A man working for a bicycle advocacy group in California has taken news reports of road traffic incidents involving motor vehicles and substituted the word “car” for “bike” and “driver” for “cyclist.”
Robert Prinz is education director at Bike East Bay, which represents 4,500 members living in Contra Costa County and Alameda County, situated on the east side of San Francisco Bay.
He put some of the altered news stories on his Ten Miles an Hour Challenge on a page named Bikes r dangerous, and tweeted:
Don't ride a bike, people. Look at all the carnage that can happen! http://t.co/GtUPRTGaj9
— prinzrob (@prinzrob) April 1, 2014
The results make for some interesting reading. Pictures of vehicles involved have been changed to show bicycles instead.
Here are a couple of examples:
Two Women Seen Running from Tandem Bike that Crashed into Mission District Bakery
San Francisco police have an alert out to area hospitals in their search for two women seen running from a tandem bicycle that smashed into a Mission District cafe.
Witnesses say the two women bolted from the bicycle shortly after it slammed into Joey and Pat’s bakery and cafe at the corner of Folsom and 21st Street at about 2:30 a.m.
Suspected drunk cyclist leaves path of destruction on El Cerrito street
A suspected drunken bicyclist sped onto an El Cerrito sidewalk early Tuesday, slamming into a tree, a bench, a parking sign and several buildings before his heavily damaged bicycle came to a stop, authorities said.
El Cerrito Police Sgt. Scott Cliatt said the debris field from the crash stretched for a full block of Van Fleet Ave.
Prinz said on Twitter that he had undertaken the exercise as an April Fool’s joke, and it’s noticeable that the stories he chose only involve damage to property.
But it’s a joke with a serious message – that driven recklessly, a car is capable of inflicting far more damage than a bicycle being ridden irresponsibly can.
It’s also led to a #replacecarwithbike hashtag on Twitter, with tweets including “Bike parking is so expensive here” from Brian Morrissey and “Just dragged my car up 2 flights of stairs so I'm exhausted” from Alwin.
Referring to London campaign group Stop Killing Cyclists' Wall of Death protest at Westminster City Hall last week, which called for London councils to commit to spending on infrastructure to improve cycle safety, ZeroEmissionVehicle tweeted:
— ZeroEmissionVehicle (@0EmissionVelo) April 5, 2014
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.