Friday, July 10, 2009

Insanity defense

I took a break from work today to ride to La Paloma Sabanera for a cup of coffee and some solitaire on my 2004 model cell phone which doesn't seem to ring very often lately. I set the solitaire mode to all games winnable so I can feel good about myself. Side note: Virginia wants a bike rack. As I was leaving the garage at work, a fellow bicycle commuter explained his near collision with several oncoming cars blatantly turning left in front of him on his way east, down the Asylum St. hill this morning.

It seems counter-intuitive and it's probably not true, but I'm wondering if riding with certain quirky/not-necessarily-advisable manners might actually decrease your chances of automobile-related accidents by making drivers think twice before they pull some dumb shit. These manners might include going really fast and slow in alternating bursts, giving the impression of shakiness/swerviness as you approach an intersection, wearing an inflatable alligator strapped to your helmet, or smoking a pipe while riding.

I was watching a self-defense video on youtube where the instructor was telling you how to react the moment you get a sketchy feeling at an ATM. First hit the cancel button. Then feign anger, whacking the machine a few times and yelling about how you can't believe your significant other took all the money.

Maybe the best safety equipment you can get for bicycling with motorists is one, a properly-fitted helmet, and two, a facade of potentially belligerent/unpredictable behavior.

4 comments:

Remy, Patron Saint of Rainbows and Puppies said...

Actually, there was a study that concluded that there was a significant correlation between wearing helmets and how far cars pulled away from you as they passed. When a rider does not wear a helmet, cars are significantly more likely to pay attention and pull farther away from the bike than if the rider is wearing a helmet, where cars normally pull up within 18 inches of the biker.

Morale is don't wear a helmet.

Bonus: I just got my first real helmet yesterday. Bern Watts is sweet.

chillwill said...

Hey Billy,

how about riding with no hands...dribbling a basketball with one hand and a u-lock ready to throw in the other!

interstatement said...

I was riding home late on Friday night when a woman in a parked car on the other side of the street screamed, "Gimme your bike!!! bitch-ass nigga! The fuck is wrong wichoo??" It was startling and completely unnecessary, but sort of funny in an over-the-top, ridiculous sort of way. Epithets aside, she was probably drunk and felt like messing with somebody's head (she was in the back seat of said car, so at least drunk driving was not an impending threat). My knee-jerk response was to grin broadly and flip her the bird.
I was wearing a helmet at the time, which often isn't the case.

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