Get ready, folks. Prepare yourselves for terror. For thrills. For a hair-raising ride through the clutches of death, where the only thing separating me from a barrage of speeding midday traffic is a thin, fading line of paint.
Prepare yourselves for my next death-defying stunt, where I will be riding my bike in—THE BIKE LANE.
You gasp and tremble for good reason. This is no Dutch bike lane with a safe, modern design and well-funded construction. This is an American bike lane—a blood-pumping obstacle course of neglected asphalt and ideas from the 1970s.
Will the people screaming in the audience please calm down? Your fright will not dissuade me!
Now, during my voyage down this strip of pavement that’s about as wide as a paper towel roll and surrounded by large vehicles driven by people who hate me for no reason, I will face many perils. I will face the towering metal rear ends of illegally parked postal trucks. I will face hundreds—nay—thousands of glass shards from shattered Miller Lite bottles. I will face potholes deep enough to turn me and my bike into something out of Picasso’s Guernica. And you will witness me conquer them all in a glorious spectacle of labored breathing and back sweat!
Watch in awe as I twist and turn through traffic to avoid parked car doors that fly open as I pass! Wince in horror as the bike lane grows narrower and narrower until it disappears, and I must catapult myself onto the sidewalk! Cheer in rapture as I zigzag between wasp-infested construction cones, mysterious piles of sand, and joggers who think this is a special bicycle-themed running track—all while under the constant threat of being pulverized by forty-ton semitrucks with blind spots the size of three grown men!
Don’t look away!
Yes, I may be smacked into oblivion by the side mirrors of an F1-50 that’s passing too closely. And I may be launched into the air by a tech bro driving a Porsche who won’t hear the sound of my rib cage exploding over their subwoofer blaring a Pitbull song. But when you see me barrelling through that lawless six-way intersection and trying to keep track of where the hell I’m supposed to be riding, you’ll experience the rush of a lifetime. One you’ll never forget!
So weep and swoon if you must, gentle onlookers. This is my destiny. I was born to push our country’s infrastructure to its very limits! This is why if I survive riding my bike in this bike lane today, I ask that you all join me tomorrow in rural West Virginia, where I will be driving my Honda Civic slowly across an old, dilapidated bridge that hasn’t been inspected since the Carter administration.