There’s so many pictures. So many angles. One message.

May 15 2018

A bike rider is dead.

The bike is laying on its side like a dead horse on a rain slick street. The ground is blue and red from the siren lights, a line of yellow police tape cuts the background. If he was alive, the bike would never be there. We all know it. You don’t leave your bike on its side on the street unless you got knocked off it. Unless you were thrown from it. Unless you threw it.

Struck from behind while riding in the bike lane on a street we all ride on. He was wearing a helmet. Not that changes this in anyway. It’s just that I read what people write about bike accidents and they always ask about a helmet. And what the fuck does it matter at this point? For the victim blaming satisfaction you get when you suggest something that should disqualify the dead’s victimhood? The faceless masses of the of the internet always get their angle. If you die they know the real reason

You can watch the news on video. The somber newscaster reads the headline. A bike rider is dead, somewhere. It’s not uncommon news. It happens close to twice a day, somewhere in the US.

When I looked for the articles I kept having to add one more word into the search window. Each typed word produces a slightly closer match. Bicycle. Rider. Killed. Philadelphia. Spring Garden. And you’re there. Video, photo, blog. Before that you see it you get more and more. Deaths all over the world. Three of the most recent are from the UK. Three in LA. More in small towns in the middle of this country. Killing a bike rider.

We know the easy answers. Driver was: Drunk. High. Nodding Out. Speeding. Checking the gram. Checking facebook. Texting. Watching a video. Falling asleep. Fighting with someone in the car. Daydreaming. Dropped something on the floor. Late work for work. Late to get home. Late to the party. Pissed that there’s a bike in front of him and he has to go somewhere and this bike rider is holding him up.

It’s like the bike rider is not real on the street. A bit part in the scenery that you speed by, as significant as a squirrel or a signpost. Not enough to stop for… something to harass. Scream out the window of your car. Swerve toward the bike rider, just enough to scare him or her, whoever is in your way tonight.

The driver has their reasons right?

You don’t like the way the bike rider is dressed. You don’t like that they’re out there just riding a bike. You don’t like their tattoos. She’s a woman. He’s a hipster. She’s a transplant. He was on a fixie. She was on a road bike. He rode through the red. She wouldn’t let me pass. He cut me off. She shouldn’t be out here. He’s on a BMX. She doesn’t have a helmet. You don’t like their skin color. Too old, to young. To skinny, to fat. To rich, to poor. Whatever it is you’ve decided you don’t like about them in 10 seconds and they’re in your way.

5 seconds is more than enough for you to see them and your brain to register it’s complaint. The bike rider is holding you up and pissing you off. Honk your horn.

Who do they think they are? Lance fucking Armstrong.

“Tour de France, Lance!”




Whatever you think you can get away with in that speeding car. Throw something. A drink, a sandwich wrapper, a battery. Blow exhaust on them. Are you real fucked up? Shoot at a bike rider. Paintball, BB, pellet, bullet.

Close your windows. Lock your doors. Speed through that redlight so you don’t get caught.


The bike rider either catches you or they don’t catch you. Maybe the bike rider doesn’t try: Happy enough to be ok. There’s video or there isn’t. GoPro’s on helmets and on bars, right under the stem. Cops are called or they’re not called. Maybe they care. Maybe they don’t. Maybe the cops are the ones fucking with the bike rider. If the bike rider catches you: Windows are punched, doors are kicked. Locks hit hoods. Mirrors are broken. Adrenaline. You get out and fight or stay in your seat and drive away. Try to run the bike rider over. Run their bike over.

Win or lose, you’re always a fucking loser. Middle finger out of the window when it’s safe. Yell some more as you drive away. The bike rider can’t hear your bullshit now, you’re just yelling for yourself and who ever you’re in the car with. Tweet about it. Post on facebook about it.

Sometimes it’s none of that. It’s just an accident. It’s a failure to look. It’s bad weather. It’s… Sometimes it’s the riders fault. That’s not what’s here. We see a bike rider who was riding in the bike lane struck from behind, in the rain, while wearing a helmet.

A bike rider is dead. His name was Pablo. He was a messenger. He rode his bike for a living, something only a few people in this crowded world will ever do.

He was killed by a car driven by another person. This time the person stayed.

Sometimes they don’t stay. They leave you in a pile on the side of the road and they keep driving. Another ” they ” , this time it’s the faceless drivers. The windows to dark to see into. The ones who would leave you to die alone.

Their windows are all reflections-The street lights, the headlights and you.

I have no answers. I have no message. This isn’t a call to action. This isn’t even a plead for empathy or justice. I’m just reporting what’s out there. I don’t know how to change a culture of selfish, cruel or careless people, greedy for their precious minutes stuck behind the wheel of a car.

I don’t know how to change bigotry, or bias or prejudice or just being an asshole.

I know it’s not just in the cities, I know it’s not just in the United States, I know it’s everywhere.

It just seems worse here. The culture breeds it. City, suburb, country. It doesn’t matter. The drivers are the same. Some care, some don’t, their attitude reflected in their actions. As bike riders on the street we’ve all felt the closeness of death. It doesn’t make us special. It just connects us.

We’re united In the chaos of traffic or on an empty country road. United by the feeling of turning the cranks and the air that hits our faces. United by loving life and knowing death. United because it doesn’t stop us. United because our wheels are still rolling. United by the death of a bike rider. Again.

Stay safe, stay aware.

Ride for Pablo. Ride because you can. Ride for who’s next.