Recent bike-related news offers an answer to the oft-posed question, “I’m a police officer — when the hell am I going to need to know about pop culture?” The answer, of course, is when a sticker on a bicycle bearing an indie band name you’re oblivious to prompts the destruction of said bicycle with the jaws of life in order to extract a nonexistent explosive device.
To be fair, the band’s name — “This Bike is a Pipe Bomb” — isn’t quite like affixing a “NIN” or “The String Cheese Incident” sticker to your seat post, but still.
Authorities shut down four buildings at Ohio University after a police officer noticed a sticker that said “this bike is a pipe bomb” before learning the message was the name of a punk rock band, a university spokesman said.
Police noticed the sticker on a bicycle early Thursday, then blocked streets around the site, spokesman Jack Jeffery said. A bomb squad came from Columbus, about 65 miles away.
The squad pried the bike apart with a hydraulic device used to rescue accident victims, acting Athens Fire Chief Ken Gilbraith said. Once it was open, they saw there was no bomb.
Maybe the lesson here, if there is one, is that we should all affix Bikes not Bombs stickers to our steeds, just in case (and to show support for the folks at BNB. Go BNB!). Couldn’t hurt. Well, an unhealthy combination of fascism and dyslexia could cause some trouble there, I guess, but maybe I’m just cynical. Anyway, careful with those cultural references, folks.
So as long as we’re on the topic of obliviousness, I only recently came across Bike & Build, a scrappy org out of New York, that’s doing some good work with the young’ins. The group organizes cross-country bike tours for (fit) young adults who then pedal thousands of miles across the U.S., stopping along the way to help build affordable housing, educate the public, and raise money for groups that work on affordable-housing projects they designed. Sort of like a combo Habitat for Humanity, x-country bike tour, and summer camp. Sign the kids up, why don’t you?