In my group of friends, arriving at the pub on a bike is still seen as a novelty thing. Usually, when I sit down, I pull out my rear light from my back pocket and place it on the table. Much in the fashion I imagine a cowboy would draw his gun out of his holster and put it on the table so he can sit comfortably. This instantly draws awe’s of surprise. “You cycled here?” “Are you mad?” “Isn’t it dangerous?”
“Yes”, “no, I’m not clinically insane” and “no, it isn’t dangerous”.
What my casual responses don’t reveal, is my ongoing battle with perfecting the art of cycling to a night out.
The three main problems I have come across are: 1. Clubs are not big fans of letting people in dressed head to toe in cycling gear. 2. Where do you keep your bike lock? 3. What do you do if everyone else is getting public transport to the club?
The first one isn’t a big issue for me as I rarely wear any cycling gear. The second one I’ve struggled more with. This is because I have two bike locks. Usually I carry these in a bag but taking a bag to a night out is not ideal. I usually end up attaching the locks to the frame. Again this is not ideal because they keep hitting my frame or my legs as I cycle.
To be a good friend or not?
If you get over these first two hurdles, then you get hit by the third one. The third one is a biggie.
Say you meet up with a friend of yours at their house. If you are like me then you avoid public transport like you avoid charity boxes. Therefore, you cycle over to your friends house. After a few drinks, you then decide to head off to a pub. Your friend needs to take public transport but you would like to hop on your bike.
What do you do?
What you have here is a real test of friendship. Usually I feel bad about being anti-social and leaving a friend on the bus on their own. So I hop on with them. Unfortunately, this means that later on you need to return via their house to pickup your bike. This is less of a problem with a bigger group of friends but you still have the same pressure to just jump on the bus.
I would be very interested to hear what everyone else does with this dilemma…
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.