You see them all the time. As a fellow human, it saddens me that someone lost their life. Busy streets, 4-way stop signs and sharp turns are marked with this memorial for motorists to slow down and be aware of the danger they can cause. For those of you who don’t know what a ghost bike is, let me explain.
Ghost bikes are these bicycles that are painted white and locked near an intersection where a cyclist died. They’re supposed to serve as a reminder to cars to slow down and look for bikes. However, it’s pretty ineffective seeing as 101% of bikers don’t actually brake for intersections. Actually, people who don’t ride bikes, ride their bikes through intersections without breaking. Some purist have even disabled their braking system in order to achieve a more manageable gear ratio.
Nooow, serious cyclists don’t use helmets because it makes them look dorky. Instead, they’ll use these little cycling caps that offer twice as much protection, while looking only three times dorkier than a traditional helmet. Have you ever picked up a chick on your bike? Ladies, do you ever think people pay attention to what helmet you are wearing whilst leaning on your cruiser?
If I ever die on my bike, please promise to complete a thorough investigation to determine whether or not the accident was my fault. And if it was my fault please don’t lock my bike to a stop sign. Because if you find I cruised through an intersection without a helmet, I don’t want dudes in short pants/little hats having a circle jerk on account of my own foolishness. But then again, I’ll be dead.
Don’t be stupid. Wear Protection. http://www.bicyclinginfo.org/bikemore/safely.cfm
Road Rage is a TAPTS original series.
Part 1: Cyclists vs. Drivers
Part 2: Drivers vs. Cyclists
Part 3: Pedestrians vs. Cyclists/Drivers
Visitors to Portland frequently comment about how nice we Portlanders are. A friend visiting from NYC actually made a comment about all the niceties: “It’s starting to freak me out!” Portland is also recognized as one of the country’s most bike friendly cities. And even though a rare 20 minute hold up in traffic will send any seasoned Portland driver into a full on panic attack, LA this is not.
However, the cyclist versus driver war has erupted into irrational levels of general madness. Since everything else about people’s lives is so… well… nice, are we just hating motorists because of the potential threat they can cause to our lives due to their cell-phone/child-rearing/food-eating vehicle experience? I realize some cyclists suck but I’m convinced that every driver operates a mass murdering vehicle of death.
People, I drive and I bike – and I have personally sucked at both at one point or another. I have ran stop signs in neighborhoods. I have used sidewalks and other non-designated “safe” bike lanes (cycling is an improvisational art!). I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen motorists run red lights without considering the damage that he/she could cause to others. At least when I cut corners, I’m only putting myself at risk.
So for all you motor vehicle operators out there, start paying a little more attention to where the *expletive deleted* you are *expletive deleted* going. Not only do you have a responsibility to your passengers, but you are obligated to SHARE the road with others. Just because you drive a 2004 BMW doesn’t mean you can cut me off therefore putting my life in danger because I wasn’t going 10 miles over the speed limit.
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Wild Heart Cycling
Chalk this entry up as part of the “Keep Portland Weird” campaign. I fully embrace the counter-culture experience in Portland, but nothing defies logic* than the naked bike ride held every year around June (or as some would say, “It’s Year Round! WOOO!!!”).
The premise is simple. Grab a cheap, ridiculously inefficient Schwin, get naked and pedal through downtown Portland. This behavior won’t get you laid, but it will garner a lot of shock and awe. If you’ve ever taken part in this campaign AND been laid from it, let me know. I’m dying to know HOW that exchange was initiated.
As a spectator, you’ll see flapping boobies and shrunken penises followed by a stench of pot roast and WD-40. The air changes with each passing rider, and you can’t help but notice the unattractive feature sets. As liberating as this riding in this fashion, it’s still a bunch of ugly people on bikes.
*Ultimately, I can image two shortcomings of naked bike rides.
1. Penis trapped in the derailer/spoke/brake cable
2. Booby trapped in the derailer/spoke/brake cable