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
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.