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Gear Prudence: My boss has always been very caring and supportive and has always looked out for me, professionally and personally. I’ve started biking to work recently and try to ride every day when the weather is nice. A few weeks ago, there was a serious afternoon storm predicted, and knowing this, my boss told me that I should leave early to avoid it, which I did. As I was packing up my stuff and heading out the door, I got the impression that my colleagues thought that I was getting special treatment and now I’m worried that they secretly hate me. I don’t want that, but I also really hate riding in thunderstorms and didn’t want to turn down such a kind offer. What do I do?! —Exceptional Ask, Rain Loathed, Y’all
Dear EARLY: Great news! You don’t have to worry about your colleagues secretly hating you because you left early. Given the close relationship with your boss that you describe, it’s likely that they’ve secretly hated you long before you ducked out to beat the rain. Certainly this isn’t the first instance of favoritism, and they’re probably used to it by now.
You have two choices going forward: politely decline the offer, staying until closing time and either riding home in the rain (remember lights) or getting home by different means; or you could embrace your heel turn with gusto and seek ever-increasing accommodation for your choice to bike commute. With any precipitation on the horizon, boldly announce to your boss that you’ll need to peace out at lunchtime. If she’s on board, proudly proclaim it to the rest of the office. Just remember to wear a helmet when you tell them. —GP
Gear Prudence: Is biking drunk illegal in D.C.? Asking for a friend. —Safe Or Troubled?
Dear SOT: While legal in many jurisdictions, it is not legal to bike drunk in D.C. This was affirmed in a 2010 ruling by the D.C. Court of Appeals on the basis of a 1925 law. While not nearly as potentially destructive as drunk driving, it’s still a pretty terrible idea, and there are likely other, better options for getting where you’re going. (That is, unless you are in a Roger Thornhill mistaken-identity situation, have been plied with bourbon against your will, and a bicycle is the only means of escape from a cabal of kidnappers.) If you’ve imbibed too much, it’s considerably less risky to leave your bike locked up somewhere (email yourself the location so you know where to come back) than to chance the illegal and ill-advised ride. —GP
Gear Prudence is Brian McEntee, who tweets @sharrowsDC. Got a question about bicycling? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.