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This weekend, I bought a new bicycle over at Phoenix Bikes, which I hear from a reliable source is D.C.’s best bike shop. The acquisition was an important one for me—-I’m poor green, so I don’t drive a car. And I haven’t ridden a bike in earnest since I rocked a purple mountainy thing out of my parents’ garage in real Phoenix, Az.

I’ve been riding this little blue Ross number for a day or so now, and it’s been a shaky start. My legs are short and unaccustomed to the finer points of pedaling. Most of my head is obscured beneath a ridiculously oversize “skater helmet” reserved only for Tony Hawk and particularly clumsy two-year-olds. When riding, my face is plastered with a cartoonishly anxious look, revealing the sophisticated machinations of my biker’s mind. “PLEASE DO NOT DOOR ME,” reads my furrowed brow. “MY ASS HURTS,” reveal my down-turned lips.

I look, in a word, stupid.

That hasn’t stopped the District’s intrepid cat-callers from working with me a little bit. When faced with the utter unattractiveness of an awkward biker, they get creative: In my short time biking the streets, I’ve found that the accessory elicits a new and different vocabulary from the sidewalk commentator. “Damn, would I like to be that seat!” called one, from his vantage point on a neighbor’s front porch. “Girl on a girl bike! Girl on a girl bike!” another exclaimed, as I pedaled to work. “Hey! Hey hey hey hey,” called another, after rolling down his window and finding, I assume, little inspiration.

So, what else can I look forward to? Have any other lady (or dude!) bikers heard some particularly interesting bike-calls?

Photo by Salim Virji