The Chainlink

What does your family think of your life as a cyclist?

I'm mostly a city commuter and I know my dad is nervous that I am going to get hit by a car while I'm biking. I explain to him that more people my age are killed in car accidents than bike accidents.

My 7 year old suburban nephew thinks I'm cool cause I don't use my car often. He is quickly becoming a bike fanatic too!

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My parents don't get it but they respect my decision to be a full-time cyclist.

I tell them stories about my days, the whole while editing mishaps and episodes to not sound so bad. They never get the full story. Although, it is pretty standard for me to have contusions and lacerations and those are not hidden as well as my internal journal. To these they paw and coddle; look at with contempt. It is in these moments that their silent stare says everything they would never.

Slight comfort is gained by them knowing how much of a helmet whore I am.
"Helmet Whore", I love it....

Jen P said:
My parents don't get it but they respect my decision to be a full-time cyclist.

I tell them stories about my days, the whole while editing mishaps and episodes to not sound so bad. They never get the full story. Although, it is pretty standard for me to have contusions and lacerations and those are not hidden as well as my internal journal. To these they paw and coddle; look at with contempt. It is in these moments that their silent stare says everything they would never.

Slight comfort is gained by them knowing how much of a helmet whore I am.
My mother secretly hates it for fear that I will get hit by a car. The good thing is that she always suprises me with new safety gear when I see her.
I grew up in a cycling/exercise-crazy family, and they love the fact that I've more or less eschewed car-centric travel for cycling. My mom has also recently re-embraced riding, and she's looking to trick out her badass old Trek with panniers, fenders, and all things convenient! My sister, while being primarily a runner, is also getting back into scooting around N.O.'s Garden District by bike. There's no better way to get around there!

BTW, I bought Mom a sprung woman's Brooks B-72 for Xmas and I REALLY hope she digs it. She says that her ass is terribly finicky (no lewd jokes, please!!!).
My wife has seriously mixed feelings about it. She knows that bike commuting my primary form of physical exercise and mental relief, but she hates worrying about me. If I ever get caught up late at the office and don't call when I actually leave, she becomes convinced that I'm road pizza under the wheels of a bus.

If I had a kid riding Chicago's streets, I would probably be a treblming mix of pride and dread. That said, I cannot wait to raise my kids to ride. There is no better way to get to know this city than on a bike.
Stewski said:
There is no better way to get to know this city than on a bike.


Agreed, Stewski.
Third that!

Jen P said:
Stewski said:
There is no better way to get to know this city than on a bike.


Agreed, Stewski.
I have been a year round, all weather, bike commuter for a lot of years. My 31 year old daughter bikes to work every day also. This is a bit embarrassing to admit, but I worry about her safety all of the time. I can't help it. I'm her dad.
I just recently started riding again after a ten year absence from the lifestyle. My family was quite impressed the first time I made the 25 mile round trip to work (not half as impressed as I secretly was with myself). They think it's kinda cool but also a little nuts. Also all my friends can't believe it when I show up to parties or whatever on my bike! But hey, if it gets any of them to think about riding, its all gravy.
I was already the odd duck, so it doesnt really phase them much. They probably worried more about me when I was in the army. At least no one is actively trying to kill me when I am on my bike. Although in this town sometimes I wonder. Growing up on a farm in Indiana, I became very mechanicly inclined from an early age, and learned to work with my hands. Working on a bike is much simpler than working on a car or tractor. You dont have to pull crap off just to get at other crap, it is all right there out in the open!
About riding in the city... I never tell my mother about close calls or anything like that, even though she knows my penchant for danger, so I'm sure she worries. If my dad were still alive he would think I was nuts for riding in the city, but he thought I was nuts for joining the army to jump out of planes and travel the world and blow up small parts of it. But I'm sure he would appreciate the mechanics of it. like him I am facinated by things mechanical.
I have learned the hard way to NEVER mention that I do critical mass among friends and family. I have some friends who have been stopped by the mass or have had bad experiences with massers. My family would just not understand, so why trouble them with it?
My dad says I am crazy for riding the tall bike downtown from Northfield when it is this cold but I just tell him It's fun !
I'm happy to report that my dad has started riding to work two days a week from his house to skokie! So proud of him.

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