Saturday, July 30, 2016

WTF Rio? - Four Wheels Bad, Two Wheels Better - But Very Hazardous

(Caution: Graphic Content Below)

So... Traffic in Rio sucks.
Duh.

Tons of motorcyclists and scooters practice lane splitting and filtering and oddly enough, no one cuts them off or actively tries to kill them for moving faster through the traffic.
(Which is what the legislators try to tell us here in the US.
If you drive down the dividing line between two lanes of traffic, someone will merge into you or intentionally cut you off because it's not fair! Blood in the Streets!")
It works here for the Cariocas- bikers (and scooter..ers) slip through the traffic quickly.

As I sit in traffic, I really wish I could use a bike here...
Thursday we went from the Olympic Park in Barra to Copacabana...
It took nearly 2 hours- for a 42km trip...
Back home that's about a 20 minute trip.
35 tops if it's on surface roads.
I would love to ride a motorcycle here to cut down on travel time.
After a little research on Bike Life in Rio, I've changed my tune.
The scary thing for me is the major inherent danger of riding a bike- Decapitation.

Seriously.

This is a cop bike at the airport- see the antenna looking thing on the handlebars?
It's not for the AM/FM receiver.

During the winter, it's kite season.
And there are two fun pastimes for kids- Kite fighting - like in the book 'The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini - and when the wind is right, dive bombing motorcyclists as they ride by the favelas.

So most bikes are outfitted with a kite string catcher...






The kite fighting is actually more dangerous to motorcyclists-

Every year there are about 500 motorcyclist injured by kite strings.
Two kites engage in battle, one's string is cut and the kite falls, the string trailing behind it, often lying across a heavily-traveled highway.
So- the motorcyclist travels along and catches a kite string across the neck or face.
Ouch.
Ant to make it worse, it's not just regular string- that would be bad enough- they amp it up here in Rio.
The old practice of coating your string with glue and ground glass (referred to as Cerol) has been outlawed...
but there is new product called 'linha Chilena' containing aluminum oxide and quartz power- and it's a shitload stronger than Cerol...

So this is why you need that antenna on the front of your bike:






Jeebus...

I'll just stay in the car... Forget the bike.

As Chef said "Never get out of the boat."...

TBG

5 comments:

Andrew Wetzel said...

Holy carp. Never heard of getting clotheslined by kites down in Rio.

What next, flaming hookers?

Great site, working on catching up your archives.

Ben Catoe said...

Maybe rig up something to catch the string and pull the Myers into traffic. Turnabout is fair play.

Old NFO said...

Wow, I thought it was bad downrange...

Ben Catoe said...

Myers=kiters dang autocorrect

Meanwhile, TBG is famous (again). Local news had his smiling mug yesterday.

Ben Catoe said...

In a related event, passed under a partially down utility line on Ft Caroline last night. Was dark enough that I didn't see it until the last second. Passed about 2 feet over my head and was on the ground on the far side of the road. Startled the crap out of me. Damn Kiters!