ornate line
Commuting Suicide: Volume XXXIV
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While commuting, we've seen it all. From cabbies urinating in their cars, to homeless men taking dumps in the subway. Fights, and smells are part of our daily routine, but that all changed for me a few weeks ago.

The worst part of my commute is dealing with the spray off the Hudson - kicked up by the prop wash from the helicopters landing at the West Side Heliport. Well, that and the sweat. No longer do I shove myself into sardine cans filled with angry commuters on their way to eight hours of misery. No longer do I pay a corrupt and horribly run establishment known as the MTA. No, my friends, I now ride my bike to work, and it's one of the best moves I've ever made. I actually look forward to my commute. Rushing through the marsh grasses of Riverside Park South, I make my way past the docked cruise ships and the USS Intrepid. Making my way down the Hudson River, I watch as ferries unload their besuited passengers, and angry drivers on the West Side Highway glare at the taillights in front of them. And I realize I have it too good.

Aside from the initial cost of my bike and the occasional tune-up, my commute costs me approximately $0/day. One could argue I'm the one actually expending energy, but that only translates into a good workout and, honestly, a great way to get the morning started. I've had several near-misses with cabs while heading crosstown, but nothing painful (yet). This is, by far, the best commute I've ever had in my entire life. In fact, it takes me less time to get to my office than it would were I to take the subway. But, like all things, I do have some complaints.
  • Like escalators, slower traffic is supposed to move to the right. That we've come so far as a society, but have still escaped this kernel of sense baffles me. If you and your rollerblades feel the need to take up the entire path, don't yell obscenities at me should your swaying wrist-guarded arm make contact with my backpack.
  • The fanny pack was a joke. It's now moved into the "sad" category. I can't think of a single instance in which I'd rather have a fanny pack than any other sort of carrying apparatus. I see at least four fanny packs a day during my commute, and each one is met with the "Really? We're still doing this?" gaze.
  • Crosswalks are for people. This makes perfect sense. Happily, when building the Hudson River Greenway, they installed traffic lights letting pedestrians know when it's safe to cross the path. And yet, I've seen three people collide violently with bikers despite having "no walk" signs.
  • I'm slowly becoming a bike snob, but I haven't fallen into the spandex wearing, bike jersey sporting egomaniacal velosport douchebags that like to use me for "drafting." There can be only one Lance Armstrong, and these guys with their $400 bike helmets and 100% carbon fiber bikes need to chill out on the expensive equipment. Just because you paid a lot for your bike doesn't mean it'll hide how much of an asshole you are.
  • I've seen a lot of passengers flow off the docked cruise ships and place their bags in the middle of the bike lane while they wait for a cab to bring them to the airport. The path is clearly marked with bike logos, as if the speeding cyclists weren't enough of a tip-off.
Despite these complaints, I really cannot recommend biking to work enough. It's a great workout, and the body odor you accumulate during the ride will ensure the boss stays out of your office for most of the day. echo_bike_com_suc_ybnby.jpg
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Hi! Welcome to the cycling club! Fantastic isn't it?

If you're having problems with rollerbladers try getting a bell or a horn. Just because you're going faster doesn't give you a license to dangerously overtake slower wheeled commuters. Ring your bell a lot and you're going to make a lot more friends, rather than coming off like an obnoxious commuting-class-warrior dolling out vigilante justice by scaring people you overtake.

said Daniel on May 5, 2010 12:37 PM.

Great advice! Thanks Daniel. Though, I have to admit, I get a kick out of scaring people I overtake. Perhaps I'll get a fog horn. Two birds...

said Echowood on May 5, 2010 1:17 PM.

Honestly, until today, I thought this article was called Committing Suicide. I wondered why the hell you guys ran an article about that.

Carry on.

said Landon on May 5, 2010 4:17 PM.

Dude, this is the second time you've called me an asshole via something I own, a full carbon bike. The first time was my bmw (http://www.yesbutnobutyes.com/archives/2009/06/top_ten_cars_th_1.html)

Does the fact that neither were purchased "new" count for anything?

said Mr. Brightside on May 5, 2010 5:03 PM.

I believe that makes you a used asshole.

Sorry, it was there.

said Tim on May 5, 2010 8:54 PM.
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