Friday Photo: Walk of Spite

Last week I got rear-ended by a car while biking south under the Hiawatha Avenue overpass on Cedar. I was chatting with a friend about a movie. I asked him a question, but before he could answer I was rolling back onto the hood of a silver Chevy Malibu. My head shattered the windshield from one side to the other, and as the driver braked I was ejected about a dozen feet onto the road ahead.

There was something so in keeping with the boorish nature of cars in how it happened: not only was I assaulted and thrown to the ground, I was rudely interrupted. It felt less civilized than a drunken bar fight, which at least has a spark of intent. The desultory violence of cars is more base than the shit-hurling of the dumbest ape.

It’s important to strip away the numb familiarity and see cars for the relentless tide of degradation that they bring. That’s what I did when I limped from my house to retrieve my bike from the scene the next day.








If you look carefully you can see a piece of my red tail-light, unlike the guy who ran into me.



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10 Responses to Friday Photo: Walk of Spite

  1. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke January 30, 2015 at 7:55 am #

    sounds horrible. i am glad i don’t have a similar story, and am relieved you look OK.

    yr bike tho, nope.

  2. Wayne January 30, 2015 at 9:25 am #

    I’d gladly return to the days of the occasional trampling by horses in order to get rid of the horrible damage cars do on a daily basis. Can I start a neo-luddite party that’s cool with computers and trains but not with cars?

  3. Alex January 30, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    Maybe you shouldn’t have been running a red light, not paying for roads, and ignoring traffic laws where a law-abiding, tax-paying motorist was driving his automobile.

  4. Susan January 30, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

    I used to ride everywhere in the ’70s and I could ride to the U all the way from 32nd St on Cedar Avenue. It was wild. I don’t dare ride now, but I make room for cyclists. My husband is disabled and we have to use a car to get out of the city. Otherwise I love public transport. I have been honked at for slowing down while sharing a road with cyclists and in response I slow down more to protect the cyclist and for some enjoyment. Drivers are nuts at rush hour. Take care.

  5. Nicole January 30, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

    So glad you’re still in one piece! What a terrible experience! Stupid drivers. :/

  6. Walker Angell
    Walker Angell January 30, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    Joe, glad you’re OK.

  7. Rosa January 30, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I hate that underpass so, so much. Every trip through it feels like risking horrible death. And it’s the fastest, most direct way to get to so many places from where I live. So glad you’re still walking.

  8. Adam Miller
    Adam Miller January 30, 2015 at 10:41 pm #

    Glad you’re okay. Sorry cars suck.

  9. Pete Majerle February 1, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

    So what happened to the driver? Did you call the cops?

  10. Andrea Steudel
    Andrea February 5, 2015 at 8:10 pm #

    sorry this happened to you. such an evocative post though; esp. subtle signs of car violence and your car decal bling. keep collecting and you’ll have armour soon!

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