Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More Risks of the Road

I recently, well…yesterday…that’s recently, wrote an entry about the odd risks that cyclists encounter when they take to the roads. Well, I found some more and couldn’t resist sharing them.

2 Seattle bicyclists shot with darts in Ballard neighborhood
Jennifer Sullivan Seattle Times staff reporter

Avram Dolen was riding his bike across the Ballard Bridge when he felt a strange sensation in his left buttock.

Now, how can you not read more of an article that starts with a sentence like that one?

He looked down and was startled to see a 4-inch steel dart sticking out of his rear end.

I bet he was startled. Who wouldn’t be?

Dolen, 29, and a 39-year-old woman told officers that they were cycling on or near the bridge Monday evening when they each were shot with a dart in separate incidents. Neither cyclist saw who shot them.

"I heard a little pop sound, which was followed by a stinging sensation afterward," said Dolen, of Ballard. "My first thought was I got hit by a rock but then it kept stinging. I went down to feel what it was and there was a 4-inch dart sticking out of my left buttock."

4 inches. This man is very precise.

The female bicyclist, whose name was not released, was shot in her right thigh while cycling in the 5000 block of Eighth Avenue Northwest, according to a police report.

Police spokesman Mark Jamieson said that it appears both bicyclists were shot with a blowgun. He said there have been no reports of additional attacks.

Blowguns are tubular weapons, which are used to fire darts or other projectiles propelled by breath.

And there you have it. You even get a definition of what a blowgun is. Now, I don’t quite remember this sort of thing happening in any of the Tarzan movies, but maybe that’s just because there are no bike paths in the jungle, I don’t know.

But, in the interests of fair play, let it shown that it isn’t just that things happen to people on bikes. Sometimes people on bikes make their own difficulties.

Cyclist arrested for giving alligator a shoulder ride
Thu, 13 Aug 2009 1:14p.m.

The meter-long alligator on a bicyclist's shoulders was a real attention-getter.

Not as good a first sentence as in the previous story, but still good, and, you have to admit, accurate. That would certainly get my attention.

St Charles Parish, Louisiana sheriff's deputies stopped the cyclist. He allegedly ran, leaving both wheels and his toothy little rider. Capt Pat Yoes, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said deputies booked 38-year-old Terron D Ingram on Friday with resisting arrest, possessing drug paraphernalia, and cruelty to animals by abandonment.

You mean drugs may have been involved in the man’s decision to wear an alligator and go for a bike ride? !!

Alligator Control Officer Kenny Schmill said he released the gator into the marsh near Bayou Gauche. Ingram remained jailed in lieu of US$15,000 bond Wednesday, five days after his arrest. Yoes said he didn't know where Ingram got the gator or what he had planned to do with it.

And do we really want to know what he planned to do with it?

But surely, I hear you ask, this is not the only alligator involved cyclist incident…


Merritt Island – Phillip Barrett, 15, was riding his 10-speed bike on a dirt road when a five foot alligator darted from the shrubs toward a pond. Barrett’s bike had no brakes, and he collided with the gator and flipped over, the young boy said. Barrett said he landed on bike and then slipped and fell again when he tried to get up and run.

See why you need brakes on your bike? Everyone out there who is riding a fixed-gear bike on the road, beware of alligators.

He said the alligator was on the other side of the bike “making a hissing kind of sound with his mouth open.”

When he got up the second time, Barrett said, he turned around to find the alligator “heading right for me. He lunged for me and almost got my foot. I didn’t stop running until I was well out of range.”

“If I had slipped again I wouldn’t be around to tell about it,” he said. “He was coming after me, but I don’t know why."

Hmm. Let's see if we can figure it out.

"Maybe he didn’t like me running over him.”

And....there you go.

Those bicycles can be a menace to wildlife, and have been for a long time:

SNAKE UPSET WOMAN CYCLIST – Massapequa, Long Island – July 28, 1899.

Yes, that did say 1899. In the interests of finding ludicrous stuff, I have delved deep into the archives here.

So, the snake upset the cyclist. Does this mean that he knocked her down or that he ruffled her emotionally? As it turns out, both.

Mrs. George Lathrop of Brooklyn was coasting down a hill here yesterday when a snake darted out of the weeds and attempted to cross the road. Mrs. Lathrop was unable to stop and ran into the snake. The reptile became tangled up in the spokes of the wheel and Mrs. Lathrop was thrown off. She fainted but was unhurt and beyond the bending of a few spokes in the wheel her bicycle was uninjured.

I bet the snake was pretty darned upset, too. I can't get the image of the snake becoming tangled up in the spokes out of my head. I think I saw something like that in a cartoon once.

I guess I'll just have to keep a sharp eye out for wildlife on my next ride. That and people with tubular weapons, which are used to fire darts or other projectiles propelled by breath.

It's a weird world out there.

See you on the road.

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