I *don’t* want to ride my bicycle

Lauren Alley | Contributing Writer

Since coming to campus I have begun to feel a spiritual connection to Mufasa from “The Lion King.” I realize I am not a majestic lion like he is, but it’s his death I relate to. Every day as I go to my classes, I relive his tragic ending with the wildebeests. They overtake him, moving full speed with no regard for what poor soul is trapped underneath their murderous hooves. All I am missing is a distraught lion cub as I am overtaken by the endless herd of bicyclists.

I’m not saying that every biker on campus wants to kill Simba’s dad. I appreciate those that ring their bells as they approach pedestrians and the ones that announce “on your left” or “on your right” to give me time to jump out of the way. If every biker announced themselves, there would be no need for this column.

I do have a smidgen of respect for bikers. Riding a bicycle around campus seems to be a daring task—you have to be willing to either do a lot of swerving or murdering to accomplish it well. And I appreciate it is often speedier than walking, but is shortening your commute by few minutes really worth being hated by everyone on foot?

If I am the only person on the sidewalk, there is no reason to pass anywhere near me. Special shoutout to the guy that decided to play chicken with me when I was walking to class, holding eye contact until I had to scream and jump into the shrubbery to avoid sudden death. I do not like you.

Bikers like to play a sadistic game where they sneak up on innocent pedestrians and pass within three inches to cause panic. Luckily, most people seem to act on the flight response when faced with bicycle dangers and jump away when one comes near. But one day a biker is going to mess with the wrong person on the wrong day. A haggard pedestrian will snap and have a fight reaction, tackling the offender off of their bike, leading to an outbreak of the victims finally fighting back. The pedestrians of Washington University will begin to tackle bikers, or throw out their arm and hit those that enter their bubble in the throat. This could develop into a civil war of guerilla-style assaults that divide the campus.

Fortunately, I have a proposition to prevent the countless deaths that would no doubt make us drop even farther in the college rankings. The bicyclists just need to announce themselves in some way rather than sneaking up on people. I do not have an issue with skateboarders because they are loud enough to be heard from a distance and I have time to defend myself. I even appreciate people with older bikes that are loud enough to be heard. It is the new bicycles that sneak around silently like a Prius from Hell that I do not feel kindly toward.

My proposition is for all the bikers to put a trading card in their spokes like a kid in an 80s movie. Then pedestrians can have time to defend themselves and there will be no need for anyone to die. If the situation remains dire I vote that a system be put in place that punishes the rudest bicyclists. Perhaps a series of biking traffic laws. Or make it so that every biker has to pass a biking test or take some sort of Biker’s Education before they can hit the pavement. However it comes about, I petition for justice for pedestrians. We need not live in fear, my friends.

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