to do what is safe and fun and prudent for my style of riding. I take my commute fast, my tours slow, and I will yell like a crazy person if I think someone is not paying attention, and I won't feel ashamed about it. Take the lane with no apologies. Be assertive without being aggressive. (Works in progress..)
Here are some other "rules" that I follow.
- Ride my bicycle. Often!
- Bell dinging- YES!
- Smiling, singing, waving while riding- YES!
- Always tell kids I pass that their bikes are "Super rad."
- Everyone likes to hear they have a nice bike, so why not give out compliments at red lights, at the grocery store bike rack, anytime, all the time?
- I try never to insult my bike- it's not too old, it's not too ugly, I have no shame about the patina of use and age on my machine and I don't feel inferior to fancy new bikes. Bike shame is a real shame.
- Good fuel = strong engine. I like to feed my engine good food and lots of water.
- Keep my bike in good repair.
- Sweat is sexy.
- When I hem and haw about whether or not to spend money on a fancy-pants component or on something cheaper/ inferior, I remind myself to value reliability and safety, and to consider the type of riding I do. Sometimes the cheaper option is the way to go, but I've also spent more on replacing cheap stuff more often than if I had just gone with the better/ $$$ part...
- Gloves, helmet, closed-toed shoes, brakes. (I'm clumsy.)
- No rules. "If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun." --Katherine Hepburn