“Right on!” was my initial reaction to this top-tube sticker on a cool hippie bike that I saw parked in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan. But after I thought about it for a few seconds, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. The writer in me loves slogans that have an instant appeal but then seem to unravel or seem nonsensical when your mind really starts to digest them. “Bikes not bombs.” What does this really mean? Is it suggesting that the world’s conflicts should be settled on bikes? Should NATO forces just challenge the Taliban to a crit or a grand tour? I’m sure the Taliban would win the mountain stages.
Or is the “Bikes not bombs” sticker suggesting that riding makes people more peaceful? If everyone rode, there would be no war. Hmm, maybe. Cycling certainly keeps me sane and contributes to my inner peace. There’s nothing better than a long, mind-clearing ride after a hectic day or week. But then again, some of the guys I’ve ridden with seem to be overflowing with aggression. The bike doesn’t mellow them out. It’s a weapon, a battle ax for a war on the roads. Mark Renshaw falls into this group. Check out his head-butting and swerving in the final sprint of today’s Stage 11 of the Tour de France (see it on Pave). Someone needs to send him a “Bikes not bombs” sticker to contemplate as he heads home after being kicked out of the race for his recklessness. Bikes not butting?
Maybe the sticker is just suggesting the bike is a symbol of a more progressive, thoughtful, peaceful and rational approach to life. I can buy that. But would world leaders be more wise and less likely to wage war if they rode bikes? Hmmm, maybe not. Remember, George W. Bush became an avid cyclist during his presidency. But wait a minute. He was a mountain biker. Maybe the sticker should read: “Road bikes not bombs.”wafflesandsteel | Filed under: Ann Arbor, hippie bikes | No Comments »