Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Commuter Racing

Bianca recently directed my attention to the Brompton World Championships, a bicycle race held in England yearly, the entry qualifications for which are (a) that you ride a Brompton brand folding bicycle and (b) that you wear a suit and tie. When Bianca told me about this event, she did not realize that the brand of folding bicycle was specified and limited, and thought it might be ideal for me since I ride a folding bicycle while wearing a suit with some regularity (I don't have a picture of me in a suit on the bike, but here I am in business casual attire, in a picture actually taken by the very Bianca I'm talking about). Now, I could get into it about how Brompton should, in the spirit of unity among cyclists and general corporate magnanimity, admit all folding bicyclists to its competition, but that would be quixotic at best. Instead, I think maybe we should have a commuter bike race here in Connecticut.

Because I'm big-hearted and love all people, I wouldn't limit my commuter race to folding bikes. Instead, I'd invite everyone to ride on the bike they actually commute on, and if its a Litespeed or a 40-pound cruiser, or a unicycle, it wouldn't matter - it would be honor system: if you say you commute on it, we believe you - but you would absolutely have to wear a suit and dress shoes. Naturally, it would be in a city (Hartford comes to mind), so it would be what the kids call an "alley cat," and maybe there would be prizes and a party. Does this sound like a good idea? Shall we make it happen?


interstatement said...

I think we should race other commuters in a multi-mode event like they do on BBC's "Top Gear" show (i.e. train vs. car vs. motorbike). On the right rush hour route, we have a chance of beating buses and cars handily.

Count me in. I use the same bike for everything anyway, and have been told that I can successfully rock a suit.

Rich said...

Delightful ideas. I currently have 2 bikes in working order, and both are commuters, one a folding model.

Taking interstatement's idea, I just now realized that I've utilized a different mode of transportation each day this week to get from my hotel in Boston's financial district to the office in Cambridge. Car, T+bus, and T+bike, and I plan on biking all the way back tonight. I guess I should've been timing myself for each trip.

Bianca said...

yes, let's make it happen.
I'll be wearing my everyday work outfit: pastel green suit skirt with white sneakers.

May I suggest a fall ride where we pay homage to Hartford's 19th bike to work day? It's called a tweed ride. See links to such a race in Sydney Australia here and here... crikey!

kanishka said...

love the multimodal race. email me if this happens.

overall, my ultimate goal is to someday be 1.5 times as efficient as a car, without owning a car and preferring bikes/buses/trains. accomplishable with commuting, but very hard with weekend and low traffic/long distance trips.

of course, i'm the brompton connecticut guy, though i recently heard fo someone else in connecticut owning one

Cusop Dingle said...

Did this happen?
Will it happen?

....a F'ton bicycle commuter

Cusop Dingle said...

Did this happen?
Will it happen?

....a F'ton bicycle commuter