Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36TheRookie Commuter Instead, the decision to move off the road and into the bike lane was made for me by my empty bank account. Unlike looking at myself in the mirror, there are no angles that improve the outlook of my checking balance. It’s just a double digit number, apologetically looking at me from my bank statement as if to say, “And you still haven’t bought groceries this week, remember?” So, as my rusty, baby-blue Toyota Corolla is stored away, I’ll begrudgingly join the wave of com- muter bicyclists. My dearly beloved, leaving me because I can’t afford to buy her nice things. But before I commit to sweaty arrivals at every destination, I have some ques- tions I need answered. Questions like, do I need to wear bike-specific shorts? I realize the extra padding is there for a reason, but I just think I’m a bit young to look like I’m sporting adult diapers. And do I have to don a skin-tight shirt with strange pockets for my daily commute? Sure, the aerodynamics might save me a few seconds, but at what cost? A chafed nip- ple? And another chafed nipple? In addition to the outfit, there are gaps in my bicycling knowledge that I would like to have filled before I give up my car. How do I change a flat tire without sobbing on the side of the road? Should I wear a helmet? Or should I simply enjoy the wind in my hair and possibly the pavement on my skull? Are there rules for biking at night? In the rain? The snow? And if not laws, perhaps a few suggestions? I’ve decided to document my journey into this unknown world for the benefit of others who are dealing with bouncing checks or those who are just tempted by the fresh air of a morning commute -- on a bike, not through a rolled-down window. I need to get my bike tuned up, find a more comfortable seat, learn traf- fic laws, and reduce my overall riding stupidity. If someone needs to make a fool of themselves, it should be me, not you. You have important things to do. Me? I’m just a recent college graduate, working at a job scooping ice cream, soon without a car to get there. A rookie commuter, if you will. Ideally, I’d be giving up driving for the health benefits of bik- ing, or perhaps the environmental impact, or maybe just to look bet- ter in my new shorts — shorts my boss insists show too much thigh. I don’t think they show enough... By TIM DRUGGAN-EPICH Buried, forgotten, but now a necessity. Just the thought of digging it out makes me tired, let alone the actual riding. 35 | BikeLife Denver Keep up with the Rookie Commuter’s weekly column every Friday on BikeLifeCities.com