Ah, the satisfaction of heading out for a drive on an otherwise busy day. Some of us here in Toronto (the City of Light) have the Civic Holiday off work. There are festivities planned … public stuff to keep the neverworkers from looting, and private parties for friends and family. For my part, I like to mix both: I head out for a drive through the quiet streets of Toronto with a few friends. We take turns turning left, or just stopping in traffic to listen to music * . We laugh and laugh.
A recent guest of mine suggested we raise awareness about Dooring Cyclists. What the heck is that? What is dooring a cyclist? Apparently, it is when a parked car opens its door and a passing cyclist hits it, the door. This was explained to me quite clearly. A parked car. What if the car is in motion? What if the passenger, say, opens his door as a car overtakes a cyclist? There is a satisfying thump, some screeching of bending spokes on invincible steel, and the final vision of some brought low white racist who has finally come to terms with his/her/it’s guilt over the murder of Trayvon Martin. After all, bicycles are instruments of white oppression … how often do you see darkie on a bike? But ka-bonging a cyclicist with a door from a moving vehicle is not dooring.
What if it is not a door that hits the racist oppressor cyclist? It cannot be dooring, then can it? You can tailgate a bicycle such that you bung up their rear wheel, or just stop suddenly when they are behind you. Thumps and crumpling occurs. But it is not the door the hits the cyclist, but the bumper, hood, or side view mirror. This cannot be dooring, per se. And, like the unsportsmanlike conduct that is using steriods, equipping your car with spring loaded beams, sweeping sawzalls, or high voltage wallopers, is not really Olympic quality dooring. Such is what I said to my guest from Calgary, a plumber with too much time on his hands.
There is an underground interest in the sport of dooring. Assembly drawings are available for a diversity of devices that spring out, harpoon, or apply electric shock. The capacitor device looks like desk top computer box: it is really filled with capacitors (salvaged, recycled, from televisions), and provides a few tens of thousands of volts potential across two arms which can be sprung out by remote control. The capacitors are slow to recharge, taking a few minutes; but the entertainment provided lasts hours. And it is a victimless crime: the high voltages used usually erase the memory of the cyclist; the plastic arms easily retract upon impact so there is minimal tissue injury. As for the cartwheeling and intertwining of body and cycle that occurs later, well, that is Gaia’s doing. I am never responsible for my actions, after all. As for the harpoon side to the sport, developing the skill to fire a steel bolt (a re-worked railway spike, say) into the spokes, chain, sprocket, or cranium, takes too much effort except for the most serious Jack the Ripper behind the wheel.
Really, as responsible activists searching out for more tax revenue, more regulations, and tighter social control, we need to raise awareness about dooring. I recall the successful propaganda campaigns of the haters of the seal hunt. They went out and butchered a seal themselves, filmed it. It is going to take some grisly events to get our sluggish state to spend more money on this issue, to hire bureaucrats, and fund studies for consultants to write. Something grisly. But for a good cause.
I, Fenris Badwulf, wrote this. I care.