Spike Bike

Since some people are talking guns and bikes in the previous post, I thought I’d bring up Bob Fishell’s old “Spike Bike” stories from the late 80s.

Bob wrote those stories in 1988 and 1989. One story was published in an issue of the now-defunct Cyclist magazine.

Bob told me a short while ago that cycling has changed, but motorists and politicians (mostly) have not. “The only thing that’s really changed,” says Bob, “is the vehicles the perps use. Spike, in his worst nightmare, could not have envisioned the proliferation of Navigators, Escalades, H2s, and Denalis now clogging the roads.”

“For my part, I still ride several days a week,” Bob continues. “And I still wish I had a rocket launcher with me.”

For your reading enjoyment, I present the Spike Bike Introduction.

With all the acrimony that’s been passed around about bikes vs. cars, I thought it would be a good time to talk about a really interesting ride….

It was a Friday. Fridays are usually good days because you have a lot of teenagers drinking and driving, plus a lot of people who are in a bad mood and in a hurry to get home from work. The factories usually pay on Friday, so you get a fair number of beer-commercial types cruising around in their 4X4s looking for some butt to kick while they’re knocking back a few brews. A cyclist’s paradise.

I stuck a full mag in my MAC-10 and put another one under the saddle. The gun fits into the water bottle cage pretty well, and it’s fairy light. I stuffed a couple of grenades in my jersey pockets and slipped my Rambo-knife into its sheath on the front fork. Just for good measure, I grabbed a thermite grenade and dropped it into the remaining jersey pocket. This is a little more weight than I usually carry, but it was Friday night after all.

Read more: Spike Bike Introduction.

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17 thoughts on “Spike Bike”

  1. Rick says:

    I love the old Spike Bike stories, are you going to link to all of them?

  2. Paul in Minneapolis says:

    HEHE. More than once I watched the missile skim the pavement, a trial of smoke leading from my fork mounted rocket launcher, as it homed in on the heat coming from the tail pipe. Not a big missile, just enough to blast the rear of the motor vehicle off… Then the next motorist blew their horn or screamed “get off the road” and the fantasy was gone”..

  3. Fritz says:

    Rick, all of the Spike Bike stories are archived here.

  4. Timmy V. says:

    Can we honestly, as cyclists, read this and find it anything but horrifyingly disgusting? Do we wonder why four-wheelers think poorly of us? Are they all *this *much of a second-class citizen in our eyes? Would we ever tolerate a fictional story where a KKK member was riding around on a bike having fun killing African Americans who had driven near them? We should be ashamed of ourselves if this is the kind of thing that entertains us.

    I hope no motorist who has a bad opinion of cyclists ever reads this. It should be taken off of this site.

  5. tadster says:

    Timmy, why don’t you go censor the whole internet for gosh sakes.

  6. Juan says:

    I feel the same as Timmy….We’ve all had those fantasies when a bad driver does us wrong, and I know the stories are meant for humor, but “Us vs. Them” gets us nowhere. I know many cyclists who post here don’t own a car, but like myself I’m sure there are many who do, and like myself just ride as often as possible. When I’m in my vehicle, I try extra hard to keep my eyes open for cyclists, and keep my patience…..I’m sure when I’m riding there are some drivers who are doing the same for me. I hope stories like these don’t change their minds.

  7. Timmy V. says:

    Because, tadster, the internet *could be used for community and education rather than divisiveness. I really enjoy this site, but honestly I thought this was almost unforgivable. It’s plain immaturity and bigotry. Do we think this story will do anything but provide a few belly laughs to a select number of extremely bitter cyclists? I want to *change the way our society works and make it ok to bike *and drive with respect and dignity on both ends of the spectrum. That’s one thing I thought this blog was doing and for the most part they have. This post, however, and specifically that story, do *not. We can’t hope to get very far in actual transformation if these are our methods. It’s not about censorship, it’s about humans treating humans like humans, on every side.

  8. tadster says:

    Timmy, the spike story is by no means meant as a method for societal transformation. It’s a story. Like all stories, some will find it amusing but it will by no means be universally entertaining.

    I’m in firm agreement with you that we ought to treat humans as humans and more so, be the change we wish to see in the world. But writing and reading a daydream story like this and actually committing the criminal behaviors described are completely separable acts.

    By the way, I think the story is less graphic than most prime time television.

  9. Timmy V. says:

    It’s very true that the act of reading a fantasy and the act of doing it are two different things. However, I think that’s beside the point. I wonder what the reaction would be (especially in this community) if a collection of stories published by a frustrated driver who continually got ‘stuck’ (I know, it’s a ridiculous word but this is probably what a driver would use) behind large groups of outrageous riders that detail how he fantasizes about putting spikes on his front bumper and running them all down would be here? I don’t find the two stories to be much different, even though they are most likely both stories.

    I find that possibly the difference here is like the difference between an MLK Jr and a Malcolm X. One said, ‘regardless of what they do to us we are to walk at a higher standard than any of us are currently holding ourselves to’, and the other said, ‘They want force? Let’s give it to ’em!’. I understand that CBB is *not advocating that we all arm ourselves and take vengeance on motorists by linking to these stories; what I *am saying is that it’s inappropriate regardless to even find this kind of thing funny when what we are explicitly striving for is a world where Bicyclists and motorists can cohabitate the roads in peace and safety. Publishing this sort of thing or giving it the thumbs up simply gives motorists more of a right to say, “See? They’re unreasonable any way! Look at what they think of us!”. I for one don’t want any blood on my hands in this conflict. If a driver chooses to hate me or find me to be irrational or unsafe, I don’t want it to be because I laugh at stories about people who drive being killed or anything else that I’ve done, I want it to be because he is ignorant or irrational himself. I would hope that’s how we all think. I don’t think this story pushes that goal forward.

    Also, I’ll easily concede the point that it’s less graphic than a lot of television (let alone movies). I don’t think that has any bearing on the discussion though, as saying something should be ok because it’s not as bad as something else that’s going on is a logical fallacy. The standard is outside of the general context and has to be so or else nothing can be reasonably expected on either side.

  10. Blue says:

    Timmy chill out man.

    If you don’t like a show on TV don’t you just turn the channel?

    You are taking this fictional story way too seriously.

    Just take a deep breath and relax. Other people have different perspectives than you, it’s not the end of the world.

    I enjoyed the story, its interesting to consider what differences, if any, there are between his fictional USA where killing a cyclist will result in no punishment and the real situation.

  11. Enhancement Smoker says:

    I am an extremely bitter cyclist, and I LOVED “Spike Bike”. So score one for the commutebybike.com team!

  12. Timmy V. says:

    Oh well… I guess I’ll concede the post since there are obviously more in favor of it here. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to convince more people. I will say that regardless of how others feel, changing our society is something I do take very seriously, and I think there’s no other way to approach it. If we don’t take it seriously then I don’t think anyone will and we’ll all just end up grumbling instead of actually changing things.

    I do want to point out one more time that it’s not the story in particular that irks me so much (although it does), but the fact that this community is voicing its support for it. I don’t feel like we’re any better than your garden variety road-rage motorist at this point, we’re just slightly less dangerous with less sheet metal to throw at those we’re upset at.

    Once again, and let me clear on this, how would we respond if we came across a ‘Commute by Car’ website where the drivers who we loathe so much had been giving two thumbs up to a story about massacring the annoying cyclists. I don’t think we would be nearly so ‘tolerant’. But, I’m probably wrong… Hopefully.

  13. Blue says:

    Oh no Timmy, you’ve owned this post.

    By word count you’ve totally dominated.

    You see my friend, we all agree with you 100%.

    None of us think killing cyclists should be acceptable or that killing motorists should be acceptable.

    And I think you know that.

    We’re with you.

    We just hear enough, “I am going to kill you Mother F***er” from motorists that we laugh at the reversed world of SpikeBike.

    That’s all. Most jokes are about things that are wrong anyway (Step by step stand up comedy, Greg Dean).

  14. Juan says:

    I still stand by Timmy. I enjoy a good fictional story, and again I know Spike Bike is pure entertainment, but things have changed….or maybe they should. There was a time when I would have sided against Timmy…I used to be an extremely bitter cyclist myself…but I think my age has mellowed me a bit. I found myself waving to more people on my commute today, and if felt pretty good….not for me, but for the other commuters that the cars I waved at might encounter. Maybe they’ll give them the same break they gave me. Cars will always be a part of our lifestyle, but only we can change our attitude towards them.

  15. Siouxgeonz says:

    With Timmy on this one, too. Why feed our violent side? http://www.progressive.org/mag/interview/utahphillips

  16. Jake says:

    I stumbled upon the Spike Bike stories online when I had just gotten home from a very disturbing bike ride with my father and sister. Loads of SUVs and cars went past mere inches to the left of us while leaning on the horn and shouting obscenities. I don’t know about you guys, but I hate to have my life endangered and then be yelled at for it! Reading the Spike Bike stories was very cathartic. Obviously I would never carry a rocket launcher with me when biking, but just the thought made me feel a little better.

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