Bicycle Diaries: Bike abuse

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Bike abuse

cattle mutilations?

Barry Neild wonders aloud in Thursday's Guardian about a worrisome trend in street vandalism. Since returning from the States, he's seen more taco'd rims, slashed tires, and busted lights on London's parked rolling stock. Bike theft is bad enough; but why are some folks sorely temped to take their post-modern angst out on somebody's ride? You might be able to understand the casual abuse of those high-end, composite-framed models favored by the Lyra-clad weekend warrior set. As Barry writes,
...the trend might be dismissed as the cycling equivalent of dragging a bunch of keys across the paintwork of a Porsche: bitter acts of vandalism aimed at punishing the overtly wealthy.
Unfortunately, Lycra Louts aren't the only victims.
...more often than not, the victim is some poor elderly beast replete with industrial chain guard, rusted Sturmey Archer gears and a tragically jaunty child's windmill attached to the handlebars.
Tongue firmly in cheek, this trend reminds him of the horse and cattle mutilations that so electrified UFO enthusiasts, Satan worship worriers, and amateur psychosexual obsessives back in the 1960s. Perhaps though Occam's Razor would be more helpful. Some folks are big, fat douche-bags ... especially when they're drunk!

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