Wednesday, October 1, 2014

If You're Going to Look at Me, Please See Me

I consider myself a member of a number of tribes (women, lesbians, the inked, cyclists, those interested in fashion/style, etc.) although I don't always have to assert that connection.  For example, on Monday when a store owner tried to engage me with "Oooh, you've got some ink," I replied, "Oooh, you've got some eyes."  (I know, not terribly kind, but don't try to get me to buy your shoes like that.  Some tribe members are a bit douchey.)

However, when I'm commuting to the train station Wednesday mornings, I like to smile or give a little wave or acknowledgement when I see others commuting because we're going against the tide (next time you're in traffic, look to see how many cars have only one occupant).  We need to stick together (but dude! get off the sidewalk!).

This morning I saw a woman riding the opposite direction.  She looked at me but wouldn't acknowledge me.  I got the feeling that she was judging me as not a "serious" cyclist.  I admit, my dress this morning had the feel of a fashionable missionary, if I may say so myself.  I was wearing the outfit in my "What I'm Wearing to Teach Today" post, a black rain coat, plus this helmet.  So I wasn't wearing a cycling jacket, black bike tights, and a sporty helmet.  Does that make me less of a cyclist?  I actually called after her something along the lines of, "You can wave back."  I don't think she heard me.  It actually supports my assertion that people are intimidated/frightened/put-off by people who care about the way they dress or dress differently.

In the interest of full disclosure (or stating the obvious), I'm clearly a snob about many things, and I've had my own cyclists snob moments (Touring with a support vehicle?  Hmph!) even when I've done it myself (see the Lake to Lake ride), but I'm still appreciative of people on their bikes.  So here's my message to my fellow cyclists - let it go, and be happy we're all on two wheels.  It won't kill you to say "hi."

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