Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ride Bike, Get Stabbed, Rinse, Repeat . . .

It was a little over a year ago, on this very blog, that I revealed the alarming epidemic of bike-related stabbings in San Diego.  The evidence I laid out establishing the nearly 100% chance of getting stabbed at some point whilst biking in and around America's Classiest City was so compelling that The San Diego Reader chose to feature my findings as a public service to our oblivious populous:  "Quick Sell Your Bike . . ."

After the hysteria died down, I moved on to less sensational topics, such as chainsaw wielding maniacs threatening bike riders, and hadn't given much thought to the whole bike-stabbing thing until last week.  The headline that popped into my Twitter feed was:  "Man stabbed at 7-Eleven in North Park."  The wise ass in me (or, perhaps, more accurately, the wise ass that I am) instantly wondered what the chances were that a bike was involved.  I've resisted the temptation to click on stabbing stories for a whole year (taking it one day at a time, people), so there's no way that the first random one I click on could possibly be bike-related, right?  Wrong.  The compulsively curious part of my nature couldn't resist such click-bait, and was rewarded with this KUSI story - "Man Stabbed at 7-Eleven" - which described how a man was stabbed in a North Park 7 Eleven parking lot (I warned you people about mixing bikes with low-end fast food, but did you listen?!) and then "rode his bicycle to a friends house at Arizona St and Wightman St where he was given a wheelchair to sit in."  Same old story people - have bike, get stabbed, ride to home of friend who keeps a wheelchair around for just these sorts of situations.

Awesome!  This week's post could, practically, write itself with such juicy, sweeps-worthy material (it IS May, isn't it?).  Before actually sitting down to let this post write itself, though, I had to make sure I did my due diligence by having my crack research team scour the news wires for any other recent bike-related stabbings.  And wouldn't you know it -- we had not one, but two bike-related stabbings in the last week.  The more recent, one, though, added a twist to the usual bike-stabbing scenario.  As reported by the UT - "Man Stabbed In North Park . . ." - this time, it was the bike rider who was the aggressor:  "A man was stabbed at a bus stop at 30th Street and El Cajon Boulevard in North Park Monday night by an acquaintance who rode up to him on a bicycle, San Diego police said."  

Now, that's more like it!  It's about time we, innocent, law-abiding bikeists turned the table on our tormentors and gained the upper hand --  it's stab or be stabbed people!  No longer will we bikeists be defenseless lambs -- think twice before randomly stabbing us you ne'er do wells out there.  That unseemly bulge in my lycra?  It may just mean that I'm happy to see you, but it may mean that I'm packing 10 inches of deadly, razor-sharpened steel. So, you've got to ask yourself one question, punk.  "Do I feel lucky?"  Well, do ya, punk?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Bikeist Gets All Existential And Stuff . . .

 To Blog or not to Blog, that is a question (not, necessarily, THE question).  If a Blogger uploads a post in the forest and never gets a single hit does the blog-post exist?  If I never submit another post again, ever, am I still a Blogger?

These are the sorts of questions that run through a Bikeist's mind when he's gone almost an entire month without a single post.  How long does one have to go before they can no longer consider themselves to be a Blogger?  Even when I'm not posting, I still feel like I'm the Bikeist.  Probably a lot like how Batman feels when he has to lay low for awhile -- right Batman?

I guess part of the beauty of blogging is that from the very first time you hit the "publish" button, you are, eternally, a Blogger.  Eons from now, a researcher from an advanced civilization could be surfing whatever form of interwebs they have in the 221st century and randomly enter "bike," "stab," and "San Diego," and suddenly be blinded with the brilliance that is The San Diego Bikeist!  Imagine that!

So, as usual, the call of duty (for reals people - not the video game) has kept me from my weekly blathering about all things biking and San Diego.  Although, thankfully, on shore duty in the good old U.S. of A., the rhythm of my work life has been much like that when I was at war -- long periods of repetitive routine punctuated by shorter periods of chaotic intensity.  Unfortunately for me (and, especially, my rabid, loyal fan-base), my latest "intense period" has gone on for a good two months with one "crisis" leading into another.  Not complaining (I love my job), and not going to elaborate (this blog is about biking, not keeping the world safe for God-loving, flag-waving, quinoa-eating bikeists everywhere), just want to let you know that when I am absent it is for good reason.  You understand, don't you Batman?

The beauty of my lifestyle is that, even when I'm too busy to blog, I still bike every single day.  Even when you're working constantly, you still have to get to and from work -- which, for a bike-commuter means two, guaranteed, rides a day.  It's what keeps me sane and alive (despite the driveists out there trying to kill me).  My best recent week of riding actually came at the height of "crisis" #2 - last week.  While trying to manage the evolving issue at work via smartphone, I had to attend a conference in Mission Valley.  Love these sorts of challenges, as they test my logistical acumen and dedication to always bike commuting.  I had to coordinate ahead of time with a buddy who was staying at the conference hotel, so I could shower in his room and then had to catch the 0540 ferry from Coronado each morning, so I could bike through Little Italy (with a quick pit-stop for a croissant and double-espresso with my buddy Erroll at Influx), lower Mission Hills, Middletown, and Old Town before catching the San Diego River bike-path to Mission Valley and the conference.  Needless to say, I was the only attendee who biked there every (any) day - and - probably the only one as pumped and ready to go as I was each morning.  So fun to be back on the ferry and to change the commuting routine up.  Although I usually get a good 16 - 20 in after work every day, the 1.6 miles to my office each morning aren't enough to even break a sweat.  Perhaps I need to start attending more conferences!

Last week also exposed the one weakness of my lifestyle -- I'm kind of in a bind when I'm away from HQ and am needed back at the office urgently.  Last week's "crisis" presented just such a situation, as something came up that needed to be handled in person.  Luckily, I was able to get a ride from a willing volunteer, so the day, once again, was saved.  Plus, there's always Uber or (as a last resort) a cab when there are no colleagues available to save you from your Bikeist lifestyle choice, so I'm not about to abandon it.

Back to the one-week Mission Valley commute -- I enjoyed it thoroughly.  The incredible weather last week was a big contributor, but I was also pleasantly surprised with how dead India Street was at 6 am -- less busy than when I normally traverse it on Saturday mornings!  The San Diego River Trail is in great shape, and the destitutes I encountered along the way, even the ones trying to complete a drug deal, seemed to be completely harmless.  There are so many of you out there who refuse to bike commute because you are intimidated at the prospect of biking in an urban environment.  But, if you pick your route and times properly, you can almost have the roads to yourself!  

So, loyal readers, not to worry -- I have not abandoned you.  Never fear - even when you have to suffer through an unfortunate gap in posts - be assured that I am still off pedaling somewhere simultaneously conjuring new blog posts for your amusement.  

I bike, therefore I am!