Story of a Cheap Commuter

As a biker, I slowly made adjustments to my ride. Of course, many of these began once I was riding more frequently; as well as once I could afford them.

Last year, during a whole year of avid commuting in which I switched out the gym for rides to and from work, I had a rack put on my bike.

I am a perpetual student eventually reaching for doctoral-ism. Everyday I carry around heavy backpack with my old outdated laptop which makes the pack even heavier. I purchased the rack to hold my fifteen pounds of backpack. I greatly considered purchasing panniers although once I saw the price, I decided some bungee cords would do. (Buy them at your local hardware store for a couple bucks.) In fact, before I had money for cords, I used recycled bike tube, which I still have not removed from the rack. This somehow seems reminiscent to the unwashed mold on my car from two years ago…

Which is neither here nor there.

Bungee cords will do.

Until, of course, your bungee cord unhooks and gets caught in the spokes of your wheels and you are driven off the road, thankfully, not at rush hour.

Last Thursday, during my daily commute home from work I heard a repetitive sound. After a minute or so of clanking, I pulled off the road onto the sidewalk. I rolled the bike back and forth, no clank. I proceeded to ride on. The clanking continued. I pulled onto the sidewalk again. After careful inspection, lo and behold is my beloved blue bungee cord wrapped several times in the spoke of my wheel. I am finally able to retrieve the twisted cord from the spoke after breakage of course. I am left with one lonely yellow bungee cord and a huge backpack. Because why would someone have a backup bungee cord anyways? Not this girl. She can’t  afford backups, much less pretty panniers.

So I proceed to tie up heavy backpack with lonely yellow bungee cord as tightly as possible. I mount and ready myself for the large hill hoping, at the highest point my pack will not fall off.

And lo and behold, it didn’t!

At least not then.

Give it a few more minutes and outdated laptop and backpack are skidding the ground and I am pushed off the road again!

Oh no, al fresco diners, don’t worry about me, I’m just a silly cyclist that doesn’t know how to cart her shit. I’m sure they were all wondering why I didn’t just use my car.  [But they don’t know I have a car, remember that! They just think I’m a lowly cyclist.]

Finally, (yes it took this many times) I put the pack on my back and finish the last mile home, safely.


About Katlyn

Bike commuter, environmental scientist, community advocate, feminist, foodie and traveler I love cycling and commuting.
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