Bicycle Network: Women's Cycling
A shuttle bunny’s guide to life
Singled out as the designated driver? Learn to enjoy the experience, writes Laura Williamson
Shuttle bunny [shuht-l buhn-ee] – noun. A woman who drives the men to and/or from an outdoor recreational activity. Status of the shuttle bunny ranges between that of goddess and dupe. (See also shuttle rabbit: a male shuttle bunny).
It’s day three of a hot, intense week of mountain biking, and you just don’t feel up to riding today. So comes the inevitable question: well, there’s this track we want to do, but it’s not an out and back, and maybe you could drop us off, and uh, pick us up at the other end. They want you to be … a shuttle bunny!
Now we know that many guys picture a shuttle bunny as a busty girl in a string bikini splayed across the bonnet of a Cortina, waiting faithfully for her man to emerge sweaty and triumphant from his lusty adventure. You can’t blame them, really. But this is mountain biking, not Ralph magazine, and we should set a few things straight.
To begin, remember that you are not a useless female just because you don’t want to participate in a six-hour hike-a-bike with the boys. You are a valuable member of the team. And some of the fellas probably don’t want to do such a hellish ride either, but their egos won’t let them drop out.
With this in mind, here are a few simple tips to help you shuttle with dignity:
- As all good shuttle bunnies know, the longer the ride is, the more shopping and café time for you. Be sure to suggest big epics.
- Put the beer in the river to keep it cold, and don’t drink it before the boys show up. It’s bad form if they find you surrounded by empties, lying in a pool of your own drool.
- Be sure to look very relaxed and comfortable when the team arrives. Remember, while you were sipping your cappuccino, they were going anaerobic, and it’s OK to point this out.
- They need you to do their ride. Use this knowledge to procure favours, compliments and gifts.
- Use the spare time to develop your intellect. Read a little. When asked what you’ve been up to, reply serenely that you’ve been brushing up on your political philosophy, and would anyone care to discuss it?
- Boys can be shuttle bunnies too, but it’s best to feign an injury to avoid decades of abuse in the future.
- Kick butt on tomorrow’s adventure because you’ll be well rested and everybody else will be debilitated.
Consider some of these points, and you might just come to look forward to a day or two as designated driver. So the next time you’re feeling a little tired, don’t sweat it. Offer to take the keys, pack a couple of good books, and shuttle on, my cotton-tailed friends, shuttle on.