Posts Tagged ‘ solidarity ’

Take Back Your Lane!

Friday, 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!






If you see one show this summer, make it this one!

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Oh boo hoo.

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

There has been a lot of rough talk against cyclists lately, namely because of the San Fran incident in march that killed a 71 year old man. Long story short, the cyclist was going fast, pushed through a yellow and then slammed into the elderly man as he emerged into the crosswalk, killing him. Now, you’re going to hate me for what I have to say next, but guess how many fucks I have to give? Boo. Fucking. Hoo. There are people calling for the cyclist’s freedom over this, and vilifying bikers of all stripes because of it. Really, people? This was ONE INCIDENT. Sure, the cyclist may have been a bit negligent, but he didn’t break the law any more than every fucking Masshole douchecannon does every day by pushing through yellow lights, or turning left on red against a pedestrian light.

One incident involving a negligent cyclist killing a pedestrian, compared to tens of thousands of incidents every year involving negligent drivers injuring or killing pedestrians and cyclists. Innocent people of all ages and states of health. Would this poor gentleman, who my heart does hurt for believe me, have suffered the same fate were he a hale man of 30, 40, 50? Likely not. Studies show that the people most vulnerable to cyclists are the elderly and infants, not the average pedestrian. Meaning that putting more pressure on cyclists for this one incident is an unnecessary knee jerk reaction. But who would expect less from our incompetent lawmakers and enforcers and the under-informed and self-righteous masses? Ultimately, people who actually ride every day as their main form of transportation should be legislating for and against cycling. Sadly, that’s not likely in this extremely cycling-prejudiced society.

Ode to my Neighborhood

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Ok, I’m not really gonna write poetry. I’m no Vogon.

So I lied. (You’ll get used to it.) No Carpunching Gauntlets this time, but it’s only because I haven’t managed to trash pick or road rescue a pair of leather gloves yet. Give it time. The universe will provide.

The weekend before last, The Esteemed Goondocks (mah haus) participated in the first annual Porchfest. If you ain’t been told, Porchfest was a free music event showcasing artists from the area on the porches of the public. Our magnificent Count Sethula, of Goondocks Dungeons, slung delicious foods at passersby, while various and sundry bands sweated and wrought musicky havoc in the FUCKING SUN, CAN  YOU BELIEVE IT? A great time was had by all, but I completely failed to take pictures because I’m dumb like that, and because I can’t be bothered to wear anything with pockets to carry a camera in while I’m in leisure mode.


Here is one picture yoinked from


Can I just say I love my fucking neighborhood? I live in Ball Square, and prior to the ‘fest my delicious roommates flyered the vicinity in preparation for causing a neighborhood ruckus. I fully expected a bit of dour buzzkill from the older folks who abut us, but nay! Everyone in the ‘hood came out to play, and hung out on their porches to catch the music and the beautiful, nourishing sunshine. We were actually encouraged to repeat the affair as much as we like! I’m thinking that the future of the ‘Docks may be ripe with live band house parties, at least until we’re shut down and deemed an ‘unlicensed club’. Bring it on.


Call the damned cops.

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

On my way back from my afternoon snack trip, I walked by a scraped up, shirtless biker talking to a paunchy business suit. Obviously the cyclist had just gotten hit by this guy. The older guy was trying to convince the kid that his bike was fine, as the kid looked for obvious damage.

“Take it to a shop.” I blurted. Couldn’t help myself. “Don’t just eye it, take it to a shop.”

“Yeah… ” said the kid, agreeing with me. He then noticed that his break lever was hanging off by a thread. “See!?” he gestured to the older guy.

“Call the cops, now. File a report.”, I said. I was so pissed off that the old dude was just trying to drive away from this.

“Nice shirt..” the biker said to me.

I walked into  my office, peed, and grabbed a bottle of water, running outside to give it to the biker as he waited for the police…

… and he was gone. They both were. Obviously they didn’t wait for the police. I really hope the guy is on his way to the station now to report this. I’m so pissed off.

Wherever you are guy, good luck. And I also hope you were wearing sunblock.

Rollin’ with the Homies

Monday, April 26th, 2010

There’s a whole lot going on in the Bikeosphere lately, what with DOT secretary Ray LaHood’s announcements, and Mayor Menino’s declaration of intent concerning bicycle advocacy in Boston. I almost feel as if all our hard work making noise for the bike community has actually been fruitful. Maybe this small bit of complacency is why I haven’t been keeping up with this ranty blog, but it’s also the fact that this April is treating us so very very well in terms of weather. Do you remember last April in the Boston area? Yeah, we had nine whole days without rain all month. That’s right, 21 days of rain in one month. I think that’s about the time I started planning to move the hell out of New England, preferably to somewhere VERY DRY, like Arizona, New Mexico, or Hell. This year we’ve gotten a couple serious rain days, but it’s been mostly blush and flowers, and breezy days of sun. Fucking spectacular. To the point, I’ve been more preoccupied with riding than with blogging about riding.

But of course, the war isn’t even close to won, despite our victory in battles here and there. I’m still seeing the same negligence on the part of the MBTA drivers, and I’m still seeing dangerous riding practices (though I have noticed an uptick in the number of helmets being worn by casual cyclists).

In personal bikey notes: my roommate Sadiya is learning to ride a bike. She had started learning last year, on a tiny but heavy as hell 10 speed. It was… not very successful. Recently however, the Goondocks has become home to a delightful little coaster-brake Schwinn stingray. I urged her to try this as a training bike – her feet can easily touch the ground, and the coaster brake is intuitive and dependable to a noob biker. My logic is essentially grounded in the idea that this is the type of bike we learned to ride on as kids. She’s doing really well with it. I am so proud!

To Do:

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

via –

Ask the manager, MBTA style

By adamg – 4/7/10 – 12:12 pm

Have something to say to the guy in charge of the T? Of course you do. Tomorrow’s your chance: Richard Davey will be at the North Quincy stop on the Red Line between 7 and 9 a.m. “to customers concerns, and promote public transportation.”

Nowhere near the City of Presidents? He’ll be doing a whole lot of listening every Friday for the next few weeks, including Thursday, April 15 between 7 and 9 a.m. at Dudley Square and the same time on April 22 at Kenmore.

Love Train

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

For the last two days I’ve been only one of a veritable love train of cyclists commuting during rush hour. Not all of them obey the rules or wear helmets, but they all seem to  be respectful, and all wear that beatific, peaceful look that says, “I am outside on a beautiful day, and my heart is beating with mild exertion – life is good.”

Obviously, life isn’t ALL good – we still have to contend with yawning potholes, stressed out or ‘attention blind’ motorists, and the occasional bike falmunction. I saw a woman lose her lunch yesterday, literally, on my morning commute. I guess her backpack had unzipped, releasing a large tupperware bowl full of delicious looking salad. If you read this, I feel for you miss. That’s some rough luck on a Monday morning.

Speaking of falmunctions – apparently Krankenberry’s issue was with the hub after all. Luckily it is totally fixable and I should be hearing back from Ace Wheelworks today at some point. Kranky has  certainly been living up to her name in the past few weeks. Hopefully this is my last fix on her for a long while.

Calypso has been a lifesaver. I had a little bit of work to do on her before she was rideable as you can see:

Holey Gaping Tires, Batman!

I love riding vintage bikes. The weight and the feel of them actually force you to slow down and chill out, making for a ride that is the embodiment of leisure. It’s not something I’d want to do for my commute every day, but it makes a great change of pace. Also, it’s nice to know that with a minimum of upkeep, I’m going to have this lovely lady to fall back on for as long as I can find room for her in my basement.

It looks like is getting more and more traffic every day (pun? sure why not). I’m excited that this is taking off, and that people are posting more than just potholes – mistimed traffic lights, dangerous intersections, hanging electrical wires, and bike lane necessities have made it on to the site in the last few weeks. Now if we can make sure all these notifications are going to the right people, we should be in business. Also, I want a cellphone app for this. For Android, of course 😛

ride on, my lovelies.

Google loves us! (finally)

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Google finally instituted a biking option into maps!


On a less cheerful note: apparently all the sweat we’ve put into taking the MBTA to task is going straight down the drain. I had to report three different buses yesterday alone; one for a red light run in Somerville, one for stopping in the very center of the lane on Mass Ave. to let riders off, and one for crushing me into the curb as it passed me and hooked a fast right into a bus stop.

Needless to say I am UTTERLY disappointed and disgusted. Obviously there has been no company wide alert as to the lack of attention to safe driving. Hell, for all we know NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE AT ALL. I demand we have evidence of action on the part of the MBTA. I was told by a representative of the MBTA yesterday that drivers are REQUIRED to give you their Identification number when you request it. Why then, if I am reporting a crime by a bus or route, can I not receive an email with the identification number of the driver I reported, and follow up information as to what steps were taken to reprimand the driver for their crime?

I don’t see that any improvement will be made until the MBTA, in it’s entirety, is held accountable for every crime committed by every operator of every vehicle. Please, if you see a crime or an infraction of MBTA operational regulations, report it immediately, and keep a copy of the acknowledging email.

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.