I always like to see bikes like Erin’s – elegant, but clearly bearing the scuffs and scratches that come with regular use. I ask her how she likes it. “I love it. It’s a great city bike.” Erin lives in Brooklyn and on this day was heading to meet some family at the Museum of Natural History. She just graduated from law school and hopes to find work in public interest law, representing people of modest means.
A few years ago Erin was living in Manhattan. She had a bike but didn’t ride it all that often. Then, that bike was stolen and her boyfriend at the time got her this Trek as a present. He also showed her the ropes of city riding, and she was hooked. She has since moved to Bushwick and remains a daily bike commuter.
When I ask her why she prefers riding in the New York, her answer is simple: speed. “My bike gets me places faster than everyone else. It really is the quickest way for me to get around the city.” When she’s not riding to school, she loves to explore Brooklyn by bike with her friends. In fact, cycling has become a big enough part of her life to affect the company she keeps. Most of her friends ride and, at this point, she admits, ”I wouldn’t date someone who doesn’t ride a bike.”
Note: This post is also syndicated on Streetsblog as part of the weekly “Why I Ride” series, and a couple of commenters there have gotten themselves a real case of the vapors due to Erin’s oh-so-controversial and “snobbish” stance on not dating someone who doesn’t ride. Something this silly doesn’t really merit a response, but I feel bad about throwing one of my lovely #BikeNYC subjects to the StreetsBlog comment trolls. I was about to jump to Erin’s defense, but then I found that a commenter by the name of “Guest” already wrote pretty much what I would have written:
How does that statement possibly say anything negative about her? People have all sorts of criteria about who they want to date. I don’t see anything wrong with someone with a specific interest wanting to narrow down their potential suitors to people who share their enthusiasm. It’s much easier to do that, then it would be to try and change someone into who you want them to be after you start dating.
Yep, that’s about right. I would just add that they’re probably just mad that Erin won’t date them. :)