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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Humor: Local bicycling superstitions


Like avoiding black cats, finding four leaf clovers and throwing salt behind you, there are many strange ways to enhance or damage your luck. Bicycling is no different, so here are a few ways you can score well with the omnipresent bike spirits of Davis.


  1. Never park your bike in the second to far right rack on the day of an important test. This will result in a poor grade. If you have no other parking options, place your bike upside down so the evil academia spirits will deem you crazy and leave you alone.
  2. Never bike under the bridge near Olson Hall at midnight. This happened in 2003 to a student named Ed Graham, who disappeared at the stroke of midnight while under the bridge. Folklore says that if you do go under the bridge on the anniversary of his disappearance, his ghost will shout “on your left.”
  3. Never talk to someone for more than five minutes while mounted on a bike. This isn’t because it’s uncomfortable, but rather because the soul that inhabits the bicycle will get bored and feel like “a third wheel.”
  4. A sacrificial rite never hurts. If you want your bicycle to have extra protection from the elements, try finding another bicycle that’s in good condition, then sacrifice it by setting it on fire in front of a shrine dedicated to Lance Armstrong. If he is kind and merciful, your bike will be blessed with an eternal repair warranty. If he is angry and wrathful, you’ll be charged millions of dollars for illegal doping.
  5. Never inflate only one of your tires. Always give the other tire just a little bit while you’re at it. If you only refill one tire, the other will get jealous and cause your bike to crash at an inopportune moment.
  6. Never refill your tires on a Monday morning before 9:00 a.m. Because nothing good happens on a Monday morning before 9:00 a.m.
  7. Never bike while drunk. Just don’t.
  8. There is a magic bicycle route in Downtown Davis. If you take a bike to 226 F St., 228 G St., then 217 E St. and wait 10 minutes, you’ll be met by an angry demon in the shape of a police officer because those addresses belong to popular bars and you clearly didn’t read #7.
  9. Never bike straight through the center of a roundabout. This is a matter of life and death. If you happen to bike through a roundabout, you’ll be haunted by the ghosts of people who died in bike crashes. The only way to break the curse is to draw a pentagram in the center of the roundabout, mutter phrases in Latin, strip naked in the center and sacrifice a drop of your blood to the evil bicycle spirits. Another alternative is to pay Transportation & Parking Services a $20 fine and everything will be cool.
  10. Wearing a helmet could mean the difference between the future and the past. Rumor has it that if you were to wear a helmet backwards and bike at 90 miles per hour, you would be able to travel back in time. Unfortunately, you can only travel back as far as the point when you started bicycling, so it’s more of a waste of time, really.
  11. Never order food from a drive-thru on a bicycle. This will upset automobile drivers, confuse the restaurant staff and will not even get significant attention on YouTube.
  12. It’s good luck to stop and say hello to a friend while biking. Not only will greeting a friend potentially brighten up their day, but rumor has it that your guiding angel will visit you in your dreams and say, “Wazzzup. Saw you there and thought I’d say hello.”
  13. Beware of Halloween. It’s bad luck to trick or treat while on a bicycle. If you do, you’ll be kidnapped by aliens who will not only think you’ve dressed up as ET and his earthling kid friend, but also demand all your Reese’s Pieces.

You can reach EVAN LILLEY at etlilley@ucdavis.edu.


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