Thursday, June 20, 2013

Alternate Transportation

By now we all know that I've started becoming obsessed with my new road bike.  (I'm still thinking up names for her).  I try to sneak in a ride on my lunch break when I'm working from home if the weather's good, and then I get out on longer rides on the weekend.  Today was the first time I considered taking her out on an "errand".

I had to stop at the bank today to make a deposit (a rarity), and it's just a few miles away.  I figured why not kill two birds with one stone and bike there!  Seems so simple, but then I start panicking about the logistics.  I do that.  I panic over logistics.  Like, maybe I shouldn't go to the gym because what if I get lost in the building and can't find the pool and if I do find the pool what if there's no open lanes and what if I have to share a lane with someone and what if they say no and I think I just won't go to the gym.  I'm not even kidding.  It took me over two years to build up the courage to take my mountain bike in for a tune up because I was worried about what if I couldn't get the bike through the front door by myself.  No, seriously.  These are the things that keep me up at night.

I told my mother I was planning on going to the bank via bicycle to make a deposit.  She, being a bank teller, would have insight on this topic.  I had planned on just walking into the building, but she thought it was too risky leaving my lovely she-who-has-not-been-named bike out in front of the bank.  She thought I should go to the drive up teller window, and assured me that she, as a seasoned bank teller, has waited on many bicycle riders at the drive up window.  However, this is like my worst nightmare.  I've had my driver's license for 20 years and not once in my life have I ever gone to the drive up teller window.  You know why?  Logistics.  How do they know I'm there?  What if they can't see me?  How do I get the stuff where it needs to go?  What if I can't figure out how to open and close the tube?  And now on top of that I have to worry about: What if they don't let me ride a bike to the drive up teller window?  What if they make fun of me?  What if there is a car behind me?  Before my mother left for work, she gave me a quick tutorial on how to proceed at the drive up window, including how to use the call button, how to open and close the tube, and what to ask for from the teller. (Wait, they can hear me?!)

Before I left for my lunch time death march to the bank, I chatted with Scott, a seasoned cyclist.  He brought up a good point, that it was important to exude a certain level of smug.  In other words, make sure I don't look like "the poor girl who doesn't have a car and has to ride a silly bicycle to the bank", but more like "the athlete that is so busy training for upcoming triathlons and just can't even break away for errands and has to therefore incorporate said errands into her very, very hectic and demanding training schedule".  Got it.

I headed out on my trip, and a couple miles in I was having so much fun on my bike that I lost nearly all anxiety of the drive up window logistics.  When I did arrive, thankfully no one was in line.  I hopped off my bike, pulled my check out of the bag, and noticed no one was at the window.  I pressed the call button.  Immediately a teller came over to the window and exclaimed that "Oh my God you're on a bike!  I've never waited on a customer on a bicycle before!" and with that her co-workers flocked to the window to investigate.  I played it totally cool.  I was like, "yeah I figured, it's only a few miles out of the way, and it's a beautiful day out, so..."  'Nuff said.  I did exactly what Mom said to do, and my only hiccup was when I tried to balance my bike against my leg while writing out a deposit slip, and the bike slid down to the ground.  Fear not!  I caught her before she landed, but not before she bit me in the leg.  I deserved it for my carelessness.  Apart from that, it was a successful and entertaining trip to the bank, and I'm sure I'll be working that into my routine.  Of course, that will require money to deposit.  Soooo... announcing the Jill Rolls to the Bank Fund!  Feel free to donate!  Just kidding.  Or not. :-)


  1. This is great! I have a fear of bikes mainly because of logistics, other bike, cars and pretty much anything that could knock me off the my bike that I have yet to purchase. I actually signed up for a mini tri to force myself to get one and use it but it didn't work. I didn't get one and didn't show up for the tri.

    1. It's been baby steps for me! I stuck to mountain bikes for a long time out of fear of traffic. First time on the bike I wouldn't take a left turn. Slowly I attempt trickier turns and situations, but it's a slow process and I take advice from people with experience. Don't give up on the idea!