From hater to participator: My life in cycles

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By ANGEL CANEZ

 

Odds are, I was like many of the people reading this, and I hated those bike riders so fucking much.

My anger boiled over at bicyclists taking what seemed like half the road up in their dumb spandex bodysuits. Ignoring the laws because they’re  not technically a “motor vehicle.”

I bet these feelings are more than reassured after the El Tour de Tucson came and went Nov. 17. Tucson’s always bringing in those out-of-town flatlander, bike fools for El Tour de Tucson.

Then I got a bike, and just like the first time I had onions, I turned my head slightly to the left, did a double-take and realized, “Hey this isn’t that bad — it’s actually pretty good.”

I’ve become a bike patriot in the last year, I haven’t descended into full-on Spandex bodysuit and honestly I don’t care for those guys either. They’re the showoffs of the biking world. However, being on the other side of the coin, knowing how it feels to bash on the biker now that I am one, I can’t help but think “Hey, some of this trash talking isn’t necessary.”

The amount of hate toward bike riders can get pretty intense. I discovered that hatred myself on Nov. 10, when I was leaving Pima West from the Women’s first basketball game about 8 p.m. I was riding down Anklam Road in front of Wendy’s when it happened: A guy driving by threw a beer bottle at me. This wasn’t your normal beer bottle, but a big 40-ounce bottle.

The kicker is I’ve always had that irrational fear of someone chucking something at me from their car. Much like that scene in “Being John Malkovich” when Malkovich gets struck in the back of the head with a beer can. It was always in the back of my head, but I never thought it would happen, kind of like the CDC Zombie protocol.

It turns out that irrational fear was indeed very rational. It didn’t upset me as much as I thought it would, though. If anything, I learned that I should start wearing my helmet now.

It’s not totally bike riders’ fault, though. Tucson makes it easy to enjoy biking once you get one. The town loves bike riders almost as much as the rest of town hates them. As of October 2018, according to Bicycle magazine, Tucson ranks 23rd for bike friendliness in the nation, up from 24th last year. Tucson also added the 130-mile loop last year, and on Feb. 22, the town voted unanimously for the bicycle boulevard master plan. The master plan is going to add 190 miles of bike lanes across the city to streets that don’t currently accommodate bicyclists.I started riding my bike about about a year ago because I can’t drive, not because I’m a loser but because I’m not legally allowed to drive. I’m epileptic, and “the man” won’t let me. It’s been a nice change of pace it’s much faster than walking and I get exercise that I normally wouldn’t. I delusionally believe my legs will get strong enough that i’ll be able to dunk in the next year at on a nine foot rim. Biking is something I think more people should definitely pick up, it’s nice to ride out and it’s super easy even the uphill stuff is a breeze. Most of the time you don’t even notice you’ve been riding up a tiny incline and next thing you know your costing down the street with a cool wind Blowing by you.  It’s a nice change of pace and a super relaxing way to exercise. Way easier than running.I’m able to ride back and forth to my parents house a few miles away from me in about 15 minutes, I’m saving gas and saving the world.

Although I really enjoy it ill admit im a long way from getting suited up in the flamboyant costom with the bright colors and joining those bicycle gangs of old people. The city slicker flatlanders in their spandex suits, they give us a bad name. They’re the ones that manage to get  calm, mild mannered people into a berserk fit of road rage. The ones who take up the lane and stand right in the middle of the road acting like they should have the same rights as cars but don’t have to follow the rules. The bicyclist everyone loves to hate, even me and I am a cyclist.

Biking its alot better then you remember it as a kid so i suggest you take some time out of your busy life to grab a bike and hit the road. If you don’t have one rent one of those stands they have downtown just give it a shot. Get up, get off the internet get some sun and do something ride a bike. America.

 

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