March Madness is finally over, but, on cue, we have the annual rite of Spring, baseball, to fill the sports void evacuated by college hoops. It appears, however, that baseball season (otherwise known as open season on bikeists) started early in New Orleans.
As reported in the Times-Picayune of New Orleans in February of this year, some teens there decided to get a little batting practice in on random bike riders. In two close-proximity incidents on Esplanade Ave, a team of two thugs randomly attacked riders -- one stepped in the path of the riders and the other bashed the unsuspecting bicyclist in the head with an aluminum bat as he slowed to avoid hitting the first degenerate. The first victim suffered a fractured jaw while the second had his skull fractured. OK, New Orleans -- we surrender, you win -- you have us and LA beat for worst random attacks on bikeists. There's just no competing with that sort of random depravity.
Check out this video for the reactions of local Le Bikeistes:
I love the first guy interviewed -- he preaches about how important it is to be aware of one's surroundings as the earbuds he took out to give the interview are dangling from his helmet straps. Really dude? Even if these psychos gave you fair warning by shouting "Cowabunga!!" before clobbering you, you'd still be dead meat!
What is it about getting on a bike that makes people suddenly hate us so much? Does it have anything to do with the fact that we defy the laws of gravity and nature by propelling ourselves through space on a vehicle that lacks the capability of standing upright on its own? I have read stories of bike trekkers getting pelted with stones as they entered villages in places like Afghanistan, but aren't we supposed to be the civilized ones? Maybe the behavior of some of the unrefined inhabitants of the Hindu Kush provide some insight on our own primitive impulses. Do we defy the gods when we mount a bike and travel farther and faster than horses without our feet ever touching the ground? I can't really say, but I do think that the behavior of some of these senseless attackers provides me with a little insight into some of the drivers I encounter on my daily commutes and weekend rides. Hating Hateists.
If we're going to combine biking and baseball, wouldn't this be a much better approach?
Or, how about this?
That's Jose Cardenal in 1975, riding a pennyfarthing in the Cubs' left field to promote a Cancer Society Bike-a-Thon. Classic. #7 in the background is Rick Monday, in case you were wondering.
And here we will end the Bikeist's three part series on random, senseless, nation-wide violence against people on bikes. I actually had no intention to continue the series today until a loyal reader brought the baseball bat story to my attention as I was mulling over a baseball-themed post. Just couldn't resist. Noticeably absent from this post are any references to our hometown San Diego team. This is has a direct correlation to the noticeably absent W's in their wins column. It's looking like another long season in baseball paradise for us rabid fans. Good things we have our bikes to help us work off the frustration . . .