Posts tagged bikes
did you know I have a permanent bruise on my thigh? best feminist, right? in mid-2010 my body did something weird in the healing process from a bike crash and ever since then I’ve looked like I bumped into a table corner really hard a couple of weeks ago.
that bike crash was pretty bad in terms of injury but ultimately okay because it was totally my fault so I could just learn from it. this more recent one is pretty annoying. I thought experiencing one of my nightmare scenarios — car hits me with no warning from behind and I break my face/teeth — and ultimately being ok would make me less fearful?? not more?? this is because I am an idiot who doesn’t understand how brains work and maybe subconsciously thinks that something has to be political to be traumatising? here is a list of new paralysing fears I have, like actually consuming, almost-crying, fear:
- braking (because I tried to brake as I was hit)
- indicating (because it involves taking a hand off the handlebars and also I was indicating when I was hit and I hurt my hand badly)
- riding fast
- being overtaken (which it turns out happens a lot when you ride slowly, lolsob)
- any movement in my peripheral vision when I’m riding, including my own flashing bike lights
anyway, my point is, I’m working on getting past these but don’t make fun of me for making hook turns in busy intersections, ok, I’m really doing my best
if you don’t have political bumper stickers on your bike you can’t complain
also, I hate to be one of those Bike People, but I have an Open Letter To, Seemingly, All The Car Drivers I Have Ever Shared The Road With
1. I am not legally required to use the bike lane if it is “impracticable to do so” or if it’s an off-road path (source)
2. As recognised by the law, there are times when it is inconvenient, dangerous, impossible, or illegal to use the bike lane, like when for example a truck is unloading there, or I’m turning right, or when there is no bike lane
3. If there was a usable bike lane you can be goddamn sure I would be riding in it because I like to stay as far away from you as possible
3a. (At this point I would like to extend a special fuck you to all the men who have nearly made me crash my bike by loud and startling catcalling, walking in front of my bike and waving at me, or trying to grope me through the open window of a car heading very fast in the opposite direction — incidentally, what did you imagine would happen if you succeeded there?)
4. In summary, please stop yelling at me for existing on the roads
5. You’re a dick
THIS IS AN EMAIL THAT I GOT FROM MY BIKING AND POLITICS PROFESSOR ABOUT WEARING HELMETS
applesandseeds:THIS IS AN EMAIL THAT I GOT FROM MY BIKING AND POLITICS PROFESSOR ABOUT WEARING HELMETS
Today I decided to take advantage of what is probably the last opportunity to bike in shirt sleeves for awhile. I was on Damen heading north at Montrose. A guy in his twenties was there as well, and when the signal changed he stood on his pedals to get a fast start. As he crossed Montrose, his pedal broke off and he flipped. It was not a high speed crash and it would have been inconsequential except that he was not wearing a helmet. His head snapped back against the road.
I stopped to lend assistance. Several others did as well, including an RN who biked by about a minute after the accident. Thankfully, she immediately took over. The first thing she asked him was if he had been wearing a helmet, which he had not. He was bleeding from the back of his head and he told the nurse that his jaw was aching. He never lost consciousness and he seemed coherent. I don’t think he was hurt too seriously, but I am no expert on these things. If he had been wearing his helmet he would have walked away. When the ambulance arrived a few minutes later, the first thing the attendant asked him was whether he had been wearing a helmet.
I assume these medical people were familiar with accidents and with helmets. It was chilling to see this happen right in front of me. That has not happened before. When it did, I thought of you guys.
I know many of you do not wear your helmet outside our class. This is a creative group, so figure out what is keeping you from wearing one and come to grips with that. It is not that much trouble, because you can lock your helmet up with your bike. Are you worried about style? Then make your helmet stylish. Paint it, put interesting things on it. Or, summon the inner character to ignore style. Own the nerd!
You can leave this class, and you can leave DePaul, but you can’t leave me. My spirit will follow you and hang out under your bed or in your closet. Every time you see your bike you will think of me, and your helmet. Wear it.
“own the nerd”, or even just own your head! fuck. wear helmets. always.
a couple of weeks ago I had a pretty bad bike crash. I swerved, hit the kerb, smashed my head hard against the pavement, scraped up my leg badly (apparently I may develop intramuscular scarring, which sounds fancy), I was winded and crying, and it was like…3 am. But I was able to get back on my bike, finish riding home, and bandage myself up. I would definitely have suffered a serious head injury if I hadn’t been wearing a helmet.
I really like his advice to figure out what is stopping you from wearing your helmet. I decided to spend a little extra $$ on a cool helmet because then I knew I would wear it every time. get a nice helmet if you can. don’t wear a helmet with exposed polystyrene, that’s incredibly dangerous — helmets have a smooth/hard surface so they skid along the pavement. if they have a rough/soft surface they catch and that can increase the risk of spinal injury.
a lot of people worry about helmets fucking with their hair as well. if I want to have big hair or something for a party I take the things I need to make that hairstyle happen — pins, combs, products, whatever — with me to the event.
I am incredibly prejudiced against people who don’t wear helmets. really that’s unfair, self-consciousness about appearence overrides safety considerations sometimes for lots of people, me included. but still. when I see someone riding without a helmet I don’t think they look un-nerdy, I think they look like a wanker.
also, biking and politics???? what is this amazing subject?