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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Police Say Local Bike Rider Was Drunk…Really?

My chamois is in a bundle.  I’m offended.  As a local bike rider, I’m offended…well as much as I can be without laughing at the ridiculousness of my feelings.  This story threw the chain in my spokes last night.  I’m talking about the AP copyright story that popped out of Cincinnati Monday titled “Police Say Local Bike Rider Was Drunk” (click here to read it.)  To steal a line from Seth and Amy on Saturday night live…really?  I’m sorry, but I think it takes more than a bike to be a called a bike rider.  I’m not sure what that is, but I’m going to get to the bottom of it.

To say the least, in my opinion, the man who is the subject of the story could be called a lot of things, the least being a “bike rider.”  I’m thinking the headline should’ve been something like, “Police Say Local Man Was Drunk While Riding Bike.”  After all, he is a local man first, who just happened to be operating a bicycle.  I’m not arguing semantics.  There’s a principal involved somewhere.  I’m not angry.  I’m more bemused at myself.  I’m in a slight tiff.  This guy shouldn’t be in the same boat as the people I would call bike riders.  I’m not exactly sure what the minimum credentials are, but I’m 100% sure that this guy isn’t a bike rider.  I think it takes more than being on the pedals of a moving bicycle in Cincinnati to be called a bike rider. 

Forget about the law and the alleged alcohol for a minute and concentrate on the real issue.  What really does it take to be called a bike rider?   According to this story it seems like all you need is a bike and at least the ability to sort of balance it and pedal it for a minimal amount of time.  But you wouldn’t call a five year old riding herky-jerky around their cul-de-sac a bike rider.  I think they’d be called a child riding a bike.  So, maybe there’s a level of expertise and/or intention involved.   You can swing from a monkey bar, but you’re no gymnast.  You can dog paddle 15 feet from your inner tube to the dock, but you wouldn’t be identified as a swimmer.   You can shoot a gun, but you’re not marksman.

Then I brought up the story to some people in the office and told them how I was offended as a bike rider about this story.  After they rolled their eyes and my half joking explanation of why I was offended, one brought up an interesting point.  Respect.  A coworker said, “I don’t think this man respects the bicycle.”  She’s right.  So, I think that’s the difference.  A person riding a bike doesn’t necessarily respect the bicycle. 

A bike rider respects the bicycle.  

1 comment:

The Flying Pig said...

Don't confuse a bike rider with a cyclist. If it read local cyclist was drunk, I would still not really care. Look at the guys picture. Should have had a headline like "Local homeless guy was busted drunk riding".