Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

05 November 2011

A Helmet Meets A Name

Last year, I contrasted the two places in which I'd been teaching in terms of the number and kinds of bikes parked by them.  Since then, what was my second job became my main job.  And, at my now-main job, all of the racks are full on nice days, and one can find some bikes parked on campus even in the winter--except when there's a foot of snow on the ground.  On the other hand, at my now-second job, my bike is usually one of only four or five parked on campus.

What's just as interesting at my main job is that sometimes I'll see signs that some faculty or staff member is  riding to work:  He or she is carrying a bag that is obviously intended for use on a bike.  Or he or she is wearing cycling shoes.  Or, most commonly, a helmet is dangling by its straps from his or her fingers.

Yesterday, on my way to my first class, I crossed paths with a helmet-toter as I climbed, and she descended, the stairs.   "Elena" works in one of the offices that provides services to students;  she accompanied the director of her department. I'm guessing that Elena is within a few years, in either direction, of my age, and she has been cycling to school or work, she said, ever since she was an undergraduate at a nearby college.  

It was one of those conversations in which we talked about one thing and another before we learned each others' names.  They were surprised to find out that I, indeed, am the name that they've seen any number of times on the college's online "Community Dialogue."  What surprised them, I don't know.  Perhaps I don't look like the opinionated  and, if I do say so myself, passionate person they've seen in my comments, criticisms and responses on eCollege.  

The director had to go to a meeting, but Elena and I continued to talk about some of our "war" and horror stories about cycling to the campus, and generally.  It was good to know that I'm not the only cyclist on campus who believes that the bike racks, as they're set up, are impractical.  She said she'd spoken with campus officials about this and other matters.  I offered to help in any way I could to encourage more people to cycle to and from campus, and to make it more convenient and safer for them to make such a choice.

Now that I think of it, we could start some sort of organization for cyclists on campus.  There are certianly enough of us for that.  I wonder, though, how long it will take for us to get together if anyone else is meeting his or her cycling colleagues in a way similar to the way I met Elena yesterday.


  1. I would love to see the day when bicycle commuting is so commonplace that cycle commuters would as soon think of starting a cycle commuting club at their workplace as motorists would think of starting a car commuting club.