[MassLive] As Worcester police continue to combat swerving, the act of riding a bicycle in front of moving traffic, a 22-year-old was arrested over the weekend after a group rode in circles downtown. An officer was on his way to work a private detail at the Palladium on Sunday around 6 p.m. when he saw a large group of young people riding bikes in and out of traffic on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, police said in a statement.
“The officer was in his personal motor vehicle and had to slam on his brakes in order to avoid a collision with two of the youths that went directly in front of him,” the statement read. “The group was riding around in circles and executing ‘wheelies’ in the middle of the intersection through a full cycle of traffic lights,” police said. “Numerous vehicles were activating their horns and yelling out of the windows.”
“The detail officer was walking on the sidewalk from the front of the building and about to turn the corner when he was nearly struck by one of the males on a bike,” police said. “At this time the officer noticed a second male heading right at him on a bike. The officer reached out and grabbed the rider’s arm and forced him off his bike.”
The rider, Javier Amarat, of 82 Elm St., was known to the officer as one of the men who rides with a group that calls itself “bike life,” the statement said. Police discovered a spring-loaded 4-inch knife on Amarat. He was riding an ofo rental bike and police said the locking mechanism of the bike he was riding was “damaged beyond repair.”
Imagine, if you will, a bicyclist-themed MadLibs.
Today, a bicyclist decided to pop some ____(PLURAL NOUN)____ in the middle of traffic. He ___(VERB, PAST TENSE)___ an entire intersection on a ___(ADJECTIVE)___ bike. He was even carrying a ___(WEAPON)___! Luckily, a ___(ADJECTIVE)___ police officer was there to yank him off his bike. ___(NUMBER)___ cheers for the police!
If you said WHEELIES, BLOCKED, STOLEN, SWITCHBLADE, HEROIC, and THREE, congratulations! You’re the writer of this absolutely fucking ridiculous story!
Look, I’m not completely unreasonable. In a lot of cases, I’m even willing to meet bicyclists halfway. It’s true that there are plenty of streets where there just isn’t a ton of shoulder space for bicyclists to ride. It’s also true that drivers aren’t always as aware of bicyclists on the road as they should be. See? I can be understanding. I can be empathetic. I’m willing to hear out the other side.
But it’s shit like this that makes the pendulum swing so very, very far in the opposite direction. Bicyclists constantly complain about how dangerous the roads are for them, and how often negligent drivers run them down, and how absurd it is that the burden of safety falls on them when their spindly little aluminum contraptions are up against two-ton steel behemoths. And just when you’re about to open your mouth to say, well, sure, you may have a point there, they hold up one hand and say, “just a sec–I need to dart into traffic and cut off this truck.”
I mean, honestly. Circling an intersection and popping wheelies through and entire cycle of lights is not exactly what I would call “risk-averse behavior.” In fact, I’d go so far as to call it just plain stupid. Language like “idiot with a death wish” doesn’t seem out of place.
I didn’t even get to include the part of the article where the moron they arrested responded to every question with the name of bicyclist
gang group, a group which claims it’s “just looking to put negativity aside and ride.” Sweet job, guys! You’re almost as good at vetting your members as Kevin Spacey’s agent! Or…wait, no, as any production company that hires Kevin Spacey! Shit, there’s a joke in there somewhere, come back to me, I’ll think of it.
Anyway I think it goes without saying that you should not, in fact, spend your day popping wheelies in the middle of an intersection, and you should especially not do that if the bike you’re riding is stolen and the weapon you’re carrying is illegal. All in all a pretty dumb confluence of circumstances for our bicyclist friend, here. But I guess that’s just par for the bicyclist course. When you assume that laws don’t apply to you, there’s no reason to give any behavior a second thought. In Freudian terms, bicyclists are all id. There’s no ego, no superego. Just 100% id, racing out there to seize the day.
In a weird way, I envy their freedom. If we could harness that raw, impulsive energy, we could probably change the world. Instead, we just have jails filled with unpredictable assholes who think intersections are a great place to practice wheelies. It’s a shame. It’s just such a damn shame.