I love riding my bike. It’s probably the closest a person can come to flying without the risk of becoming a giant Spaghettio splatter-stain on the ground. The tires glide over the pavement and your direction is shifted by slight angle differentiations like a bird floating on the breeze. It’s beautiful. You get to see the city without sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic and, best of all, you get to get the shit knocked out of you by passing cars.
There’s something about sliding up the hood of a car and slamming your shoulder into the windshield that really gets the blood moving. I’ve never been one for drugs— no thank you!— but I imagine the rush you get from enjoying the scent of a few lines of cocaine is almost half as fulfilling as seeing a van cut in front of you and slamming your teeth into the passenger-side door.
So consider this my plea to the vehicle-driving mass public: Please, for the love of God, turn in front of every cyclist you see and let them scrape off their kneecaps on your car hood. It won’t be much of an inconvenience. A quick shot with the hose will rinse off any remaining blood or ligaments (they can clog up an engine block if left unattended). Worried about dents? No biggie! We can’t usually go more than 20 mph so any indentation left behind can be easily pulled out with a household plunger. Better yet, have another one of us whack our shit directly next to the original dent, effectively pushing it back out! After all, you’re the ones doing us a favor so we’re eager to pay it back as soon as possible.
Think of it as charity. Who has time to go down to the local homeless shelter and slop gruel into wooden bowls for the indigent? Nobody. Well, maybe a few religious-types but they only have to work once a week. The rest of us have home run derbies to officiate, shipping containers to clean, significant others to pick up at the clinic— we’re busy! But everyone likes to feel useful and here’s your chance to do someone a solid without more than a slight swerve on your way home from the salt mines. You don’t even have to hit your brakes. As long as you position yourself for one of us to plonk our heads into/onto your vehicle, you can go home, put your feet up, crack a celebratory Mountain Dew and smugly smile to yourself when the wife/husband asks, “How was your day, honey?”
“Oh, my day?” you’ll respond before putting your feet down and securing the belt on your robe. “I clipped the back wheel of some lucky devil out on Main Street.”
“Did you send him flying?”
“Right into a stop sign!” And then she/he will undoubtedly give you a jumping high-five and a foot massage. No hesitation.
I’ve already spoken to the inherent rush that comes with uncontrollably flying off your bike and bouncing your spine off the concrete. Everybody knows how kick ass that is. But what you might be forgetting is the way everyone treats you when you’re injured. You become royalty! People elbow each other in the kidneys to get the chance to help you up the stairs. If you’re lucky enough to get a head wound, you won’t need to tip at the restaurant until the gauze is removed. What are the servers going to say, “Why didn’t that drooling guy in the corner with pus oozing from his ears remember to tip me for that open-faced meatloaf sandwich?” No way. They’re just going to be thankful you didn’t bleed on the booth cushions.
The squeaking gears with each pedal push. The centrifugal rush of a tight corner. The pulsating throb of a gushing compound fracture. Biking is fucking magical. This is the kind of stuff that our parents had prayed their progeny could enjoy. The undying freedom from unlocking the hidden potential of our minds through catastrophic bicycle accidents is, dare I say, not only a gift from God. No, that would be too short-sighted. This is a gift from God’s God.
This brand of nirvana can only be accessed through cooperation with others on the road. Please, do your fellow road-travelers a favor and heed the speed limitations, look both ways when crossing through a stop sign, and if you see any passing cyclists, swerve across three lanes of oncoming traffic if you have to and fucking obliterate us.
Consider this my thank you in advance, just in case I lose my connection with my central nervous system on the way home.