Cyclist karma

Kristine Gill

About two or three weeks into last semester, I wrote a column about bikers and how they scare me. They move too fast, come out of nowhere and make for awkward situations around campus. Something horrible recently happened to change my perspective.

“You were hit by a crazy biker?” you ask.

I wish. No, this is much worse. I became a biker. Yes, by some cruel twist of fate, the biker gods decided I needed to learn a lesson and that my blue mountain bike would do just the trick.

I’ve been riding my bike from my apartment to the farthest possible building on campus every day for the past few weeks. I’ll have to do it all semester, too. I could take the bus, sure, but I’d probably miss the first one and be late by the time the second one arrived. So instead I ride my bike, and I am so embarrassed.

I don’t know why I do my hair or makeup anymore. The second I mount Blue Magic, I start sweating, my hair starts curling and my face paint melts off. There is no point in showering.

It would be one thing if I were riding around an empty campus. Instead, I’m weaving in and out of pedestrians who think that dodging me and anticipating my next move with their own snail-like reflexes is going to benefit both of us. It’s not. Don’t dodge me. Just walk slightly to the side. And don’t walk on the bike paths. Bike paths? Yes, the brown paths with the diamond markings. They’re there so I have somewhere to ride without running you over.

It’s no wonder bikers zip by and walkers cower in fear. We’re terrifying because we’re really angry and really embarrassed and because we’re really sweaty.

Now, more than ever, I envy GOB from “Arrested Development,” who zips through life by simply leaning forward on his Segway. Must be nice. The only leaning I do happens when I have to pedal standing up to scale some massive hill on campus.

Segways are, hands down, the easiest method of transportation on the planet. You don’t need any force or effort to propel a Segway, you just lean forward and envision your destination. So while your hands are on the handlebars, they aren’t really doing anything. The real steering takes place when your brain sees where it wants to go and then synapses your neuron transmitter pancreatic glands in your feet and torso, which lean forward on the Segway, thus propelling it forward. I don’t mean you confuse you with my medical jargon. What I’m trying to say is, you control it with your mind, much like you levitate or communicate through extrasensory perception. It’s the same idea.

I’m saving for a Segway. I’m sick of propelling myself through physical means. Of course, by the time I have enough money for one, it will be winter and I’ll need something that provides more protection from the elements. Something like, oh I don’t know, a car. An automobile. A used minivan. An ancient station wagon. A covered wagon. Something with four wheels, a radio and a roof. A lemon. It’s not going to happen. I’ll be the girl riding Blue Magic with snow tires in the middle of January – angry, embarrassed and really sweaty.

Kristine Gill is a junior newspaper journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected] if you’re embarrassed about your mode of transportation.