Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ninja Riders

About a week ago, Robert Johnson, aka "SPOKES MAN" over at the ColumbiaTribune wrote an interesting article entitled "Shine a light on ninja riders" which I think deserves a little more attention.

The first paragraph lays out the premise for the article:

"There is a creature roaming the streets of Columbia that strikes fear into the hearts of motorists and responsible bicyclists alike - the "ninja rider."  Ninja riders are bicyclists who ride at night without lights and, like real ninjas, travel through our communitry barely visible."

Of course, Mr. Johnson is completely correct that riding a bike at night without lights is ridiculously risky, but the part of this opening paragraph which really scared me was the notion in the second sentence that "real ninjas" are travelling through our community, and that they are barely visible!  Was anyone else aware of this?  I thought this must just be a device Mr. Johnson created for his article, but then I found this here.


It seems like this is the real thing.

I think, in general, ninja's probably get a pretty bad rap - as like the rest of us, they are just trying to make a living and bring home the bacon.  Admittedly, for them, this generally means via killing people, but hey - who am I to judge?  But what is really creepy, is if what Mr. Johnson says is true, then ninjas could be walking amongst us - and be barely visible with the use of their ninja skills and clothes which facilitate quick concealment.  Take these new cycling jackets I stumbled upon that allow quick conversion from average bike commuter to cycling ninja in a mere seconds.

But ninja apparel isn't the real challenge, I'm guessing.  it's the ninja's bike, which also must be stealthy and easily concealed in the dark of the night.  Where can the cycling assasins find such a thing?  Look no further than Aurumania, who makes the "Night Bike."

With 24k gold-plated spokes, it has to be a fixed gear, as I'm guessing most cycling ninjas are actually hipster-outcasts who fell out of the fold of the skinny-jeaned urban cyclist cult once their daddies cut off their bank accounts, but yet still possess mad fixed gear riding skilz.  Note the complete absence of all reflectors and lights....

Like many companies, I assumed Aurumania may use models to pose with their bicycles as part of the marketing strategy to appeal to the kinds of cyclists that are most likely to identify with their bikes.  Therefore, I searched the photo gallery portion of their website to try to find some downloadable images of actual ninjas riding their bikes, and sure enough, I stumbled upon one.

I think Mr. Johnson may have gotten the concept of the modern cycling ninja all wrong.  Perhaps they follow the instincts of their hipster roots, and take the minimalist approach that they favor for their bikes: no gears, no brakes, no reflectors, no lights, and now....no clothes....but apparently a very large fro.  So instead of being "barely visible", they are in fact just "bare."

And I may be mistaken, but this particular ninja looks a LOT like a 1972 version of Levi Leipheimer.

I used my CSI-like, high-tech photo enhancing techniques to further examine if in fact, Levi has become the new covert spokesman for the naked-ninja cyclist movement.

This thing just keeps getting creepier by the minute.

I think we would all do wise to follow Mr. Johnson's advice on this one, and beware the cycling ninja, elusive creature of the night.  He carries neither light, nor shame.  God knows where he keeps his extra tube in case of punctures.

Pedal on!

1 comment:

  1. That last photo is very chuckle-worthy!

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