Tuesday 9 June 2009

Tight Fist Tip #8: Get a Bicycle

The Tight Fist Express!

I rode the Tube yesterday for the first time in a while, and boy was it a shock. (For those of you non-worldly types out there, the tube is London's subway system.) It's really a pleasure to watch a few trains go by that are so packed that you can't even get on, only to finally get lucky enough to join the sardine tin yourself. I couldn't stop thinking: "I actually paid for this?"


That's right, each morning thousands of commuters gladly plunk down a few bucks for the privilege of packing themselves into hot, packed, trains/buses, vainly trying to turn a couple pages of that crappy novel they've been working on for eight months. This is a clearly lose-lose situation: not only are you making your life miserable, but you are paying through the nose for it.

The solution is obvious: GET OFF YOUR LAZY ASS AND ONTO A BIKE. I rarely recommend buying things on this site, but a bike is a no-brainer investment. For instance, a monthly Zone 1-2 tube pass costs about 100 pounds. With a half a year's savings, you could buy yourself a really sweet bike! Plus, Mr. Flabby Legs, you know you could use the free exercise.

Sunglasses + Spandex = SUPER-AERODYNAMIC!

Wait, that was just a test. There is no way I would suggest spending 600 pounds on anything. Just like any valued partner, your expensive new bike will only break your heart in the end when she is stolen away from you. Instead, hit up your local market or used stuff website (Craigslist, Gumtree, etc) and pick yourself up something on the cheap.

And now, to deal with your complaints:

1.But I live too far away! No, you are just too lazy.

2.Won't it take forever? Yes, but only because excessive laziness has turned your legs into jelly drumsticks. Get on the bike, and they may eventually approach a solid state. In London at least, it is pretty rare to find a route that is actually quicker by public transport than by bike.

3.But won't I be all hot and sweaty at work? Your work/school has a shower. Stop being prissy and use it.

4.Does this mean I get to go shopping for new accessories? Give me a break. Although some over-zealous commuters missed the memo, bicycles do not require spandex suits to function properly.

Tight Fisters, free yourselves from the shackles of public transport and you will never look back. Until then, enjoy the Tube strike!


  1. i'm loving this. especially the first picture.

    alternative bicycle options are available every Sunday at Brick Lane market.

    does The Tight Fist condone such tight fisting?

  2. As another one of your readers (Matt) can attest, even if your bike does get stolen you can usually get it back for no more than $20-$30 from the shady dude on the corner looking to sell it a couple hours later.

  3. bike = free exercise + faster + fresh air + save money

    i love these tight fist win-win-win-wins

  4. Wear cheap sunglasses strictly for the "Cool Factor" (Tight Fist #6) and skip the spandex. Wind resistance will provide a more rigorous work out for FREE! (Tight Fit#1).

    Damn Dan with your expert tutelage I'll be a full fledged Jew in no time.

  5. Tight Fist Comment Tip #20:

    If you borrow Yasser's $400 bike, and it gets stolen, run in the direction of the stolen bike and tell the people standing around on street corners that you will pay $50 for it.

    Here's the important part, take all but $20 dollars out of your wallet. When they come back with the bike, offer them $20 in cash, and then say that you will write a check for the rest. Bike theives hate checks! At this point you can see the bike, so now you only have to pay $20 for it.

    A diligent tight fister might ask, why pay the $20? Good question. So you don't get stabbed.

  6. I guess I can't hate on Matt too much - he apparently got my bike back. Even though he didn't ask me to borrow it. Or tell me it was temporarily filched. And I didn't find out about it for some 6 years later. On a damn blog.

    Makes for a great tale though! Ha.