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Your Music Might Mess You Up: Buffalo Bike Culture

Your music might kill you… if you listen while you bike.

The other day, I saw for the thousandth time, a guy biking with earbuds in his ear.

I am yelling at you on BRO to keep from yelling at you on the street.

I’ll admit, I am not the king of bike safety.  I rarely wear my helmet, and I occasionally run a light or stop sign.  However, I don’t do earbuds.  When biking, one has to hear the people around them.  Take them out.  I already do enough funerals.

Once you take the earbuds out, not only will you have additional warning of oncoming traffic, you will also hear your friends shouting friendly greetings, the birds singing in our urban forest, and your own thoughts.  It’s nice, actually.  Your music will still be queued up when you arrive at your destination.

Thanks for listening.  As long as I have your attention, please let me finish my rant so I won’t have to do this again.

Bikes go on the RIGHT side of the ROAD.  Don’t ride into traffic.  Leave the sidewalk for walkers.  Oddly enough, bikers are more likely to get hit by cars when they ride on the sidewalk, because cars aren’t looking for them at intersections.

When you need to get your bike somewhere on the sidewalk, get off and walk it.

Ashland, Norwood, and Richmond run parallel to Elmwood and are very bike friendly.

Everything I said about earbuds is also true for cell phones.  Your texts aren’t that important anyway.

DRIVERS:  Please look before you turn, and before you open your door.  I don’t care if you don’t like bikes; their existence means less traffic for you, lower gas prices, and cleaner air – so the least you could do is try not to run into us.  We’ll try to be nice to you, too.   

One last incentive.  Let me know that you were a former earbud-wearing bicyclist and make a pledge to reform, and I will buy you a Rusty Chain (or something non-alcoholic if you’d prefer).  I’m going to limit this offer to the first five respondents so I don’t go broke.  The rest of you?  If you really need an offer of free beer to bike safely, then ask somebody who loves you to buy you one.  It should be worth it to them.

Click here for even more practical bike safety ideas.

Following are two recent BRO submissions regarding bike culture in Buffalo: 


From a fellow cyclist, Bernice: “Do you know why The City has not been putting out all the bike racks that were requested? I called the 311 hotline and they had no idea who I was (commercial request) nor did they have the record of my request which I submitted twice – in October and in March. And there are others like me. We need to get as many people as we can to call the 311 resolution line.  I want my bike racks!  I bet there are a lot of businesses wondering where their bike racks are.

“I saw a few of the blue bike racks which are wonderful. We need more.  They only hold one or two bikes at a time. Also, I have been seeing many more “bike trees” lately which is where people lock their bikes up to a big pole, one on top of another (as well as taking other bizarre measures to lock their bikes – see photo above). What does this say for the city? I do see some progress, however it is not fast enough. Biking season is here and upon us. The more support we get, the more we will use our bicycles!”



And this one (above photo) from Rachacha:

If you own this bike–or perhaps have seen it being ridden around town–please get pix ‎of it being ridden and send them in!‎
I did a double-take when I saw this parked outside the central library this week, and although the ‎Bike Beat is normally queenseyes’ bailiwick, I just had to share it.‎
It’s hard for me to imagine someone actually riding this bike.  Perhaps it belongs to Wilt the Stilt, or Ed ‎‎”Too Tall” Jones– or Yao Ming–?  It sort of hearkens back to the old high-wheel “ordinaries”–racing bikes that young men in the Victorian era used to ride (to the sheer terror of their mothers) several feet off the ground.
Could this be a sign of a new fad, with cyclists competing for the highest “High Rider?”  A group of these (Buffalo Blue-Sky Bikes?) would look really cool in a parade.

queenseyes’ response: You’re right Rachacha… that is my bailiwick, which means that if you click on this link, you’re request has been heard… and fulfilled. The post dates back to March of ’07.
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