Ask The Advice Pedaler: Etiquette for the Conscientious Cyclist

Dear Advice Pedaler:
I recently attended the wedding of some cyclist friends. Since I figured everyone would be riding their bicycles, I put on my cycling attire - old t-shirt, black bike tights, and black clipless shoes. To my shock and embarrassment, everyone else had managed to wear their finest clothes and still bike to the wedding. Even the bride rode a bike in her dress! Did I just commit a huge faux pas?
-Was my face red! in SF

Dear Red:
The Advice Pedaler regrets to inform you that yes, you did commit a faux pas. If you ride a bike then you should have a wardrobe of bicycle-friendly, occasion-appropriate clothes. When you shop for clothes, give them the "biker" test. Lift your legs as if to pedal. Bend your arms and move them in front - can you make your elbows touch without ripping the fabric? With proper clothing, you can look great at any event, and bike to them all. And don't forget you can always change clothes upon arrival.

Dear Advice Pedaler:
I always tip 15% for cabs and restaurants, but when I use the SFBC's valet bike parking, I'm not buying anything so I don't know how to calculate what I should put in their little "donations" box! What's an appropriate tip for bike parking? Do I have to tip if I'm a member of the SFBC?
-Giants Fan

Dear Giants Fan:
The SFBC provides free bike parking at events as a service to cyclists and as outreach to new members. Your donations help support the SFBC. Give what you think is appropriate for security peace-of-mind (how much did you save by not taking Muni or a cab?), and tell other people in line about how cool it is to be a member of the SFBC. The Advice Pedaler can always find a few ones or a five in her purse, and occasionally supplements this with a home-baked treat she brings for the valets. Also, you can help the valets by volunteering to help at events, sometimes garnering free admission to the event, and always garnering the admiration of cyclists and passers-by. Call 431-BIKE, ext. 6, to volunteer.

Dear Advice Pedaler:
Yesterday I was riding up Polk Street. At the light, as I patiently waited behind the crosswalk, another cyclist came up and waited for the light in the crosswalk. I thought cyclists should wait behind the crosswalk, so that pedestrians can get through. Who was right?
-Feeling Cross

Dear Cross:
Besides the obvious legal implications of pulling up beyond the stop line, the Advice Pedaler wishes for cyclists to show consideration for pedestrians. Just because car drivers flout the law and idle in crosswalks, forcing unwitting pedestrians into traffic, doesn't mean that we should. In the experience of the Advice Pedaler, drivers seem to follow the example of cyclists and will behave considerately towards pedestrians when they see a cyclist do it. The Advice Pedaler has affixed to her top tube a sticker from the SFBC that reads "I Stop For Peds." It's also safer to be behind the line, farther from speeding cross traffic that might turn too sharply in front of you.