By now you’ve seen me. I’m the two-wheel terror whipping through the parking lot without a care for the SUVs towering on either side. Don’t worry, I recognize the size disadvantage I’m at (or, at least, how much people seem to be overcompensating). But I’ve been doing this for nearly two years—at this point, I know what I’m doing.
Given how long I’ve been doing this, I could fill a small book with the adventures of a bike commuter in Dallas. As it stands, I’ll probably rattle off a fair few blogs posts about it. For now, though, I’ll just answer all the questions y’all have been asking these past couple of years.
Yes, I own a car. She’s a 1997 Toyota Camry and yes, she works. Most of the time. I fill up the tank about every six months now and drive primarily when I have to give friends and family lifts to and from the airport.
I just don’t like driving. Yes, I care about my impact on the environment and yes, fuel is expense and I’m notoriously cheap, but I really ride for positive reasons (as opposed to because I’m against something). I ride because I like the freedom of being uncovered, instead of stuck in a steel box. I ride because I get seriously terrible road rage and traffic makes me anxious. I ride because sunny days make it all worth it and, most of all, I ride because I love it.
No, I don’t live around here. I can’t tell you about the good delivery places around the office because I don’t use them. I live in Uptown and I ride the DART from Victory Station to the Irving Convention Center. The total commute is right around an hour each way, split pretty much 50/50. So while the world around me is stuck in rush hour traffic, I’m getting in my workout or contently reading a book.
No, I don’t ride on the highway. Because someone seriously asked me this.
Yes, it’s dangerous. But life is dangerous. I do what I can to mitigate the inherent danger of riding a bike in a car town. I have two lights secured to the bike and a few others I tote around just in case. I don’t trust a green light because there’s usually a car blowing through the red. I just expect everyone around me to do something dumb, then I’m prepared when they do.
That’s my lane. Per city of Dallas code, I get the full lane. I ride down the center of the lane because it is my lane. You may not pass me in my lane. If you do pass me in my lane and I catch you at a red light, expect an earful. If swearing were its own language, I’d be fluent.
I use Transit Bicycle Company. They’re located in West Village, at Blackburn and McKinney, and they are seriously tops. The people there taught me everything I know about bike maintenance and fixing a flat. Fran and co can hook you up with whatever you need.
Yes, I rode today. Is there weather outside? Glorious, I love weather! But really, folks, I rode in today. I’m like the post office. I’ve ridden in the snow, in the rain, in what felt like gale-force winds. There are days that I’ll throw the bike in the back of my buddy’s truck in the morning (shoutout to Jared Hernandez!) but, dollars to donuts, I pedaled my way through whatever concerned you so much and arrived here wide awake and raring to go.
Did I miss any questions? Give it a go in the comments!