Because we’re all a little hardcore sometimes


The inspiration for this week's comic comes from one of the most annoying commercials I've ever seen. It's by Florida Orange Juice; if you don't recognize it and want to know what I'm talking about you can click here to watch it.

I like this comic because it has a double meaning for me. The company promotes their orange juice as a way to start the day off right so you're prepared to "take on" life's daily hassles. So, my comic is in direct response to that: I'm promoting bikes as a great way to deal with life's daily hassles. 

But it's about more than that, too. As I was doing research for this comic (i.e., rolling my eyes at both versions of this commercial series), I noticed that car-related frustrations were prominent. Across the two commercials, the orange-juice-drinker is foretold about getting: 

  • a ticket for parking at an expired meter
  • their car towed away
  • a flat tire and having to walk (in the pouring rain)

Interesting, because cars are marketed as a mode of convenient transportation. Sometimes this is true. However, as these commercials point out, cars can give us some pretty big (and expensive) headaches. 

With a bike, you don't have to pay meters and you don't get towed away. And if you get a flat, it can be changed relatively quickly or, at least, it comes with a pretty minor financial cost! 

Sure, bike riding has it's own inconveniences and annoyances. But there is at least the part where you're riding a bike!  In a car, at best, I feel neutral. I don't enjoy it. When riding a bike, however, I feel pure joy interrupted by moments of irritation. 


Echo Rivera – Chicago, IL

Echo is completing a Ph.D in community psychology and her work consists of conducting research that addresses gender-based violence. She started cycling in 2010 as part of a quest for better health. She quickly realized that she hated exercise, but loved the feeling of exploring the town by bike. Every ride was an adventure, full of possibilities and spontaneity. 

It didn’t take long for her to become passionate about cycling and her dream is to tour the country with her partner and Australian cattle dog. Until then, you can find Echo riding her whimsical blue road bicycle on the streets of Chicago or her tough orange mountain bike on the trails. Although a non-competitive cyclist herself, she enjoys screaming and ringing a cowbell to cheer on her cyclocross-racing partner.

Her comic, Life with a Hardcore Cyclist, pokes fun at the ‘bike life,’ and is founded on the idea that anyone can be a ‘hardcore cyclist’ regardless of gender, race, income, weight, or reason for cycling. Echo can also be found on twitter: @echointhecity and on her 

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