Summertime Cycling Doesn’t Require Corporate Sponsorship

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May is a great time to sell a boat. Or a bicycle. At least in the Pacific Northwest.

Or buy one. Of each.

This is because we great citizens of this great region know, with certainty, that May signals the beginning of The Dry Season.

That’s right, roughly 122 days of glowing warmth emanating from that giant space orb in the sky, irradiating our gentle yet ruggedly handsome faces while propagating field after field of glorious marijuana plants hidden in secret grow operations up and down the Coast – which no longer need to be a secret because Cannabis is legal.

That’s right, haven’t you heard? Cannabis is LEGAL! What’s next, cocaine? Do we really want to bankrupt all those cartels? Although we might be more productive at work or during our fitness regimine with just a teeny bit of cocaine.


Indeed, it turns out all those conspiracy theorists/avid smokers I knew in college were right, and marijuana really isn’t dangerous, other than the putting-it-in-your-lungs part, and the fact you can technically get too wasted off it and thus shouldn’t drive a car when super stoned…or captain a boat…or ride a bike…or do some banking…although, back to the boat thing, you could just float around in a lake like Jeff Spicoli, lying in the bottom of a dinghy staring at the sky, that would be mostly safe, and super fun.

And perhaps in fact yes, the alcohol industry, combined with the cotton industry, really did quash marijuana and hemp production in the early 20th Century out of a morbid fear it would be embraced by the public and render their more dangerous and/or environmentally damaging products less appealing.

Who knew? Oh yeah, Dan, Ben, Jason, Chris, and everyone else I met at the University of Washington between 1993-1997 who discussed said theories through plumes of marijuana smoke and ended up going to law school and now either work for King County or practice corporate law at some big firm.

Sorry I doubted you.

And 122 days is actually wildly inaccurate. You have to back out the entire month of June, so it’s 92. 92 sunny days here in our great country, The Pacific Northwest.

Okay that’s not right either, probably like 50 sunny days in total, and 30 days where it should be sunny but something happened and it’s cloudy or possibly drizzly.

And the other 12 days are where you just don’t feel like doing anything because you’re stoned, or perhaps you just had a few too many bong rips the night before.

(Maybe, now that’s its legal, “bong rips” is less of a thing and a more elegant vehicle for THC ingestion exists. But I’m pretty sure corporate lawyers still take bong rips.)

Speaking of bicycles, you may have heard there’s a global shortage as a result of some factories shutting down for a while last year, coupled with exploding demand as cycling remains a great option for both staying in shape and experiencing “family fun” during the pandemic. Many bike shops went out of business, some owners determined a lack of inventory is a great time to retire, and others (like the one by my house) are kind of up in the air about what their future plans are.

So if you have a bicycle, count yourself lucky. And maybe put like 500 locks on it as bike theft is up as much as 30% in some areas. The bike shop by my house said virtually every bike they see on OfferUp is stolen, with Craigslist coming in a close second. One guy even said the photo of his stolen bike advertised on OfferUp was actually taken at own house, moments before it was jacked.

But don’t let global shortages and crime stop you from riding a bike this summer. Steal one if you have to. Cycling is so great – liberating, dangerous enough that occasional spikes of adrenaline leave you completely electrified, and certainly sweat-inducing. Plus you get to see stuff that you don’t get to see from a treadmill, stationary bike, or Peloton video; namely, other neighborhoods that are nicer than yours, other cars that are nicer than yours, other families that are nicer and better looking than yours, political signs you don’t agree with, new teriyaki places, and really nice weed shops.

If you do choose to cycle this dry season, there are several people in this conference room who want to share a few fun tips and/or observations with you. Consider it unsolicited advice you should take under consideration and absolutely follow without complaint:

1. People driving automobiles are likely stoned. Okay not likely, are stoned. Sure, some of them may be high from THC-laden marijuana, but ALL of them have phones, and they’re fiddling with them, looking at them, getting stressed out as they hear the incessant “ping ping ping”  of their absolutely vapid incoming text messages – so these fools don’t see you. You don’t exist. They’re only thinking about their phone and marijuana. They’ll turn left in front of you, they’ll pass you and turn right in front of you, they’ll pull into the intersection in front of you, etc.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cycle. This does mean you should realize when you ride you’re running a gauntlet and you need to pay attention.

2. If you have a family or significant other, cycling is a great way to get out of the house so you don’t have to talk to them. If you are alone, cycling is a great way to get away from yourself.

3. Cycling gear is ridiculous. You’re not Lance Armstrong or (more contemporaneously) Wout van Aert (actual name). Therefor your skin-tight, wind resistant Bahrain-McLaren or Team IneosCompetizione jersey, or much worse pair of incredibly unforgiving Movistar bike shorts, are entirely unnecessary.

That being said, people like what they like, and we appreciate that. However, at a minimum, before entering a food & beverage business post-ride please change into some normal shorts or sweatpants or something. There’s nothing worse than witnessing you clickety clack clacking around in your racing shoes with your helmet on and tightly framed buns waving in everyone’s face, then acting like you’re the only cool person in the room. There, we said it.

4. You can’t ride through cross walks. Cross walks are meant for walking. Otherwise they’d be called cross rolls. If you get hit by a car riding your bike through a cross walk and you sue, you’ll lose. We’ve tried.

Secondary to this, if you ride on a sidewalk and you’re over the age of 8 and not in a suburban area, you will crash.

5. In the metro Seattle area, cyclists can now treat stop signs as yield signs. Which is fine, if you understand what yield means. For example, the Revised Code of Washington (RCW 46.61.190) insists yield means slow or stop to merge with oncoming traffic. So even if you whip around the corner or seamlessly merge next to an SUV at 28 miles per hour, that may look cool, and you may be cool and coordinated, but you’re still potentially sending that BMW X5 through a bakery storefront as a result of your dream of getting a Vodafone sponsorship and riding in the next Giro d’Italia.

Secondary to this, don’t act all pissed when the traffic seas don’t part to let you in. No one cares.

6. If you’re lucky enough to have a bike trail or path near you, ride on that. Inevitably said path will also have bipedal humanoids on it, and as irritating as it is, plan on them weaving and wobbling all over the place as they look at plants, chase their kids, argue, gossip about friends and complain about spouses.

7. All sorts of bikes are cool these days. Cruisers with baskets, dirt bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids, electric – so get one and ride. The only suspect bikes currently on the market are the single gear “fixies,” whose reputation was tainted by the tens of thousands of urban dwelling millennials who exclusively rode them from 2012-2018 as a way to demonstrate hipness, date-ability and love of farmer’s markets.

8. People in general are rooting for you. Cycling is all about freedom, escape, turning off the noise, enjoying the weather, stress-reduction, simplicity, and the satisfaction of completing a journey. Create the space you need, be careful, and generally people will leave you alone.

So get out there and ride while the weather-getting is good – it’s great. Maybe ask for a serial number or other form of history if you’re buying a bike online so you know it’s not “hot.” And sure, maybe smoking a little weed enhances the experience if you’re into that kind of thing and can handle yourself. No problem. Just don’t get super stoned. And definitely avoid the cocaine.

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