Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

Ninjas on Bikes: Sneaky, Never Squeaky

No one can deny that bikes are a great way to get around the city, which is why cycling as a whole is on the rise. A rising tide lifts all boats, however, which means that bikes are being ridden by law abiding folk as well as fierce and efficient killers. This is also true of boats, but that is for another time. I am, of course, referring to ninjas. Yes, our noble message about the joys and benefits of cycling has been heard by those awesome pajama-clad death dealers, and they are now riding from grim errand to grim errand.

A ninja contemplates a new bicycle purchase. image: Lee J Haywood
This strikes me as an unfortunate but unavoidable consequence of cycling advocacy. True, it’s hard to imagine ninjas being more efficient killers than they already are, but that would appear to be the case.

Urge your looking muscles over to this excerpt from a news article right here:

POLICE in Winnipeg warned residents to lock themselves in their homes on Sunday as they searched for a man who shot dead two people and injured a third in a bizarre shooting spree.
Local media reported that the suspect was believed to have shot at his victims from a bicycle, using a sawed-off shotgun.
One witness told the paper the shooter was dressed as “a ninja”.

I wasn’t aware that ninjas use sawed off shotguns to kill people, but I don’t wish to be an armchair assassin, even though that would mean a lot of opportunity to type “ass”. Choice of weapons aside, it seems to me that ninjas would be particularly concerned with bike maintenance, as a squeaky chain or a clicking bottom bracket could alert an enemy to danger and ruin a killing. Again, I am by no means an expert. All my killings have been hasty and poorly planned.

The fact is that we can’t concern ourselves with a few marauding ninjas. Unless, of course, one is currently menacing us with a shotgun, in which case we will very likely be quite concerned, but very briefly. No, the good we do for our community by encouraging people to ride far outweighs the bad. We must press on!

I believe I am doing my part. I had a conversation with a gentleman — who I believe may have been Andre 3000 — on the subject of bike etiquette yesterday afternoon in some extremely slow traffic on Euclid. He poked his head out of his car to ask why I was creeping along behind him instead of going around and skipping to the front as most cyclists do. I explained that bikes are supposed to follow all the same laws cars do, and that I, as a very important blogonaut of the intertubes with over one (1) readers, have an unshakable commitment to integrity when I think someone might be looking.

It’s hard to gauge what effect this had on Andre 3000, or if it even was Andre 3000, but whatever the case, I feel good about myself. Hopefully I won’t learn later that Mr. 3000 is a ninja in addition to being an actor and a musician. I didn’t see a sawed off shotgun, but its tough to tell.

They’re sneaky, ninjas.

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