Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

Invisible Rider

Found this bike in front of my house, yesterday AM. At first, I thought some kid had probably dropped a stolen bike. I thought I’d just haul it into my yard and report the serial to the Arlington PD. But when I picked the bike up, it became clear that it was very much the other way around – the bike dropped the rider. Ouch

As best I can tell, the rider’s laces (which you can see in the picture) got twisted around the pedal. This, in turn, took him down before tearing off. And he must have gone down *hard* – what you see here is not only a nearly bent off pedal, but a crank arm that has been bent back over the chainring and frame. Outside of the picture is a front wheel with a hub also pulled out of the forks. I expected to see blood on sidewalk, with a hit like that.

But nothing. Looks like the rider left under his own power. And the bike remains.

I’ve left it there in case he might want to come back and get it, but I’m doubting that it’s going anywhere. Much as it pains me to do it to a bike, it’s into the trash tomorrow. Absolutely nothing of value on this bike, and to repair and donate it would cost more (in even the cheapest parts) than to buy a new one at Walmart.

(Related: Invisible Riders. An excellent look at the people who form most of the market for this kind of bike. )




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  1. Busted! I am outing you as a fellow Utne reader (grin).

    Actually, My Aunt keeps trying to switch me to Mother Jones, but I like the sampling of different sources one gets in Utne.

    I hope that invisible rider is ok, the damage to his or her bike is scary.

  2. MB

    Heh. Actually, it’s the other way around, for me. I’m a Mother Jones reader who strayed for this particular article.

    And you must ride, too – because it’s only riders who seem to understand the force that must have been involved, here. Everyone else is – oh, a crash? Too bad . . .

  3. Yep – though I’ve switched to riding a recumbent now that I am an old fart. Which reminds me – it’s nice outside… need to go for a ride!

  4. MB

    Well, someone took the bike. And then left it a few doors down. But then . . . someone took it again. And last I saw him, he was pushing it down the street . ..

    Keep hope alive, I suppose.

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