Dear Person Bringing a Bike onto the El on a Sunny Day

Dear Person Bringing a Bike onto the El on a Sunny Day,

Hi there. I’m Austin. The guy next to you. The guy squeezed against the dirty-with-God-knows-what window on this Blue Line train. You might be wondering why I am in this position, my face pressed against the glass, my legs splayed awkwardly.

Well, it’s because of your bike. Specifically, it’s because of the pedal, which for some reason is spiked like a Roman chariot, sticking up perilously close to my crotch. I’d like to move, but you see, the train is quite crowded and, as should be obvious to you, your bike is in the way.

I don’t know you, but I’m sort of wondering why you brought your bike on the train. I mean, it’s a bike. It is a form of transportation in and of itself. In fact, it’s a much healthier and more environmentally friendly form of transportation. Isn’t this sort of like bringing a nice salad into a McDonald’s and then eating a Big Mac instead and just leaving the salad on the counter in front of the ketchup dispenser, thus not only doing you no good, but also inconveniencing everyone around you?

It’s a frickin’ bike. You bought it, I assume, to take you from one place to another, instead of riding a bus or train. Plus, it’s sunny outside. It’s not raining. It’s a beautiful day. A beautiful day to be outside. Walking. Jogging. Or, I don’t know, RIDING A DAMNED BICYCLE!

But oh no. For some reason you decided that the large, cumbersome mode of transportation you have on hand isn’t enough. You need to pay money to take it inside another mode of transportation commonly known for its tight spaces and large crowds.

I should also add that this is the Blue Line. It runs parallel to Milwaukee Ave all the way down to the Loop. Its route is literally identical to the Milwaukee Bus. A bus that has a, wait for it, goddamned bike rack on the front. Of the two forms of public transportation this city has, you chose the one that doesn’t easily accommodate bikers. Great.

Now, maybe you’re going far away with your bike. If so, let me suggest alternate means of transportation: a series of buses. A car. Or YOUR GODDAMNED BICYCLE! You see, and maybe you don’t know this, but the awesome thing about bikes is that even flabby, out of shape people like me can ride them for dozens of miles without tiring.You could ride over most of Chicago (there aren’t even hills!) without breaking a sweat.

Well, we’ve reached the Chicago Ave stop and you’re getting off. We’ve come a little over a mile. A mile you decided was too much for you to face on a bike.

I hope you enjoy your ride. Jackass.

Love,

Austin

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