Polite Pedaller: Proper riding etiquette advice

The Polite Pedaller: Proper Riding Etiquette from the dandyARCHIVE

Illustration by Chucky Cent

Double up

I ride my bike every day and feel lost without it. The other night I met a great guy. We went out to dinner and hit it off. But when we went to leave the restaurant I discovered, sadly, he did not have a bike … and I wasn’t about to walk home. Should I dump him or double him?

Signed, Lonely biker

Delilah:

Double up if you can! That’s what I always say, anyway. If you ride a big sturdy Dutch bike, putting your new beau sidesaddle on the back rack is an option. A slightly less safe route is to put him on your handlebars — like Snoop Dogg in the beginning of the Gin & Juice video. Of course, you could just walk home, then plan to convert him into a bikester inside the month. If he won’t pedal around town with you after you help him find a ride then cut the dumpy chump loose. (This reminds me, I have to get those homie haulers installed…).

Prudence:

Give the poor boy a chance. I mean, if he drives a gas-guzzling SUV then politely stop returning his calls. However, if he was simply planning on walking you home — a romantic gesture on a hot summer night — then you should take turns pushing the bike on your way. Maybe he is just waiting for you to invite him on a tandem ride!

Tree-for-all

Last Sunday I was riding with my tree-hugger friend Hannah and we stopped in the market for some groceries. The bike posts within sight were full, and the only place to lock up was to a boulevard tree. As I pushed my bike towards the skinny, slightly pathetic trunk, Hannah grabbed my seat and stopped me. She told me my U-lock would hurt the tree and insisted I hunt for another spot. I told her to go build a wooden bridge to jump off and get over it. I locked up, and carried on. Was I wrong?

Signed, T(r)eed off

Delilah:

Kensington is gnarly for bike parking, so if you found something that isn’t a patio railing or someone else’s bike then I say, go for it. Those poorly planted trees all die prematurely due to dehydration anyway. Be warned though; bike thieves in Toronto will stop at nothing — including cutting down a little tree to get your bike.

Prudence:

It is important to respect the feelings of others, especially in their presence. Ultimately, no one knows what that tree feels. More importantly (sorry Hannah), a defenseless tree can do nothing to stop a saw-wielding bike thief from snatching your ride and destroying your living bike post. Don’t be lazy: walk a little further to find a spot to lock up.

~ This installment of the Polite Pedaller originally appeared in dandyhorse issue #3 (Summer 2009) which you can find here ~

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