ON BIKE CULTURE IN EUGENE | Fine blogging since 2010
The reason I haven’t been blogging much, I think, is that I’m at a loss for words. It’s one thing to poke a little fun at our dear friends with crate bikes. But it’s getting weird out there.
Last month, I watched that guy ride a wheelie for six blocks down Pearl Street. He’s raising money to bring clean water to villages in Africa.
Today, I saw the freak bike with what appear to be real human pony tails. Or maybe they’re scalps.
Also today, I saw a guy riding a trick-bike backwards up Willamette Street. In the car lane. A good way, I guess, to keep an eye on motor vehicles approaching from behind.
But before I go any further, we need to pause because I have decided to declare today:
Eugene Police Department Appreciation Day
I don’t know if I’ll get many of you to go along with me on this, but let’s everyone stand up and give a round of applause to Eugene Police.
First of all, they recovered the Wheelie for Water guy’s bike, which was stolen a couple of weeks after I saw him. This is at least the second time I’ve heard of a stolen bike being recovered lately. I told you things are getting weird.
The second EPD achievement has to do with the guy riding backwards up Willamette.
He was headed north, at about 15th Ave., and he didn’t seem to notice the cop car coming south down Willamette. I think that’s because he was riding backwards.
Another guy on a bike, coming up behind me and the backwards guy hollared out, “Cop coming!” The backwards guy didn’t seem to hear because he had iPod earbuds in.
Well, we appreciate the officer, because the officer did not stop, ticket or arrest the guy riding backwards, even though we are pretty sure there is something in the Oregon Revised Statutes that reads roughly:
It shall be unlawful for a cyclist to ride a bicycle backwards, sideways or upside-down on the public roadway, even if it is a bright, sunny morning when all cares should be tossed to the breezes.
In fact, the officer — who was very definitely facing forward — appeared not to even notice that a cyclist had just sailed past his drivers-side window going backwards. In the middle of the car lane.
The following video is a rare piece of luck, my phone being set to Video accidentally. It’s really great that happened because if you think about a regular old still photo of a guy riding a bike backwards — it doesn’t really do much, does it? Sadly, I just missed the cop car going by, which happened a split second before this clip starts.
Here (sorry about the portrait mode):
I must have looked amazed after that spin move, because he just said: “Years of practice.”