Monday, August 3, 2009

Bike Commuting with Clothes: Childish Mistakes

I carry the clothes I plan to wear on any given work day with me in my awesome panniers. I leave shoes and several pairs of pants at work, but I carry undies, socks and shirt with me each day. The panniers are just big enough to bring all the pants and my towel and stuff home on Fridays for a wash. It is a system that is working really well for me. Most of the time.

Because every morning is a mad rush, I usually grab these items from piles of recently folded and sorted but not yet put away laundry. This level of disorganization can result in my arriving at work with my son's clothing instead of my own. One day last week I unpacked my things to get changed and found that the pair of socks that looked OK rolled up actually belonged to my 8 year old son. The sock below has been pre-stretched by my putting it on before having the idea for this post. I then removed it and took this picture with my cycling shoe, to give you an idea of its size relative to my foot:



They were quite big for little guy socks, and pretty stretchy, so rather than wear the white sport socks I cycled in with black work shoes, I just stuffed my feet into them anyway. This resulted in somewhat comical ankle socks:



I still think this is better than the dreaded white socks with black shoes look (if you wear white socks with everything, my apologies; keep your own style goin' there, friend). Also please note that I wear long pants at work, so I wasn't laying any of that skin action on my co-workers. This was not the first time I had accidentally brought kid stuff instead of my stuff. When underpants are just lying in an unfolded pile (folding undies is madness, in my opinion), a pair of boy's jockeys look an awful lot like a pair of men's jockeys. Since I did a "scale comparison" with the sock, here's one with underpants!



I chose a pair of cycling shorts because believe it or not, I draw the line at posting pictures of my undies; although it would seem posting pictures of my son's jockeys doesn't bother me at all. It kind of makes sense; little boy undies can be seen as "cute"... something quite impossible for grown man underpants, I'm sure you'll agree.

Some of you may already know something about the size of my butt, so you'll understand when I say that there was no way I could pull anything like the preceding sock trick with these little suckers. Have you ever gone commando at work? I have. I didn't like it, not one little bit.

I will try to write about something more normal and less disturbingly personal next time. Please come back. I'll be normal, I promise!


R A N T W I C K

18 comments:

Steve A said...

It could be worse. If you had daughters, think how you'd look in "Dora the Explorer!"

BikeLemming said...

I feel your pain, I've forgotten everything from underwear to shoes to entire pants. The time I forgot my pair of pants luckily a co-worker who also commutes in had a spare pair in his locker. Sitting at my desk all day in bike shorts might be a career limiting move... :)

ChipSeal said...

My dear Rantwick, the way you prevent EVER forgetting underwear or bringing someone else's underwear is to employ this simple fix: Along with your "spare" trousers, also have a "spare" pair of underwear.

Somehow, this will guarantee that you will never make the "substitution error" or "failure to bring along error" from ever occurring again.

[launwn]

Rantwick said...

Steve - on the contrary, Dora, Scoobie Doo and Spiderman are all pretty easy to identify and avoid in the laundry piles.

Lemming - borrowing pants isn't much of a possibility for me... no lockers among my peers. I once had to go buy a pair thanks to forgetting - good thing I'm pretty much always in need of some new work clothes...

ChipSeal - if I had any type of sense or forethought like the stuff found in your advice, you're right, there would be no problem. On the up side I can write one more bog post on my inadequacies.

Big Oak said...

Dude, you've almost successfully avoided the "TMI - Too Much Information" if it were not for the "commando" remark. While I have had to do the same, it need not be mentioned!

Great post. BTW, I wear white socks every day, and have taken my wife's socks and even my daughter's socks to work. They don't fit well either.

Steve A said...

Seems a post about the alternate laundry universe is in order...

cafiend said...

I'm lucky I work in a bike shop. If I have to include bike clothes in my wardrobe for the day I look a little geeky, but not grossly out of place.

Like ChipSeal, I keep spare skivvies in case my waterproof system fails on a rainy commute or I lose a bet on a day when I thought the scattered showers would not strike. Spare socks, too.

I have also bought clothes from our own clothing department to cover damage, loss or forgetfulness.

Chandra said...

Rantwick,
You at least did not take your kid's dirty diaper to work instead of your lunch, like I did.

I used to carry my sandwich in a grocery bag. One fine day, I pitched the sandwich in the trash and took the wet diaper to work. There I was ready to eat my lunch with my coworkers and pretty disappointed to find the diaper in my "lunch bag". But it gave us all a good laugh and the cafeteria manager actually told me that my lunch was free that day, believe it or not :)

Chandra said...

Oh and I have done one other dumb thing. I rode in the shorts portion of my convertible pants to work. Little did I know that I forgot to pack my legs in the panniers! LOL!!
I had to ride back home just to get them!

Nice post, Rantwick! Brings back some really interesting memories!!

Rantwick said...

Chandra, your diaper story wins hands down as the best "childish mistake" I've ever heard. Nice one!

Saskboy said...

Your blog really makes me think.

Rantwick said...

Saskboy,

Hey, thanks man! Few appreciate that deeper meaning can be found in socks and underpants. You're my kind of dude.

Saskboy said...

The meaning of the Internet is to exchange knowledge. I know have knowledge of your underpants. Mission accomplished.

Saskboy said...

I know now is spelled without a 'k', too. The Internet is also good at sharing misspellings.

CarFree Stupidity said...

where's the onsie at?

Rantwick said...

None of my wee ones are small enough for onesies any more. Still missing snaps though. Hmph.

Anonymous said...

What a hoot! I can see this "event" in a movie. I have a vision of Nick Cage pulling the socks out of the pannier with the "oops" look on his face. Priceless.

Great story. Thanks.

Rantwick said...

Anonymous - Why Nicholas Cage? Why?

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