Just this morning, around 3:40 AM, a single hooded person on a bike rode into Times Square and apparently deposited a homemade bomb which ripped a few windows open in an Army Recruitment Center, but failed to injure anyone.
Here’s the story: Bike Bomber
I wasn’t out riding past 11:30 PM last night. Nor was I in NYC. I was on the Jersey side. And by the time the bomb exploded, I was fast asleep. But the suspect, a hooded bicyclist, doesn’t sound too far off from the 50 or so (possibly more) hooded BMXers that were more than likely out riding in the NYC area last night and early this morning. The bike was actually ditched a few blocks away, and it turned out to be larger than a 20″ bike. (The media is calling it a “Ten-speed bike,” which makes me think of The Jerky Boys. “It was a ten-speeder…”) So blame can’t be cast in BMX’s direction. But it kinda got me thinking about an old quote from Blake Schwarzenbach, who said:
“If you’re not in a relationship and without a bike, and male you are suspicious. I think I could devote half a side of a record to that feeling of being criminalized in a way, just for being alone.”
Usually, at night, if you’re out riding, or sessioning any obstacle, most people can deduce what you’re doing pretty easily. Remove the bike and it’s a different story though. Let’s say you’re riding a ledge in downtown Manhattan and practicing a new grind combination. If someone walks past you while you’re riding, it’s easy enough for them to figure out what you’re doing. They might not understand why you’re having fun grinding the pegs on a bike, but you have a purpose to them, and unless they own the property or you’re keeping them awake, they’ll more than likely keep on walking.
Now take the bike away and sit on that same ledge. Your purpose becomes removed, and because of that, it’s more likely that suspicion could be cast onto you. Partly because of this equation, it’s a lot easier to get away with riding BMX at night. Sure, it’s not always going to be the pretty picture I’m painting, but a feeble to smith is a lot easier to explain away than lurking or stalking or sitting around by yourself without a purpose late at night. The long and short of it is that people don’t criminalize lone bicyclists out at night.
This bicycle-bound, apparently serial bomber in the NYC area could change all that though. Why couldn’t they have been a rollerblader or a long-boarder?