Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wheelie Guy in the News

Wheelie guy always sneaks up on me, and I'm never handy with a camera. Maybe you've seen him, too, on Liberty or Commercial, or elsewhere around town.

Turns out he's got a website and a project - and today he's in the paper!

I worry about wheelie guy, though. I have seen him only on Liberty and Commercial, on busy roads and sometimes in busy traffic. The wheelie gets attention, but I'm not sure that busy roads are the best places for the wheelie.

I don't know. Is this a "get off my lawn!" moment?

(Sometimes, too, I worry that coverage of bicycling gets shaped too much by the exceptional. The person who bikes across country for a cause. The person who does wheelies for a cause.

This narrative places bicycling on the edges as something exceptional - but not as something normal that everyone does. In many ways - maybe in most ways - I want bicycling to become as banal as driving a car.

At the same time, it's great to see the fun side of bicycling, and even as I worry about Chris, I do admire the wheelie!)


Chris Barnett said...

Glad you are enjoying the show, and I appreciate your concerns for safety and views that biking is something everyone can do, not just for exceptional feats that are pushing the boundaries of everyday riding.

I have a deep love for the feeling and freedom of riding and hope that, although the wheelies may be out of the ordinary, people can still have just as much fun as I am having, but peddling with two wheels on the ground.

What started out as something fun to show off with in the back yard has turned into a spectacle, and sort of publicity stunt. The more people see me wheeling in the streets, the more noticeable the clean water cause I'm riding for will become. I am as safe as I can be when weaving through traffic, and have even begun to wear a helmet... mostly to set a good example for the kids.

Thank you again for your concern, support and mention in the blog post. See you around town!

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Ride on, Chris! Good luck!