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9.7.2 Spike Bike II: Showdown in the Wilderness


This article is from the Misc Bicycles FAQs, by various authors.

9.7.2 Spike Bike II: Showdown in the Wilderness

From: fish@ihlpa.ATT.COM (Bob Fishell)

Copyright (c) 1989 by Robert Fishell

[In the year 1998, one man fights the tyrrany of the automobile...]


The image of a white panel truck grew ominously in my helmet
mirror. The vehicle's speed and the faces of the two men inside left
little doubt as to their intentions. As they got closer, I saw what
they had in mind. The passenger had a four-foot section of heavy water
pipe stuck out the window, intending to play a little polo with Yours
Truly's skull. This would call for perfect timing, but then, it always
does. I faded towards the right shoulder, and the van did the same.
But then, at the last possible moment, instead of going off the road, I
darted in front of the van and went off on the left shoulder, into the
grass, throwing the bike into a controlled skid. The driver reacted the
way I'd hoped. He cut the wheel sharply to the left, still intent on
having his pal brain me, and lost it when he hit the brakes to avoid a
utility pole. The van skidded wildly, rolled onto its side, and slid to
a halt 100 feet down the road. I picked up the bike and rode over to
the wreck, tossed a grenade through a shattered back window, and sped
away. The explosion was spectacular, as the grenade touched off
something, a propane tank, maybe, inside the truck.

It gave me no satisfaction. This was the third one today, and I'd
only been out a couple of hours. My mood blackened, just as the smoke
from the plumbing truck blackened the sky. When would it end? "Spike,
m'boy (I said to myself), you need a vacation." I headed home, packed
up a few things, and caught the next flight to Calgary.

I needed to pick up a couple of Dura-Ace gruppos, anyway. Canada
had no Bicycle Act and no Japanese trade restrictions, unlike what was
left of the States, and I was really looking forward to getting to my
cabin and putting in a few days of mountain biking without having to
bring along an arsenal. After a couple of hours of tearing up and down
the trails, I found myself on the road, heading down the mountain and
into town. I could do with some breakfast. I heard a roar behind me,
the unmistakeable sound of knobby tires. I looked back to see a jacked-
up Jeep Cherokee following me down the twisting, gravel road. Nothing
to worry about, I thought, this is Alberta, after all. I hadn't lost my
instincts though, and I kept an eye on it. As soon as it was close
enough for me to see the Illinois plates, I sprang into action, heading
for some rocks near the edge of the road. He barely missed me, and put
some big gouges in the side of the Jeep as he sideswiped the boulder I
cut behind.

It was two men, American men. Just my luck. Goddam tourists, and
drunken ones at that. They didn't stop to inspect the damage, just threw
a bag of empty beer cans and cigarette butts in my direction, and sped
off down the road. I didn't have so much as a firecracker with me, and
I stood there, impotent, shaking with rage and frustration.

A clear head soon returned, though. There were no motels in the
little town at the foot of the mountain, just a grocery store and a
couple of restaurants. They could only be staying at one or two places,
campgrounds up the mountain. They would be back, probably soon. I made
a few preparations down the road and doubled back to the spot where I
first encountered them. No more than 45 minutes passed before I once
again spotted the roaring blue Cherokee coming up the road, laden, no
doubt, with beer and junk food for another day's revelry. I hefted the
bag of garbage they'd tossed out before and waited behind a rock. As
they roared past, I hurled the bag at the driver, shouting "hey a****le,
you dropped something!" It hit him in the head.

As I expected, he slammed on the brakes and skidded to a halt,
manhandling the Jeep to get it turned around on the narrow mountain
road. By the time he got it straightened out, I was a good 200 yards
ahead of him, which was all I needed. I kept him in sight, making sure
he wouldn't lose me, as I headed down the old fire road from which I'd
removed the barricades. The surface was bumpy, barely navigable for
both me and the Jeep, but it would get a lot worse -- for them. I
spotted them closing in behind me, nearly bouncing out of their seats.
That's it, butt-brain, watch me and not the road. Just a little
farther. Atop a sharp rise, a chasm 10 feet wide and perhaps 40 feet
deep cut accross the old road. The bridge had long since collapsed, but
I'd laid a foot-wide plank accross the abyss. I shot accross with the
Jeep nearly on my back wheel. As the heavy vehicle lurched over the
edge, the plank snapped like a toothpick and it and the Jeep tumbled to
the floor of the ravine.

After a while, I peered over the edge. The only sound from below
was the babble of the little stream at the chasm's floor, which now ran
streaked with red from under the wreckage, carrying away beer cans and
little scraps of trash. What a shame, to pollute such a pristine
wilderness. Before I headed back to Chicago, I would call the RCMP --
anonymously -- and tell them about the mess. In the mean time, I had a
couple of days to take it easy, breathe the clean mountain air, and get
in some more trail riding. After today, though, I'd tuck my 9mm
Browning into one of the panniers, just in case I ran into some
unfriendly critters, like bears. Or more tourists from the States.


Last Week's Survey Results:

So far, 30 of you have responded. 29 of you liked Spike #1 and wanted
to see more, and 27 of those wanted MORE VIOLENCE!!! A couple of
well-meaning souls offered serious critiques, which I have politely
ignored, and one reader says he did not like the story (sorry Joe,
I guess you're the only one with good taste. Why do you read the
net then???).

I had not intended to post another Spike episode so soon, but with so
many of you screaming for more blood, fire, and destruction, how
could I refuse? Just don't expect one _every_ week. I have in
mind that Spike Bike will be a limited series, culminating in
a cataclysmic struggle between Good and Evil in the streets of
Detroit, the new Babylon of Post- Economic Holocaust America.

Economic Holocaust? See the next episode.


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