Until now, I thought the scariest on-vehicle equipment hazard for cyclists (besides the extended sideview mirror) was the forgotten RV side-step. When people load up their motorhome or trailer (caravan) and leave camp neglecting to stow the entry step, the things carve along at ankle level like the Scythe O'Death. They make a boomerang-like whistling noise that makes my blood run cold. I've sometimes unclipped from my pedal and raised a foot above step-level, just for peace of mind. The things carve along well outside the white-painted shoulder line, and come alarmingly close sometimes.
But now, there's something worse on the roads here in the Land O'Camo, Ammo, and Pick'emup TrucksTM
. It is the Wheel O'Spikes. These things are appearing on tow-trucks (shown), semi-tractor-trailers, and pickup trucks. I took this photo while riding in traffic today, showing the Mama Bear (4in/10cm) in a Three Bears lineup. Baby Bear is about half this length (2in/5cm), and Papa Bear has spikes 6in/15.25cm long. They do come in longer and more numerous styles (See: http://badcopnodonuts.com/wp-content/uploads/DSC08230.JPG
). Some are plastic while others (like the ones pictured) are chrome-plated steel.
How something so apt to maim and injure ever came to market in a land where tort injury claims rule is beyond me. I can tell you, the noise and appearance of these things is something else when churning along at calf-level in dense traffic while riding on a narrow shoulder. The "Bad Boys" driving these things also love to come right up alongside and then blast me with their locomotive horns. Thanks to past experience and my rearview mirror, I can steel myself a bit to avoid a fall toward the spikes, but Man! these things just.look.the.business for chewing up cyclists. Like something out of The Road Warrior
Something new to watch for. And the noise...a chilling sort of wuffling whistle.
Hopefully, these things won't make an appearance outside these borders.
Dan. (doing my part to hold the line...half-skeert and still pedaling)