An Open Letter to Bicyclists Who Ride at Night With No Lights

Dear Night Rider,

Glad to know you are out riding your bike, getting some fresh air and exercise. I know with today’s busy schedules, it’s hard to get in a ride during the day. That’s probably why you were riding at 12 midnight. I get it. The air is crisp and it’s nice and quiet.

One suggestion: can you add a couple of lights, say one on the front and one on the back of your bike when you are riding at night? I didn’t see you when I was driving until you weaved right in front of me in the dark, suddenly shooting across a four-lane road without looking to make a sweeping left turn.

Heck, throw in a couple of reflective strips on your clothing while you are at it.

Hey, I ride myself. I get it. Biking is the best. And sometimes, our only transportation option. So have it.

I know you are out there, Night Rider. I just can’t see you. At all.

Sincerely,

Peering in the Dark

Bicyclist Invests In $12,000 Bike Lock System

Harold knew what he wanted when he bought his new Italian racing bicycle. He has been around the sport of cycling for over 15 years. When he saved the money up, he excitedly plunked it all down for a $10,000 beauty. Top of the line.

He plans to ride it all over town. To work. To the park. To the store. If you are thinking a $10,000 bike would be a target for thieves, you would be right. Don’t worry, Harold thought of that, too.

To protect his investment, he also spent $12,000 for a set of fifteen cables and D-Locks that secure the bike to any fixed object. “If I wanted to, I could attach it to a moving airplane,” Harold laughed. “It takes me an hour to unlock all the combination locks, and I have to carry a heavy key ring with 8 keys on it, but for a quick jaunt to the store, it’s good to feel secure.”

Harold spent the next hour locking up his bike in front of the store, and then went in to get a pack of smokes.

Scofflaw “Night Rider” Bicyclists Terrorize Cities

Young bicycling enthusiasts are filling the streets of big cities all over America for weekly “night rides,” often on a Friday night, where hundreds or even thousands of riders cycle through the city in a huge pack.

Problems arise when traffic is stalled or stopped due to the sheer number of cyclists. A few riders also have a loose interpretation of road rules and laws, angering locals and earning lots of attention from the local constables.

One Chicago media outlet called them “bicycle terrorists.”

Really? People on bicycles are “terrorists?”

I decided to check out some riders from these groups to find out what’s the dealio.

I captured some of these scofflaws in action. You can decide for yourself.

 

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Here is one of the rebels pulling into a street without checking for traffic.

 

 

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This guy is asking for a trip to the pokey. He’s in such a rush to check out the new comics, he lays his bike right in the doorway to the drug store.

 

 

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What’s this? He’s hanging on that truck for sheer thrills. A visit to the big house is in order.

 

 

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This guy is riding all crazy-like every which way on a playground. How long will we stand for this nonsense?

 

 

On Your Left!

Vivian wanted to go to the beach. I didn’t. The problem is I burn easily. I got burned last week when I stood in front of the refrigerator light too long. I started peeling so bad I look like a character in Mission Impossible pulling off his fake face.

“What are we going to do at the beach?” I tried to delay.

“Swim,” she said.

“Dangerous undertow.”

“Rollerblade!”

“Don’t know how to stop.”

“Ride bikes,” she persisted cheerily.

I hesitated. She looked at me.

Her look said, “Surely you know how to ride a bike?” I knew she did. She grew up in Yantai, China, riding her bike everyday.

I lost.

“Bikes it is!” I conceded.

I pulled out my standard beachwear: flowing Arabian robes with head cover. I left a small slit for my eyes which I covered with sunglasses.

“Let’s go!”

We drove down to Hermosa Beach and went to the rental place. We picked out a couple of basic Schwinn six-speeds and set off down the Strand, a cement walk that runs all the way from Malibu down to Huntington Beach. My seat was set too low so my knees stuck out as I pedaled.

My flapping knees prompted bicyclists coming up behind me to yell “On your left!” as they went around.

This is supposed to be good biking etiquette but it just scares the hell out of me. If I was walking down the hall at work and someone came up behind me and yelled “On your left!” in my ear, I would jump out the window into the dumpster.

We pedaled up to Manhattan Beach. This is a nice neighborhood. The average home price is $70,000,000. That doesn’t even include the mailbox. A lot of people move there because the schools are so good.How would you like that pressure on you in kindergarten? “Your room alone cost us $10,000,000, Johnny. You damn well better get an A in napping!”

I looked at one home there. It was $400,000. But the house itself was worse than a shack. I kept waiting for a Unabomber-looking dude to walk out in flip-flops carrying a surfboard.

The bicyclists in Manhattan Beach are very serious. One guy shot around me as he yelled “On your left!”

What he really meant was, “Hey, rental bike boy, get your six speed Schwinn tank out of the way! I’m coming through with my $2700 Mongoose Pro Titanium RX 9.9 Triathlon Racing Bike with Shimano Ultegra Brakes and Derailleurs and Selle Italia Nitrox Gel Saddle. I’ve got on my special skin hugging bike shorts that are so tight my butt is now one big cheek! Outta the way, knave!”

Some couples ride tandem bikes. Somehow they don’t look complete. I figure if you are going to ride a tandem bike the guy should have on a seersucker suit and a straw boater singing, “Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day!”

Another wacky setup you see is a parent pulling their kids in a little bike “trailer.” It attaches to the back on the big bike like a little rickshaw. What little kid would pass that up? “Mummy, please hurry, we’ve GOT to get home in time for cartoons. Oh, please hurry on!”

One word of advice for guys: If you go bike riding with your girlfriend in Manhattan Beach, always ride a tiny bit behind her. That way she can’t see you staring at the girls coming the other way.

At one point the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen came around a corner. I tried to look inconspicuous as I stared at her.

Then I heard “On your left!”

Oh, no! It’s Expensive Bike Guy again! Just as he shot around me his eyes fell upon the gorgeous girl. He lost control and his expensive front tire edged off the sidewalk into the sand and stopped dead. He went flying over his expensive handlebars into a sand dune.

“On your back!” I yelled.