If They Made A Movie About This, They Could Call It "Wired For Death"

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
if they made a movie about this they could call it wired for death

Many years ago, I was bombing my Zoke-Z1-equipped Klein down a trail in Ohio’s Caesar Creek park when I took a wrong turn and found myself heading towards a farmer’s field. I saw a flash, a glint, in midair fifty feet ahead of me and I jammed both brakes, coming to a heaving halt an arm’s length away from a brand-new bit of barbed wire strung across the trail, presumably at the farmer’s property line. It was at about the right elevation to catch me across the chest, but it would have caught a child at the neck.

Lacking a tool with which to cut the hazard down, I twisted up two large branches in the wire so it would be obvious to the less attentive then went on my way, my general contempt for man’s inhumanity to cyclist freshly reinforced. When I quit racing bikes and started focusing on cars, I figured I’d never see anything like that again. It would appear I was wrong.

Stringing barbed wire across roads is now Officially A Thing. It’s damaging PT Cruisers in Michigan. It’s terrifying pensioners in the UK. It’s cutting pedestrians in Pakistan.

The concept of booby-trapping or attacking random motorists is far from new; it’s been around as long as the car itself and will likely remain well into the future — but the nature and frequency of such incidents offers some insight into how motorists are viewed by the general public. The current recession has put a lot of people on foot. If (let’s not kid ourselves… as) that situation continues, it won’t be long before some genuine populist aggression starts to stir, however passively it might manifest itself.

Of course, where there’s a populist will, there’s a capitalist way. Perhaps BMW will bring the “wire-cutter” Roundel into production:

In the meantime — eyes up, and watch the behavior of cars ahead of you. But you’re doing that anyway, right?

Join the conversation
3 of 30 comments
  • Gessvt Gessvt on Jan 25, 2013

    I would have taken it one step further and came back the next day with wire cutters. What an a**hole. And I trump your Z1 with the XC400 (drilled forks for lightness!) on my Bridgestone MB-1, back in the day. Never made it to Caesar Creek, but we frequented the Poto up in Pinckney when I was a more adept rider.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Feb 05, 2013

    Is that a Commodore at :59 in the movie clip? It's Volvo-type headlamps are making me confused. When they show the back it looks like a Vauxhall Carlton. Side note: I love how when the S-Class runs over the tire spikes there's a nice bit of flame. Now I know why there's always a fire when I get a flat.

  • Fred Remember when radios were an option? Do you know you can use your phone to listen to any radio station in the world? This is just a whole waste of time.
  • Pig_Iron ASTC 3.0 AM radio was successfully demonstrated at CES. It is a common standard shared with terrestrial television, so the audio equipment is commonized for broadcasters. And no royalty fees to pay, unlike HDRadio which has been a less than stellar success. 📻
  • Art Vandelay Crimes that are punished with fines encourage abuse by those enforcing them. If it is truly dangerous to the public, maybe jail or give the offenders community service. People’s time tends to be very valuable to them and a weeks lost work would certainly make a high earner think twice. If it isn’t a big danger why are police enforcing it (outside of raising money of course). Combine it with a points system. When your points are gone you do a week imitating Cool Hand Luke.
  • Cha65697928 High earners should pay less for tickets because they provide the tax revenue that funds the police. 2-3 free speeding tix per year should be fair.
  • Art Vandelay So the likely way to determine one’s income would be via the tax return. You guys are going to be real disappointed when some of the richest folks pay no speeding fine the same way they minimize their taxes