There is nothing like that feeling of absolute dorkiness the moment you get to campus, sweaty from a long-distance bike ride and have to walk through campus.
Your peers””hair done, make-up on, and most often with coffee or boyfriend in hand””team the walkways on their way to class; meanwhile you, huffing, puffing and sporting a huge backpack and a nerdy helmet, steer carefully through them to the nearest bike rack.
Oh wait, you mean that hasn’t happened to you?!
Well, as I sit here reflecting on my senior year, those are some of the great moments that stand out in my memory.
When I decided to live in a house about three miles away from campus, I never could have guessed the glorious intricacies that my daily bike commute would entail.
I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you some highlights from a year in the life of an off-campus commuter, a beastly biker, a piddly peddler””namely, me!
First thing you should know: I am really, really hot. All the time. All day, e’ery day.
Jealous? Don’t be, because when I say I am the hottest kid on campus, I mean it quite literally. Especially in these humid spring months””it’s getting to the point where I need a spare change of clothes and a towel with me at all times.
Additionally, I am à¼ber fashionable. Hand-in-hand with my natural hotness, I make runway models look ridiculous when compared to my fanciful wardrobe choices.
Among my favorite accessories is my safety-first helmet””it goes with everything! Of course, the occasional plastic poncho is a must””not only is it exceedingly stylish, but also protects both body and backpack from pesky precipitation!
On days when my mid-thigh, padded bike shorts don’t fit the bill, pants with a rubber band on the leg are a fabulous alternative.
You may not believe it, but I am not only popular and good-looking amongst my peers, but all the dogs in my neighborhood really like me, too! This fact can be attributed less to my style and more to the reality that I am the best, most entertaining part of their day.
As they chase me, barking and growling down the street (and frequently, up hills), I try to remember that they are having the time of their lives and to forget the myriad reports of feral dog attacks in San Antonio.
Really, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship, because those playful pups give me all the motivation I need to do a speed workout.
As if that’s not enough, San Antonio drivers love me, too.
What’s not to love about bikers, really? Although we may impede traffic at times, we provide comic relief to make up for it.
It’s always fun to watch a newbie biker at stoplights when she can’t get her feet out of the clips in time and gently, oh-so-slowly, tips over. Or when, full speed ahead, the gear shift suddenly catches and she is jolted into a wobbly mess.
Or there are those really amusing times when she doesn’t get a good kick start and almost falls over in the middle of an uphill intersection. (I speak in the third person here because I’d rather pretend that none of that has happened to me”¦)
Besides all of that, people generally think I’m a B.A. and assume I am either a hard-core environmentalist or a fitness nut. When compared to the much lamer reality””not having an alternative mode of transportation””I’m inclined to let them think so.
Overall, it’s been a great experience biking the commute every day. My cool index has increased substantially (if you don’t believe me, just re-read this column); my calves are buffer than ever; and, most importantly, I will never, ever take a car for granted again.