Posts Tagged ‘ guerilla ’

No More Ms. Nicebike

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Ok, I really gave it a shot.

When I was hit by buses on my daily commute, I complained to the MBTA, the police, and our local “Bike Czar”.  ZERO ACTION

When I was repeatedly hit by cars while riding in the bike lane, adhering to the regulations of the road, I followed the same trail of bureaucracy and it led NOWHERE.

Remember this? I filled out quite a few of these complaint forms, and filled them with details of each violation and violator.  NO ACTION

I have repeatedly reported violations, to the point of  going on television (human interest, haha) to showcase the shortcomings of MBTA operators. Since then, the rampant negligence, hostility, and sometimes murderous intent of operators has remained unchanged. This tells me that though reports are being made, they have NO IMPACT on the daily lives of MBTA employees.

Now, the rumor is that Cambridge Police are stepping up cyclist-oriented ticketing. I’m sorry, what WHAT? If you, like me, ride these streets daily, you know that motorists make the monster share of traffic violations. Left on red, running through red, double parking, illegal u turns, harassment of other motorists, hit and runs – give me ten minutes and I can go out and grab at least ten examples on my phone camera. Between Brookline and Somerville, I’m hard pressed to see 5 cyclist run reds, but I have to witness motorists break the law at EVERY CYCLE OF LIGHTS AT EVERY INTERSECTION.

Again. WHAT THE FUCK, Cambridge Police?

If you want to protect cyclists, maybe you should TICKET MORE MOTORISTS.

Maybe this is community backlash brought on by the significant increase in T fares that seem to be on the horizon. Fellow cyclists, have you ever ridden by a 66 bus in October, the people inside sardined against the glass, and really taken a look at their faces? You can tell they’re seething with hate inside, choking on their projected image of the smug, healthy and happy cyclist cruising to work at their own pace every day. I can see how that kind of human wreckage could be feeling significant schadenfreude over this ticketing barrage.

We do not deserve it, and I for one will not fucking stand for it. I will not accept a ticket. Nor will I accept driver’s harassment, threats, taunts and assaults. I will defend myself in whatever manner I see fit, and do everything in my power to avoid street attention by our corrupt and misguided group of overlording institutions.

I gave it my best shot, I really did. Now I guess I’ll be dedicating this blog to the daily thrill of my rebellion. Stay tuned!




Same shit, different Monday.

Monday, May 10th, 2010

A 64 bus ran the red light right in front of me as I was trying to take off on Harvard Street and Cambridge today, emulating to the very micron the scenario that sparked my crusade against the MBTA. Nothing has changed at all. I am very depressed by this. It is time to get uncivil.

Beelzebub has a devil put aside for meeee..

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

I had an amazing day today with Ltrain and Racheline: we dressed up as the Mad Hatter, March Hare and Doormouse and rode our bikes to the Boston Common for the Palin Tea Party Rally. On the way we sang a gut-wrenchingly horrible acapella rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, and boggled the minds of many a driver and pedestrian. Sadly, it seems that we got there after much of the brouhaha had died down. Though we did find our Mad Tea Party friends and had a lovely spot of tea and some finger foods on the common, we did not get yelled at or menaced by the raging halfwit Palin supporters. We also got photographed by about three thousand people – it turns out we were the ONLY full set of Mad Wonderlanders in the crowd, and they loved us! I can’t wait to find my own picture on some horrible Red State blogroll.

Solidarity… a little TOO solid mayhap.

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

I was at the Stop and Shop on Harvard St. last friday during lunch hour; just slouching around the store looking at yogurt and soda and postponing my return to work, when I noticed a ruckus in the front of the store. Well, more of a hubbub. A bunch of employees were clustered around a dude walking a bike into the store, helmet on head. I figured they were giving him ish about bringing his bike into the store (he clearly had a lock), and so I didn’t have an opinion on the situation either way; I did wander over to observe, because I’m just a naturally curious person. When I got closer I realized this biker (mild mannered helmet wearer with cargo-ready hybrid) was visibly upset – he had entered the store chasing after a man that had knocked him to the ground as he entered the parking lot on his bicycle. Just body-slammed him, out of nowhere.

This is the point at which I get a little steamed.

As I am questioning (to myself, I’m still just an observer) why someone would just knock a biker over in a Stop and Shop parking lot, and what Mr. Mild Mannered Biker did to deserve it, the group of us finally overtake Mr. Shove. The group confronts him and Mr. Mild Manners recounts the incident in the lot, with a query as to what brought that on. Mr. Shove barks something that sounds very much like what a cop would say when confronted, but it’s not intelligible enough for me to remember. Not really complete sentences. He may be disturbed, or he may not have had his coffee yet… but either way it’s clear that this guy has a problem; he’s a bully and a jerk, and he is STILL making threatening gestures. At this point I think , “ok here’s where Mr. Mild calls the police and reports him.. maybe gets him arrested”. But no! Mr. Mild Mannered backs down and takes his bike outside, riding away.

This is where I kind of freak out, because I feel that this is EXACTLY the kind of behavior (by cyclists) that allows us to be such easy victims of other people’s belligerence and frustration. I am feeling the flame of bikey solidarity boiling up in me, and I am pissed.

So I followed Mr. Shove outside and set my phone to take his picture. He noticed me doing this and barks “You take my picture and I’ll break that camera!”

So I took his picture, and I barked right back, “He should have called the police and had you arrested.”

Arf arf arf!

In retrospect, I question the prudence of this. Sure, I was in a public place with access to immediate assistance if he’d done something, but this guy was clearly not quite right in the head. And ALSO… this wasn’t my fight. Just because Mr. Mild Mannered was on a bike doesn’t mean he and I are part of some exclusive gang; I didn’t know him from Adam. But then again… I would likely have done the same thing even if he WASN’T on a bike.. the bike is just what attracted me in the first place. It’s easy to back someone up if you have some immediately recognizable kinship to them. Sometimes we identify with people because they are the same age group, or they wear similar clothing (all it takes is someone sporting a Death’s Head motif), but what if we all had this immediate ‘tend and befriend’ reaction to someone in distress, despite the lack of social indentifier? I’d like to see that happen, in myself and with the community.


Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010


Thank you for your e-mail concerning the route 66.  I apologize for reckless driving exhibited by one of our employees. MBTA Bus operators must complete a comprehensive Defensive Drivers Course prior to being certified to operate an MBTA vehicle in passenger service. This operator has been identified and will be re-instructed on her duties and responsibilities as a professional driver. Any further violations of the MBTA’s Rules and Policies will subject her to more severe progressive discipline up to and including recommendation for discharge. Additionally, I have forwarded your correspondence to the Instruction Department in order for them to include the intersection of Cambridge Street and Harvard Avenue in the Safety Related Compliance Program. This intersection will be monitored by Safety and Instruction personnel to ensure all traffic rules are strictly followed. Again, I apologize for your unpleasant experience with the MBTA.


John J. Houghton


Cabot Garage

We’ll see if this has any effect whatsoever on how the busses treat that intersection in the coming months. I’ll keep reporting my observations.

In other news, Boston Biker reports on a meeting tomorrow regarding upcoming work on the Western Ave/River Street Bridges. Wednesday, February 3, 2010. 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Honan-Allston Branch Library, 300 North Harvard Street, Allston MA. This is of immediate interest to me today of all days because this will be the first week.. well – EVER –  that it would behoove me to use the River Street bridge, since I’ll be going to yoga in Inman Square. However, as bikers ’round this way know, River Street and Prospect Street are death traps of the highest caliber, and therefore I avoid them with extreme prejudice. I will probably opt instead for the BU bridge and Brookline/Colombia to reach Inman – taking me a bit out of my way for sure, but reducing the possibility of me becoming road pizza. Now, if the meeting tomorrow were about this entire route I would be VERY excited indeed. Alas, that is not on the agenda. I will probably pop in on my way home, but not for long. Yoga again tomorrow, you see.

What the police will say if you’re ALMOST run over.

Friday, January 29th, 2010

“I think you should write a formal letter of complaint to the Mayor.”

Uh..  ohkay.

I also tend to call the police ALOT; I have the numbers for Brookline, Boston District 14, Downtown Boston, Cambridge and Somerville Police Departments in my phone contacts. No, I’m not calling about the kids on my lawn. I call about double parked cars, people threatening my life, people parked in the bike lane, etc. I asked the gentleman I was speaking to today what the best number to call to get someone  on the scene in a NON emergency (see: person parked in the bike lane) is, and he said,

“Just call 911 and tell them its not an emergency. If you call the police station we’ll have to call them anyway to get to dispatch.”

So… yeah. I guess I’ll be calling 911 a bunch in the near future, and hoping I don’t get yelled at if the offender decides to take the hint and pull out of the bike lane and into the night, leaving me standing there holding the phone, so to speak.


Sunday, October 11th, 2009

In response to this post in Boston Biker.

“there’s nothing we can do about drivers not paying attention.”

from the follow-up article

People often ask me why I’m so hard on drivers, and why I am so ruthless on the road – quick to find fault, quick to use my schoolyard bellow and let people know what an ass they’re being. Frankly, this is why. We have no other power. I have been hit by an Audi, called the cops and had them tell me ‘sorry, but there’s nothing we can do’. I’ve been hit by a bus and told, ‘this driver has worked for the MBTA for over 19 years, we are confident that she is a competent driver’. I have had a woman reach out her passenger side window and grab me by my helmet and SLAP me, AND I STILL DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT SHE WAS SO UPSET ABOUT. I wasn’t hurt in any of these instances, so apparently they are not offenses that matter to police or the general public. I ride safely, I wear my helmet and I obey the law insofar as I try to never inconvenience another person on the road, but I know that if I am hit, harassed, assaulted or verbally abused, I have no way to bring justice to the people that have abused me with their aggression, negligence and outright ignorance. I can do nothing at all to call attention to abusive, aggressive or negligent drivers unless I am injured, but alive. Even if I AM alive to tell the tale, there is no guarantee I will be able to catch the plate number of the vehicle if they speed off (as the Audi did, after the operator screamed, “I should run you off the road!”). We are riding naked, and there is no one on our side. This is why I have no mercy for the people that take the privilege of driving for granted – I have no other choice. Out there on the road, no other voice is speaking up for us.


Friday, September 18th, 2009

If you see a silver convertible BMW with the license plate NCN and a faded pair of Red Sox underneath the plate driving around today, tell the fat entitled bitch behind the wheel that Grimlocke the bike vigilante says Hi. She’ll probably know who you mean. Also remind her that the bike lane is never a casual parking spot, even if you ‘have a child in the car’, because yes, I do indeed have all day, and yes, I will call our good friends the police. Because yes, I am a smartass bitch. I chose it as a hobby because I have a knack. I should have taken a picture of this chubby twit.

On the topic of things I should have taken a picture of – the second person I stopped to be a smartass bitch at today because they were parked in the bike lane was actually a woman with a beard. I just kept riding. Some things you just have to let go.

Damn, baby! I didn’t know you cared.

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Seems like everyone has voiced their opinion about my little ticketing gag. Oh, what fun! Watch the internet chase it’s tail just because of one little snook cocked at one oblivious motorist. Well, since this has been deemed SO controversial, I say: do it again! I found a pack of 100 tickets on Amazon for $15 (this is the best deal I’ve found so far, they are most often sold 5 a pack for 5 bucks). Here’s the link if you want to join in on the fun!

In other news: by Jove it’s a lovely day today! Not a spec of humidity, hardly a cumulonimbus to be seen. Definitely smacking of New England Autumn, my favorite season ever. This morning’s ride was a turnip for the books: not an unruly vehicle in sight, AND I got a compliment on my sweet-ass Yakkay helmet from a motorist who was next to me at a red light. I love this helmet – I’ve never had one that didn’t bunch up at the back of my neck before, and I really hate the ‘speedy swiss cheese’ look of most available bike helmets. It’s too bad they’re not available in the states yet, I’d love to get a couple different ‘covers’ for mine. Maybe I will sew a cover that looks like a monster head or a space helmet… oh the possibilities. Oh shit, I wonder if these would fit my helmet.

if you can hear the music, it means Im right behind you!

if you can hear the music, it means I'm right behind you!

So cool. Or as Monsieur Danny Rocks would say, ‘so aggressively uncool’.

At it again…

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

The ride to work today was amazingly serene. However (there’s always a however), while entering Harvard Square from the north, I was once again forced out of the bike lane and into traffic by the ass end of a taxi. You know where I’m talking about :

View Larger Map
This is the same story, day in, day out. So this time I’m going to bitch about it, because that’s how I roll.
So far the only contact info I have for bike issues in Cambridge is, at 617/349-4629. The Community Development Department TTY line is 617/349-4621. If this isn’t the best person to talk to, hopefully she (Cara Seiderman) can point me in the right direction.
I have to admit, Cambridge is pretty tolerable to ride through, as compared to some of it’s surrounding neighbors like Allston, Boston Proper, Revere, etc. With the exception of roads like Somerville Ave and Prospect St., I don’t often feel crowded on the main thoroughfares. Cambridge Street has to be dealt with, though. If you don’t know already, the ‘bike lanes’ drawn up and down C-street are not actually enforceable by law, because there are no decals drawn in, nor posted signage. This situation arose because, or so I’m told, many business owners on the street protested a bike lane. I can’t really understand why, but I believe it has to do with delivery parking on the street, as well as stricter rules for double parking when there is a bike lane present. Either way, it’s ridiculous. I almost wish some guerilla bike advocacy group would paint in some little cyclists decals, just to get people thinking about it again. I would never encourage something like that, of course…