Not Athletic

Because people notice I bike somehow I keep finding myself in this conversation:

Not Athletic

It’s funny people think I’m athletic. Obviously they didn’t know me way back when.

Not Athletic

I only survived gym class because I pretended to be really angry when the game didn’t go my way. Taking a game too seriously seemed to be the way to be taken seriously when playing sports.

Not Athletic

And I haven’t gotten any more athletic after that. I’ve just found a lifestyle that works for me.

Not Athletic

Commuting by bike doesn’t have to be an athletic undertaking. It just takes time to get used to it.

And now that it’s second nature for me I find myself having awkward moments like this:

Not Athletic


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  • Tim September 25, 2013   Reply →

    I like to tell people “I’m not trying to save the planet one pedal stroke at a time, I just love to ride. It makes me happy.”

    Oh yeah, and desert…

    • apox October 10, 2013  

      you should read bike snob’s “the enlightened cyclist: commuter angst, dangerous drivers, and other obstacles on the path to two-wheeled transcendence.”

      he talks about how some drivers hate cyclists because they simply view them as not a commuter or someone who’s trying to get healthy, rather a self-righteous, tree-hugging, bike-riding hippie trying to lord over them with the fact that cyclists are better because we care and are doing something good for the environment.

      not saying that caring about the environment is a bad thing at all, of course, but it is something to think about.

  • Opus the Poet September 26, 2013   Reply →

    Yeah, I sometimes think I’m riding a cloud, too, until I hit another section of pavement that looks like the surface of the moon.

    • Scott Wagner September 26, 2013  

      No, Opus – that’s just turbulence!

    • Marge Evans September 26, 2013  

      so true!

    • jmb421 October 10, 2013  

      want to really feel as if your on a cloud? riding a tall unicycle (like one with a chain, aka a giraffe unicycle) actually has that feeling. youre high up, you can’t see the apparatus your on. very floaty.

  • Chris September 26, 2013   Reply →

    I too have had the why bike I wouldnt that’s too dangerous it does make you wonder when you look at some drivers so angry why pay all that money if it does that to you.

  • Angelo Dolce September 26, 2013   Reply →

    I also put bicycling in the faster & more dependable plus more flexible and cheaper than public transportation (and usually driving) when I lived in Boston. look at some drivers so angry why pay all that money if it does that to you

    I always wondered this too. For the few that could appreciate the conversation, I used the frugal Yankee explanation – driving saved no time over bicycling bu would cost $100 month to park plus gas and maintenance, while bicycling I could see the trees and the birds. The question for driving was: Should I pay more to get fat, pollute the environment, or fund Middle Eastern terrorists?

    I found the “you don’t have a car get out of the road” comments almost always happened at rush hour when the cars in front of me were blocking the road, or when I stopped at a red light (even with cars in front of me). This didn’t convince me to drive.

    I’m impressed by your posts, both ideas (Inflatable hobo Pirate with a Religious Streak?!) with simple drawings


  • Garrett September 26, 2013   Reply →

    That’s awesome. I live in a small city in California and I walk to work, which is very unusual. It’s only 1.25 miles but people act like I do a marathon every morning.

    My boss once told me that I could obviously do the crazy hard bike ride that we were talking about because I walk to work every morning!

    In the winter I occasionally cross country ski to work and, I’ll admit, I feel a little bad ass then.

    Thanks for the comics!

  • Marge Evans September 26, 2013   Reply →

    you comic is perfect. I have never been “athletic”. I like to ride because it is fun and less stress. In fact I get stressed when I have to drive.

  • Sarah September 26, 2013   Reply →

    Bikeyface – SO GOOD! I hope it’s okay, I’m linking to this post in my post for tomorrow because I think it’s too good not to share. I also wanted to use the first image in the post… is that alright? Obviously it’s attributed to you. If you want it taken down, please let me know:)

    Keep up the great work!


    • bikeyface September 26, 2013  

      Thanks, and sure :)

  • Rootchopper September 26, 2013   Reply →

    Nail it again!! It’s not about the bike or the body. It’s about the brain.

  • Alexa Mergen September 26, 2013   Reply →

    Yes, happiness! Bikes are happy things. Love your drawings. Thanks.

  • Martin Turner September 26, 2013   Reply →

    We love your work, here in Hong Kong :-)

  • John Schubert September 27, 2013   Reply →

    As always, artistic genius!

  • PeculiarPurpleDJ September 27, 2013   Reply →

    Love this! It was a serious shock when I discovered my coworkers thought of me as an athlete because I commute by bike and have tried running. In phys ed classes, I was the smallest/slowest/least-coordinated, perpetually in competition for last place with the fat kid. The first A I ever got in PE was when I took a two-month intensive history course in a foreign country. The one class counted for history, literature, and phys ed credits, but I was graded on my essays, not on how well I could keep up on all those hikes around the country.

    I wonder if cycling is especially appealing to people who do enjoy the high of physical activity but don’t discover it until adulthood because of the emphasis on those damned team sports in school.

  • Mike September 27, 2013   Reply →

    Oh! The cloud-riding struck a chord! And I thought I was the only one 😉

  • Tacoma September 27, 2013   Reply →

    Reading this posting makes me happy too. And now I know what to tell my work associates when they ask what it’s like to commute by bicycle.

  • Matthew J September 28, 2013   Reply →

    Similar phenomena: People often ask me about the Tour de France, Giro whatever or whatever pro-cyclist makes the news (usually for drug abuse).

    They always seem disappointed when I tell them I’ve not a clue.

    Strange thing is that when I’m not riding I walk a lot. But no one asks me about power walk races.

  • anotherbostonian September 30, 2013   Reply →

    a while back people would see me and my bike in the elevator at the office and would say “oh – so you’re doing the green thing?” I’d say “no – it saves me $200 a month not to park at the office or take the T, and it’s faster than both. if it were much faster to drive and there was no traffic and I had free parking, I’d drive.”

    health benefits are a big plus – and it’s much more enjoyable than driving, but time and money are tight right now.

  • dr2chase October 1, 2013   Reply →

    Heatlh looms larger as you age. Spent two weeks driving oldest son to his new job before he got an apartment nearby (he doesn’t drive) and stuff started to hurt all over from underuse. Back on bike, got better fast.

  • Glenn October 1, 2013   Reply →

    Brilliant, I find if I ride as exercise, I’ve only got enough energy to ride 3 times a week, but if I relax and “only” enjoy the ride, 5 times a week is no problem.

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