February 22nd, 2013

2013-02-19 16.33.00It has come to my attention, after extensive communications with the powers that be and their lackeys, that our cities have no intention of clearing the snow out of our bike lanes. They also have no intention of moving or ticketing the cars parked in the bike lanes. All this is in spite of the fact that the winter months are the harshest and most dangerous to cyclists, who are the most vulnerable of commuters year round.

However, rather than bemoan our fates, I say we do what the city should be doing and get out there ourselves and shovel out the bike lanes! If the powers that be think it’s too much hassle or just don’t care, then it’s up to us to preserve our own safety with a little DIY action.

My plan  is this, and I hope you follow along:

We should be seeing the end of the coming precipitation by this Sunday eve. At that point I will venture forth, shovel in hand, and station myself at the nearest unplowed bike lane. I will then proceed to remove the snow from it! If I am able to complete one bike lane before my back is broken, I will move on to another and clear THAT bike lane. Where will I put the snow? Wherever! It’s not my fucking problem as long as it’s not in the bike lane, right?

I urge you to take up your icepicks and shovels and buckets of sand and join  me at the front line of the battle! If you have a specific commuter route you need cleared, start there! Call your friends! Bring a boombox and make a party out of it!

If you aren’t a cyclist but just want to help, email me at kamikazelove at gmail and I’ll point you toward a lane in need!






February 20th, 2013

I emailed the Bicycle Transportation contact for Boston, Cambridge and Somerville about our choked bike lanes. Somerville got back to me, but only to tell me to send a request to 311. So I have, about a few streets. It seems that Cambridge only has a ‘request a sidewalk shoveled’ page here.  Please sign in and add your street or your entire route.

I have yet to find a form for the Boston environs, but you can always email Nicole.Freedman.bra@cityofboston.gov, who represents the interests of the cycling community.


Keep fighting the good fight, kids.


February 20th, 2013

Maybe some of the money going to cycling infrastructure should be funneled into clearing out our bike lanes during the winter months, rather than putting in new bike lanes that will only be available to us during the summer. It’s sad to know that this is a reflection of just how important cyclist safety is to the powers that be.

2013-02-19 16.36.51 2013-02-19 16.33.00 2013-02-19 16.29.02 2013-02-19 16.27.24 2013-02-19 16.20.04 2013-02-19 09.00.54 2013-02-19 08.53.44 2013-02-19 08.53.35 2013-02-20 09.01.26 2013-02-19 16.39.49 2013-02-19 16.37.12

December 6th, 2012

Another cyclist was killed today. A tractor trailer turned in front of him on Comm. Ave. and he didn’t have time to stop. He died at the scene.

From the reports I’m reading and the general feeling of the community, it looks like it’s going to be another no-fault or cyclist-fault death. I really can’t remember the last time a motorist was publicly charged with any kind of crime in regards to a cyclist’s death around here.

I’m so, so angry, but more than that I’m scared shitless. After what happened to me the other day, I realize that I could be dead right now and nobody would have been charged with my death. Had I not jumped the curb away from my attacker’s black SUV, I might have been lying dead in the gutter until discovered by the joggers that passed by about five minutes later.  The police hadn’t made a report, so no-one would connect my  death with the altercation that happened only minutes before. And my killer would go free, just like the killers of all these other cyclists in the news of late.

I’m gravely considering giving up my bike, and buying a T pass. My commute would go from 30 minutes to 60-120 minutes one way. I would spend about $600 a year on T passes. But I would be alive. I wouldn’t have to wonder every day if I’d be alive at the end of the day. My boyfriend wouldn’t have to say, ‘PLEASE, please be careful.’ and email me to make sure I made it.

With what’ s been happening lately, it just might not be worth it to ride any more.




December 5th, 2012

Any biker knows that for every conscientious, considerate driver, there are about one hundred self-important motherfuckers who’d sooner run you down than use their blinker properly.

I met one last night on the way back from a friend’s house at about 8pm. I was taking a left from Cedar St. on to Broadway when  I was almost swerved into by a big black SUV (Grimlocke makes the shocker gesture here). I quickly saw why – the bleached blonde behind the wheel was holding her phone up in front of her face in the middle of her view, reading and driving at the same time. Since her windows were open, I obviously gave her some much needed driving instruction,


She retorted with a string of profanity that ended with threats of physical violence, and then she pulled over and exited her vehicle with a demand for me to, “Git off your bike!”. I did as requested.

She got about 1″ away from my face and began asking who I thought I was and what I was talking about, and when I reiterated that she should not be driving while texting, or reading texts, she claimed that she hadn’t been doing so. The next couple of minutes went a little like this:

Grim: You shouldn’t be looking at your phone while driving.

Bitch: I wasn’t looking at my phone!

Grim: Look, you and I are the only people here, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation if you hadn’t almost hit me because you were looking at your phone, so lying about it isn’t really going to help your argument.

Bitch: I wasn’t looking at my phone!


Once she realized that I wasn’t buying the lie, she took a different tangent,

“My phone is ALWAYS in my hand! I drive like that! Do you ALWAYS have both your hands on your handlebars?”

Grim, “Yes!”

Bitch, “But I saw you take your hand off to signal!”


In response to my insult on her intelligence, she responded with, “YOU are the one wearing a HELMET!”

Grim, ” ಠ_ಠ

After I was done boggling at her, I restated that I just wanted her to be more careful, and that if she kept looking at her phone while driving, she was likely to end up murdering someone. She then pointed to her license plate and indicated what she called the ‘thin blue line’. (I didn’t see what she was talking about, and said so.) She told me to go home and Google the ‘thin blue line’ and then I’d know who I was dealing with and what trouble I was getting into, because she was ‘local’, she claimed, and she was ‘connected’. I nodded sagely and continued to not have a clue what she was talking about.

At this point I was able to really take a look at her, and I realized that she was standing there cussing me out, all 5’1″ of her, in a baby pink sweat suit with a giant red rhinestone heart on the belly and a pair of fuzzy leopard Uggs. I couldn’t resist. I took out my phone and said, backing up,

“Can I take your picture? This is just too hilarious.”

As I brought the phone up to my face, she flipped out and started screaming that it was illegal to take her picture, to which I responded that it was perfectly legal and continued to try to focus on her. Then she flew at me with claws out.

I backed away some more, but she started clawing my face with one hand and yanking my phone with the other, so I did the only thing I could think of at the time. I headbutted her in the face with my helmet.

The look on her face was more fulfilling than a thousand beautiful sunsets.

She said something along the lines of ‘Don’t DO that!’ and came at me again as I continued to back up. Apparently having not learned the first time, she clawed at me again and received another headbutt to the face. That’s when the cops showed up.

The police were calm and respectful, and listened to her blatant and flagrant lies without much interest. They took her info and mine and gave us the ‘you may press charges of assault against each other if you so choose’ spiel. I thanked them and moved on. She was detained a bit because the address she gave them didn’t match that which was on her license. Sweet, sweet schadenfreude.

I walked my bike away a bit and got back on Broadway heading west. She caught up to me in the middle of the bridge over the railroad tracks and, spitting unintelligible profanities through the open window, tried to run me off the road. I was able to hook sharply up onto the curb, but I was jolted off my bike and had the wind knocked out of me. She sped away down Boston Avenue, cackling.

Shaking and crying at this point, I called 911. I let them know I wasn’t hurt and not to send an ambulance, but I requested the officers that we’d just spoken to. I was transferred between departments three times. I gave them my name and phone number, and they told  me to wait there.

I waited at the intersection of Boston and Broadway for 20 minutes before realizing that no-one was coming. As my house was only a block away, I figured that if they really were interested in my situation, they could call and I could come out to meet them. Nobody called.

I’m fine, my bike is fine, but my faith in the justice system and the decency of motorist-kind are irrevocably damaged to an extreme degree. And this was just another day on the street.

November 27th, 2012

I was hit by a car pretty bad last week. I was taking a left onto a completely empty Mass Ave from Garfield St. and was most of the way through the intersection when a woman in a big black SUV shot out of the bank driveway trying to go straight up Garfield. I ended up with a bent fork, buggered brakes and a very bruised leg. But this is where it gets interesting…

Callie (sp?), the woman who hit me, parked immediately and got out to see if I was ok. Meanwhile, a concerned woman walking by called 911. I waved them off when they came with the ambulance, but we decided to make a police report. And then Callie and I chatted and exchanged phone numbers, and she picked my bike up in her SUV and drove me to the Wheelworks on Elm. She even offered to pay for my damage.









I thought I was in the fucking Twilight Zone. Callie and I chatted and joked in the car, musing that we could tell people about how we became friends – “We met by accident!”  Lol.

The one onion in the ointment that reinforced bitter reality turned out to be the reaction of the cop that came to take our statements. Stout, bitter little officer 303 took us individually to the side and listened to our description of the accident. When she then brought us together to give us her accident report spiel, she made it clear that she did not believe my side of the story. Scowling, she pointed to where I indicated that I had fallen – just at the south west corner of the intersection. “You’re trying to tell me that your bike moved faster than that SUV??”, she demanded.

“No, I had already entered the intersection and was mostly through it when the SUV, which had previously been parked without indicating any intention of moving, exited the bank parking lot and hit me.”, I explained.

Scowling, the cop proceeded to lecture me about how I should have been more careful, and continuing to question my version of the story in the face of both the woman who hit me and the witnesses. I could only boggle at her. Why should she believe one of our stories over the other? Why would she treat the SUV driver with respect and deference and the cyclist, who had just been injured, with suspicion and hostility?

Ultimately, no-0ne was cited (Callie and I discussed the accident at length, and her attitude was a large part of why I wasn’t more adamant about laying blame.) and there wasn’t that much wrong with Krankenberry – nothing that the guys at Ace couldn’t handle in a day.

And then today… today..

Riding home from work, I was traveling up JFK on the way into Harvard Square when another black SUV pulled abruptly into the bike lane ahead of me and then jumped into reverse to park – directly into me.  I was quick enough to swerve out of the way, and on the way I laid a slap on the SUV’s flank and intoned, “Look in your mirror, Jackass.”  The driver retorted with some colorful language and I went on my way… only to be pulled over right in the center of Harvard Square by a cruiser who had been a few cars behind us.

Both cops got out of the vehicle and when I asked them what was up, the first said, “You ran a red light back there.”

Bullshit. I had not. The lights had been straight green until I hit the square and the last light I’d gone through was yellow. They didn’t push the issue, I suppose because they knew they were fucking lying.

He then began to lecture me about how cars are dangerous and I have to be more careful (I had been in the bike lane, riding at about 12mph. How I be more careful, holmes?) and how it’s my responsibility to protect myself because ‘drivers are not gonna pay attention to  you, and they’ll be hostile at you if you’re in the road’.

Umm… then why don’t you stop them, as is your job, and instruct them to be less hostile to cyclists and more observant?? Why the fuck are you stopping ME??

He then went on to tell me, ‘You can’t put your hands on people’s property.” That’s funny, I replied; I’ve been hit and run no less than three times in Cambridge – the motorist definitely ‘touching my property’, and after they drove off, when I called into the police, I was asked, “What do you want us to do about it?”. He stammered something about how that must have been the decision of the dispatcher, and I went on to ask about who I should speak to if I want to hold someone accountable for a hit and run even if I’m not injured. He didn’t have a good answer for me, and I could tell he was getting a bit uncomfortable. He told me to be safe and sent me on my way.

Who is teaching these officers how to interact with cyclists? Because whoever they are, they’re doing a pretty shit job.  If the people charged with keeping cyclists safe see us as liars,  miscreants, and essentially nuisances on the road, how can we ever hope to protect ourselves?

Even with all the work that cycling advocacy groups are doing to raise awareness and influence infrastructure, it still doesn’t seem as if anyone’s speaking to the police force about changing their perception of the cycling public. I try, each and every time I speak to the police, to adequately describe the hardship, persecution and neglect that we face every day, but ain’t nobody got time to listen to me.


October 12th, 2012

After waiting patiently at a red light on my way in this morning, I shoved off on my  green just to hear horrific screeching to my left. Yes, a motorist had run the red light and managed to slam on his brakes only inches from my left side. THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME IN TWO DAYS THIS HAS HAPPENED.  I had a well meaning but obnoxious cyclist follow me through town admonishing me for ever red light I ran. My dear friend, if I have to stop a green lights to let the motorists go past, and I have to stop at red lights, HOW THE FUCK AM I GOING TO GET TO WORK? FLY?

And we all know that if I was killed by any one of those four shitweasels, the media would have blamed it on me and the cops would have given them the walk. I wouldn’t even have the chance to be a proper martyr for my people. It really is fucking disgustingly unfair.

Also, you know what really grosses me out?

Fat Cops.

If I’m being chased by a knife-wielding psychopath or an ipod-hungry thug, and the people assigned the job of ‘protecting’ me can’t even run as fast as me, I’m dead meat for sure. Not to mention that the sweaty, bulbous, pink skinned heroes charged with ticketing bikers are issued high-powered motorcycles. Because god forbid they have to exert any energy on the way to standing in the sun drinking coffee by the side of the road. Pathetic.


October 2nd, 2012

Last week my dear friend Kathleen was run down by a cyclist while she walked home on Highland at 12am. She was on the sidewalk, and whoever it was hit her from behind. She fell so hard that she blacked out, and when she woke up she was covered in blood from cuts on her face and hands.

This is the second time she’s been hit by a cyclist on Highland, while on the sidewalk, in a month. She’s not the only person I know to have been hit while walking on the sidewalk in the last month.

If I ever, ever find out who knocked my Kathleen down and didn’t stay to find out if she was ok, not only will their bike be shoved so far up their ass they’ll be able to pedal with their tonsils, I will make sure they cannot tie their shoes without assistance for the rest of their life.

Get off the fucking sidewalk. It’s not where you belong. And what kind of person hits a pedestrian and rides off without seeing if they’re fucking conscious? You’re as bad as the motorists around here!

Either way, I will be patrolling Highland from now on.


September 26th, 2012

 The True ‘Automatic’ – Check out Google’s Self-Driving Car!

(I would have inserted a video, but the embedding in this site is bollocks.)

I, for one, welcome the eventual transition to self-driving automobiles. The horror, you say? Robots are scary, you say?

Aaaack, the wine keys are attacking again, and they’ve teamed up with the hypodermics!

You don’t trust a car that drives itself? Think about it this way – a robot car doesn’t care if it catches the very end of the red light. It won’t soft-stop at a stop sign. It won’t swerve right to get around a car that’s going left. In short, yes please robots, the roads will be safer for everyone.



September 18th, 2012

Traffic Tickets in Massachusetts

Speeding:  $100 base, $50 surcharge, $200 for every violation of 20 mph. over the posted limit.

Passing a School Bus in Dropoff Mode: $250

Parking Adjacent to Fire Hydrant: $100

Parking in a Taxi Stand: $50

Parking on Sidewalk: $40

Double Parking: $20

Running a Stop Light/Sign: $100

Causing the Death of a Cyclist: $0

Parking Over 1′ From Curb: $20

Blocking Handicap Ramp: $100


If I am traveling in the bicycle lane going North, and a tractor trailer is traveling the same road going South, and the tractor trailer takes a left across my lane sharply enough that I do not have time to swerve out of the way, or stop, and I die…  who is at fault? This is not a trick question.

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