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Gear Prudence: Like a lot of people my age, I have a lot of my stuff (including my old bike) at my parents’ house, even though I haven’t lived there in years. My mom said they’re cleaning out the garage and that they want to me to take the bike or they’ll get rid of it. I have a new bike here and I don’t really have room for the old one. But I also don’t want them to get rid of it since I might want to ride it again someday. How do I handle this? —Kin Evicting Esteemed Possession
Dear KEEP: This is the millennial-est of dilemmas. You want this bike for some undetermined future use, but neither need it now nor have any place to store it. The “Bank of Mom and Dad” in this case is more like a vault than a line of credit, but it’s 2008 all over and the bank is shutting down. There is virtue to sending the bike along to a new owner (and cash returns if you sell it), but GP gets that sentimentality might preclude that.
If you absolutely can’t fit it and absolutely must keep it, GP’s advice is this: pay your parents for storage. Figure out a fair market value and offer them money. And then hope that they’ll be so impressed by your mature and businesslike approach that they don’t bother collecting. Better have money in the checking account just in case. —GP
Gear Prudence: I’ve noticed something during my bike commute lately and it really bothers me. Pedestrians, especially downtown, will begin to cross the street before it’s their turn and don’t seem to care that I still have the green light. It’s like I’m totally invisible because I’m not in a car. I don’t really have a question, I’m just so mad about it! —Judging All You
Dear JAY: Great non-question! Here’s some non-advice: Barring your possession of a magic ring, it’s highly unlikely that you’re invisible. It’s just that the people crossing the street have assessed the situation and (rightly or wrongly) decided that your presence isn’t much of an impediment. Bikes are pretty narrow, not that heavy, and don’t travel especially fast, so in the cost-benefit analysis of stay or go, the cost (the likelihood and potential severity of getting hit) isn’t very high. So they go.
Is it worth getting mad about? I don’t know. It’s frustrating, but it’s hardly the most dangerous thing you’re likely to deal with on your commute. Ding a bell or say “heads up!” but, really, the best thing you can do is slow down a little and make sure you don’t hit anyone. Legal rectitude in this situation neither protects you from physical harm nor justifies it. —GP
Gear Prudence is Brian McEntee, who tweets at @sharrowsDC. Got a questions about bicycling? Email firstname.lastname@example.org