The Shredded Schrader

May 10, 2010

The Cage has Bars of Paranoia

Filed under: Misadventures,Parasites — Danimal @ 11:27 am

I was riding down Mass Ave., driving legally and considerately, and (of course) getting beeped at and yelled at by motorists. Usually this isn’t a problem as I ride my peppy LeMond and for the most part keep up, but this time I was on a chopper (MegaSeth’s Stardust).

My usual battle cry is an iteration of the law; “I’m a vehicle. Two abreast or one per lane.” I’m not sure it’s effective, but… whatever. It’s better than calling them a turd monkey [citation needed]. And such was the case when a motorist, right on my ass, let out his horn.

“I wasn’t beeping at you jackass!!!! Get off the fucking rode, you fucking moron.”

In fairness, his position understandably cause confusion. Furthermore, it was fucking loud! But whatever, I was bothered enough to need to pull to the side of the road to gather my wits.

There is no friend anywhere, there is no enemy anywhere, there is no friend anywhere, there is no enemy anywhere…

What. The. Fuck.

Am I really riding that close to the edge? This bothers me immensely.

Then I had an idea. Something that would not risk taking innocent bystanders and wouldn’t escalate, but instead would act to confuse and then only later to sting and drive the point home.

Keep your eyes open for it. Keep watching.

Everyones a friend and everyone is an enemy. Everyone is watching. Especially THEM.

Later I noticed that my belt was unbuckled and my pants were partially opened in the front. I chuckled as I mused over the possibility that it was my embarrassing state that caused the other cars to beep and complain. I stopped and wished it was true.

One big union (of cyclists),
A slightly anxious and mentally disturbed Danimal.

February 27, 2010

Bicycle lanes are not for parking, mam.

Filed under: Journalism,Misadventures,Parasites,Vigilantism — Danimal @ 3:03 pm

There is this awful stretch in front of Alewife where motorists rejoice in abusing the bicycle lane. I have gotten into arguments with motorists over this before. Some times the exchange is openly verbal as I wheel up to their open window to have a chat with them about safety, and some… slightly more obscure. My most recent experience leans towards the latter. The crime deserved something special.

I was heading home from work driving Nostrildamus, The Slothful (an abandoned bicycle from the 80s that I recently liberated and restored), when the motorsite in front of me came to a sudden stop in the bike lane, threw on her hazards, and ran into the daycare, pausing momentarily to glance around guiltily. I may have been seen, but I didn’t care.

If this was an emergency, if she was seeking help for problems with her auto-mobile (they are especially susceptible to these) she did the right thing by pulling over in the manner she did. In emergencies, it is entirely acceptable to pull to the side of the foremost right lane. The bike lane is a lane like any other, except with certain restrictions vetoed in certain situations such as these. However, this incident didn’t wasn’t in that sort of situation. As I would soon observe, she was just going into the building to retrieve her snot-nosed kid.

After figuring out what she was up to, I pulled to the side of the road and rummaged through my backpack for pencil and paper. Soon after producing them I had written an informative, albeit potentially hopefully disturbing note. It read as follows…

Bicycle lanes are for bicycles, not for parking.

You endanger the safety of cyclists.

You have been reported.

I slipped it under her wind-shield wiper and hid behind a pole, awaiting her return. After all, I could not categorize this post as Journalism if I bailed before I had the whole story! Even if I was the one making the news…..

After a considerable stretch of time she returned to the car with her kid. On her way to her side of the care she froze as her eyes met the note. As she picked it up I declared victory and road away in search of another adventure. (As a side note, I found it. I can’t write about it here, so ask me in person).

What sort of example is that for your kid? Jeez.

I wrote down her license plate number for my personal records. I struggled with myself a great deal over whether or not I should share it. At last I decided against it, choosing instead to file it away in a database somewhere. I will keep an eye out for her to see if she becomes a repeat offender. Picking up her kid from daycare is probably a regular event. Next week I will see if her antics are also a regular event.

Solidarity my fellow cyclists! Bike on.
~ Danimal ~

For the sake of your amusement I should note that the notice was printed on the back of a recycled article on the environmental sustainability of beer production. Coincidentally, my environmentalism has also been satisfied. Hail Eris!

January 29, 2010

MBTA almost kills another cyclist

Filed under: Advocacy,Journalism,Parasites,Solidarity — Danimal @ 4:33 pm

Today my good friend Grimlocke was almost killed when an MBTA bus ran a red light.  Her report is detailed in a compelling post that was soon picked up by As she reminds us, this is not the first time. In 2007 a cyclist was killed in the same area.

Action must be taken, lest next time it’s not a “nearly.” How many more cyclists must die before people take action? If the standing government will not defend the people, we must defend ourselves. I encourage people to organize and advocate for our safety, spreading awareness and engendering change.

Here’s how to take action:

Talk to people, get the word out there, speak up when you’ve been wronged! Go onto the streets, go to town meetings, go wherever there are people to hear you.

And if you don’t want to leave the house… Contact the mayors of Boston, Somerville, and Cambridge, DEMANDing that they as well take action. The safety of their citizens should be their number one priority. Remember, we too are people deserving of fair and just treatment. While I usually advocate more direct action above the heads of the standing government, we must exhaust all avenues. Our lives are on the line.

Ride in solidarity, fellow cyclists. Only together can we survive.

October 1, 2009

Introducing: Featured Parasites!

Filed under: Journalism,Parasites — Danimal @ 1:35 pm

I bring you a new periodical! Each week (or some other time unit), I will be reporting on the offenses of a speedy parasite.

For the first article, I already have one in mind. An employee of a certain towing company threatened a friend of mine both verbally and physically (started to run her off the road with his truck, with obvious intent). Name and employment information were collected and I will be sharing these in the spirit of complete disclosure… and action.

I will also be accepting submissions.

Remember, only on the road is yielding permissible.

Create a blog and join the revolution!