Wednesday, December 1

Commute Mystery

Passing Motorists Seem Fairly Unconcerned, but They'd Feel Different if a Bike Suddenly Leaped Through Their Windshield!
I Took the Photo from the End of the Little Sidewalk. Why Would Bikes Cross Here?

While I look all around each time I encounter it, I’ve not seen any bikes crossing my route yet, or even lurking in the vegetation. The sign in the photo above (and below) raises a lot of questions beside the obvious; “Why did the bicycle cross the road?”

One wonders if these are wild, feral bicycles we are being alerted to in a civic campaign akin to the deer warnings so ubiquitous in rural areas. Might these be criminal bikes and hence the need for the “warning” element in the sign? Why, I wonder, does this sign coincide with the end of a sidewalk that runs for not much more than 50 feet total? How, exactly, DOES a bike cross the road without a human being involved? Can a bike cross the road by itself without a kickstand or perhaps it is only PURE bikes that cross roads by themselves?

And then there’s the sign itself. It’s new, and one of those temporary type signs, but otherwise appears to be a very official advisory sign of the sort that Texas installs so often; warning us to “Observe Warning Signs.” Has there been a rash bicycles crashing into motorists recently as they dash across the road toward the retirement home, or maybe they’re retired bikes that are making one last bid to sow wild oats? I see no evidence of scattered components, either from motor vehicles or bikes. Perhaps there’s been recent internet “chatter” and the Department of Homeland Security expects extremist bicycles, with explosive-laden suicide panniers attached, to dash out into the road and detonate themselves against passing targets of opportunity. If so, are these members of the “Bicycle Liberation Front” that are responsible for 90% the automotive flat tires in the US, or are they shady agents of overseas influences? And why don’t these bikes simply follow the advice so often offered and simply “get off the road?” I looked all around and didn't see any sneaky bikes hiding anywhere around, not even any WITHOUT suicide panniers. Nor did I see any gates from which bikes might emerge midblock.

I must note this is one of the strangest bike signs I’ve ever encountered. It rises beyond the more common dumb or dangerous signs to simply become – mysterious.

No Wild Bikes in Evidence, Just the Single Domesticated One
By the Way, the Bag is Not Silver in Normal Light - It is Reflective "Illuminite" and the Flash Went Off

7 comments:

PM Summer said...

Steve, it's not a type of sign from the MUTCD (design or message).

Because it's facing the counter-flow traffic on the sidewalk (as opposed to real-vehicular traffic on the road), perhaps it's a generic warning TO bicyclists.

limom said...

I like how it appears to be mounted three feet off the ground.

Steve A said...

If the sign is not for the motorists (it is printed on both sides of the sign) it is not addressed to cyclists, but rather to bikes. Where would I send my bike so it can learn to read? Certainly the sign is nonstandard but it doesn't look home made either.

Per Limon, perhaps the sign is intended for children so they are alerted as they reach the end of that little sidewalk so they are not T boned by a bike when they jaywalk across the five-lane road.

Dottie said...

Ha! Very mysterious. Every motorist (or, I should say, car) who drove by while you were there must have marveled at the accuracy of the sign. "Look, there's one of those bikes they warned us about! Make sure it's not going to cross."

Oldfool said...

If you have a sign making department or a sign making budget then you have to make signs. After all logical signs are made then you have to get creative. Don't be surprised when you see a sign that just says "sign".
In Louisiana if you follow the money back up the chain starting with the installer you will eventually come to the relative of the politician that allocates the money for the signs.

opusthepoet said...

Well Gigi claimed she could read, I don't know about Blue, but if the sign is facing away from traffic on the street who exactly are they warning? Even if bicycles know how to read don't the signs have to be facing in a direction where they can be read?

Steve A said...

The sign is easily readable from both sides, despite being on the wrong side of the pole. I thought about stopping on the way to shoot it from the other side but it was dark and cold, but mainly because it was omelet day.

I expect a video of Gigi talking would be a major hit on YouTube, but bikes are notoriously camera shy about that.

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