Today was Election Day, and like a good citizen who believes in our democratic process, I rode over to my D.C. polling place after work to cast my vote. I parked my bike in the rock star parking zone right outside the community center and walked in to cast my vote.
As I stood in line to retrieve my ballot, a polling official walked over to me and said in an urgent tone, “You can’t wear those shoes in here.”
Say what? I can’t wear shoes to vote? I looked down and remembered I was wearing my Sidi shoes.
The lady in charge of handing me my ballot said, “Do you have some kind of special shoes or something?”
“Just these cycling shoes,” I responded.
“Oh yes, they just redid the floors in here.”
Cycling shoes can really freak people out, especially people who are worried about wood floors. And recently refinished wood floors to boot. My Sidi’s have a recessed cleat, but even so, some people do not want to risk the remote possibility that they would scrape the floor.
I understand and respect that concern. I knelt down and removed my shoes. It wasn’t the most dignified, but the community center’s floors were safe. I grabbed my ballot, voted in my stocking feet (Smartwool!), and headed for the door.
As I neared the exit, another polling person asked me sarcastically if I was comfortable, but my ballot poll person quickly came to my defense. “They made her take her shoes off!”
“You see?” I thought. “I’m no rogue sock-wearing voter!”
Life as a bike commuter can evoke all kinds of emotions. Frustration. Elation. Pride. It all depends on the day, or even the moment.
Election Day made me laugh. I voted… in my socks.