Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Nudge Nudge: Adrian Chamberlain's personal revolution from four wheels to two

Used to be a car guy. Now I’m a bicycle guy — and much better for it. Admittedly, Car Guy was not a good person. He polluted the air with his noxious fossil fuels.
XXXAdrian Chamberlain

Used to be a car guy. Now I’m a bicycle guy — and much better for it.

Admittedly, Car Guy was not a good person. He polluted the air with his noxious fossil fuels. Often, Car Guy became terribly impatient with other drivers, mostly because they drove in a manner that struck him as peculiar and/or foolhardy. He disliked motorists who held up lines of traffic while waiting for primo parking spots. Car Guy regularly expressed the wish that such people be incinerated by lightning bolts or equivalent.

Did Car Guy like people who ride bicycles? No, he did not. He disapproved of how they dart in and out of traffic in a scofflaw manner. He disliked how they get togged out in fluorescent clothing as though they’re in the Tour de France when they’re actually pedalling to the mall for shots of wheatgrass.

He’d get especially annoyed at cyclists who balance on their bicycles at stop lights, all jiggly-like, waiting for the green. Car Guy badly wanted to tip these people over.

Then, on a whim, he began riding a bike to work several times a week. It was great.

Now, Car Guy is 100 per cent Bicycle Guy.

It is true Bicycle Guy rides a smaller-than-usual bike purchased for his daughter when she was 12. This caused some mirth at the bicycle shop, where his vintage ride was dropped off for a tune-up and a new, softer seat better suited to Bicycle’s Guy’s posterior.

“Your bike is two sizes too small,” said the bike tech, whose legs were massively veined from all his biking activities.

“Yeah? So?” said Bicycle Guy.

“It’s like, a kid’s bike,” said Bike Tech Guy.

“Just raise the seat and handlebars. It’s all good,” said Bicycle Guy, who has a thrifty side not always appreciated by others.

Some might find riding a 12-year-old girl’s bike embarrassing. Not Bicycle Guy. After all, he had a girl’s bike when he was a youngster.

It was his very first bicycle. His father, who’d promised him a bike, said it could be any colour. He chose gold because another neighbourhood kid has just been given a brand-new golden bike the colour of a Tuscan sun. Bicycle Guy was then presented with a second-hand bike spray-painted gold. As well, it was a girl’s bike, without the telltale bar that hikes up one’s dress. Being the boy with a girl’s bike triggered some merriment within the neighbourhood. And that memory may have put Bicycle Guy off bikes — at least until recently.

Now he’s back in the saddle. Which is super soft and comfortable.

Riding bikes is fantastic. One can take bike trails that grid throughout Greater Victoria, allowing one to completely avoid traffic. There’s also the camaraderie of being a cyclist among cyclists. Sometimes Bicycle Guy greets fellow riders with a knowing grin that says, “Hey, I’m riding my bike and it’s totally great.”

Off the trails, Bicycle Guy is a bit of a rapscallion. A total pirate, even. Sometimes he rides on the sidewalk, darting around angry pedestrians and folk waiting for buses.

Some of these citizens yell stuff at Bicycle Guy. But he hears them not, as he’s already zooming off on his tiny little bike.

He also darts in and out of traffic. The rules of traffic, as they apply to cars and trucks, somehow seem not to apply to him. Bicycle Guy can sometimes hear honking as he zips through the City of Gardens. That’s OK. Because that’s how he rolls.

Bicycle Guy is now considering buying fluorescent bike clothing, which he’ll wear during runs to the mall to purchase shots of wheatgrass. He’s also learning to do that jiggly balancing thing. Stay tuned.