BikePGH!

Bumper bike strikes again!

This topic contains 278 replies, has 87 voices, and was last updated by  Vannevar 2 mos.

Viewing 39 posts - 241 through 279 (of 279 total)
 
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cburch

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Jul 20 2012 at 3:14pm #

Exactly. Thank you for expressing my concerns so well!


Pierce

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Jul 20 2012 at 3:49pm #

My memory is not so good, but I seem to recall him being at some party before. I think it was at FreeRide, but this could be a total figment of my imagination.

I don’t know Aaron’s life story either, but I cannot imagine being invited to hang out with people who recognize you and are generally interested in your well being is a bad thing.

I don’t know what a celebrity is or how they’re treated, but I’m treating Aaron like somebody I’d like to see at a party that’s about riding bikes around the city. Aaron has contributed to that.

@stefb

What do you suggest? Or what does somebody else suggest that knows his family or more about his background? I don’t think it’s within my power at the moment to change this guy’s life, but we can give him some respite from it for an evening, if he’s interested.


Ken Kaminski

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Jul 21 2012 at 4:33am #

He’s one of us.


StuInMcCandless

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Jul 21 2012 at 1:47pm #

I’d tread cautiously. Myself, I don’t go to Bike Fest parties for the same reason I don’t go to any other noisy parties: I don’t enjoy them. I didn’t in high school or college, and I haven’t since.

If we really wanted to do something for Aaron, I’d first find out what he wanted, and what would do him the most good and the least harm.


cburch

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Jul 21 2012 at 2:21pm #

Exactly.


Ken Kaminski

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Jul 21 2012 at 2:23pm #

I’m open to persuasion here. I just don’t understand why going to a party with a lot of nice, mild-mannered folks is likely to harm Aaron.


stefb

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Jul 21 2012 at 3:07pm #

Sometimes parties are too much for people with psychological issues, diagnosed, or undiagnosed.


Pierce

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Jul 21 2012 at 3:11pm #

Alright, shall we keep an eye out for Aaron and find out what he could use? I haven’t seen him myself in maybe a year


StuInMcCandless

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Jul 21 2012 at 11:14pm #

Just one example, if he has an alcohol dependency problem, being in a roomful of beer might not be the best thing to happen to him.


Ken Kaminski

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Jul 22 2012 at 4:12am #

You guys have put enough doubt into me that I’m balking. I’m super disappointed :(


StuInMcCandless

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Jul 22 2012 at 9:09am #

No, just take advantage of the opportunity to help him by actually helping him, not just help him have someone else’s idea of a good time. That’s not something to be disappointed about, just a little more work.


Pierce

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Jul 22 2012 at 11:32am #

For the record, I agree with your sentiments about parties in general


Anonymous

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Jul 23 2012 at 2:43pm #

I was riding on Ellsworth around that new pedestrian bridge and saw a bumper on the side of the road. Hope that wasn’t his, but it made me think of the bumper cyclist.


RustyRed

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Sep 12 2013 at 8:37pm #

So, at dinner tonight, I see a car bumper and a bike laid out on a sidewalk in Oakland; I become gravely concerned that we’ve just rolled up on a bike vs car accident… as I get closer, I realize it’s Bumper Dude’s ride.

Then, after reading this thread I’m saddened to recall that his ride was in front of a bar. :(


Ahlir

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Sep 12 2013 at 9:29pm #

@RustyRed: That sounds awful… I hope it wasn’t an accident. Or Aaron.

I most recently ran into Aaron while riding through some part of Homewood (earlier this summer). He seemed in good spirits and we gave each other a wave. Though he did seem a bit less spirited than I remembered.

The mental health clinic in Bloomfield shut down a while ago, maybe one reason we don’t see him along our normal bikeways so much anymore.

Anyway, do let’s try to be nice to him (I’m saying this after skimming through the last few pages of this topic). Talk to him, give him a few bucks if he asks; the light will change and you can just ride away. And remember: there but for the grace of the god(s) go I.


RustyRed

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Sep 12 2013 at 9:35pm #

Ahlir wrote:@RustyRed: That sounds awful… I hope it wasn’t an accident. Or Aaron.

No, I’m sorry, I didn’t express that very well, did I? *smacks self in head*
…it looked like (after a second look) he had it parked in front of Chief’s and it just fell over. (It’s alarming to see a bumper and a bike lying on the sidewalk!)
If he’s in Chief’s, I’m sad to see he’s still having alcohol issues.


Pierce

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Sep 14 2013 at 1:22am #

Saw him today in East Liberty with a snazzy orange bumper, seemed fine


wbt85

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Sep 15 2013 at 1:06am #

Saw him yesterday on s.millvale in Bloomfield, talked for a bit. Always enjoy talking with him, see him on the streets about once a month.


devohelmetguy

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Dec 27 2013 at 5:21pm #

Aaron in good spirits a few days ago. His front v-brake was busted and he was looking for a helmet. I don’t bump into him very often. I know folk here have helped out in the past and are likely in closer contact. Please let me know if you’re in touch with him. It’d be great to at least fix his front brakes.


TeamDecaf

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Dec 28 2013 at 4:50pm #

Yeah, I saw him last week, happy it seemed. On that day he had replaced his bumper with a hubcap. When I asked about it, he said “All the people in the way.” He repeated something over and over, but I couldn’t understand what he was saying.

He said he would ride along with me for awhile, but took a turn in another direction.


gg

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Dec 29 2013 at 5:09pm #

I know someone that knows him. He is living in Verona for the moment, but that could change fast.


Pierce

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Dec 29 2013 at 10:22pm #

Hmm… I talked to Aaron a few weeks ago in East Liberty and saw him recently there too

He was agitated with the Port Authority, but otherwise seemed merry


Benzo

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Dec 30 2013 at 9:38am #

Ran in to him in Bloomfield last week, the day after Christmas. He flagged me down urgently and asked for a few bucks to get something to eat. He seemed to be repeating himself a lot and acting a bit erratic. Regardless, I gave him some petty cash to help him out. Hope he’s doing alright.


Ahlir

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Jan 1 2014 at 10:33pm #

It’s been a few months since I’ve seen him. The last few posts are worrisome… it’s as if he hasn’t been getting to the clinic recently.


TeamDecaf

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Jan 1 2014 at 10:41pm #

I remembered something else Aaron said about why he replaced his bumper with a hub cap. He said everyone wanted to take his picture. Thinking back, that seemed to agitate him a little, just a little.


devohelmetguy

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Jan 2 2014 at 3:03pm #

I’ve taken and shared pictures at his request. I wouldn’t do that otherwise. Here’s the car-bike setup. I’m with Benzo on helping out with coffee and food. Let’s coordinate to make sure he’s OK. It’s too cold to be outside let alone riding without gloves


TeamDecaf

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Jan 5 2014 at 8:34pm #

Here’s a picture from today (1-05-2014). On Penn Ave near Giant Eagle and Trader Joe’s. He asked me to take the picture, then said “take another.”

The toy truck is tied on with a necktie – I thought that was inventive. And like the last time I saw him, he also has a hubcap and no bumper.

I asked “I heard you were living in Verona?” He replied “My girlfriend kicked me out.” He said he was “living on the street.”

I gave him some cash, wished him well.

He kept repeating the words to a song “It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white. It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, you see?”

Hmmm, not sure what to think of the whole encounter – how much do I actually believe what he says? – I want to believe him, and I hope he has a place during the next few frigid days.


gg

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Jan 5 2014 at 8:56pm #

He doesn’t have a home according to the guy I know that knows him, but he sometimes gets a place to sleep here and there. He was in Verona for a bit, but maybe that didn’t work out? I will ask more about him next time I see that dude that knows him. I was hoping he found a place to live in Verona, since he has been there for a bit. He may be on the move again. Not sure.


Ahlir

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Jan 27 2014 at 6:31pm #

What might be Aaron’s bike has been parked in front of the Mad Mex on Highland for a bit. As of maybe a few days ago it had a black bumper attached. That’s gone. The hubcap is there (but a piece is broken off, on the ground to the left. The red and black thing looks to be a toy truck.

The bike is not chained. But I somehow doubt it will get stolen (more likely a scavenger will snag it); the back wheel is badly bend and the bike can’t be ridden.

Does anyone know the story, if there is one? While I was poking around, a couple of workers from one of the restaurants were having a smoke outside and seemed to maybe know something. I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask them.

If you follow that Tag-o-Rama thing on an adjoining thread, I should say that this was going to be my pick. But on reflection I struck me that using it would be a wrong, especially if something had happened to Aaron. On the other hand if you read this far, think of this post as a free clue. The tag at bat is not all that far away.

[Note: I realize that this bike is different from the one(s) in the snaps above from a couple of weeks ago. So maybe I'm just imagining things; but it did have a bumper attached at some point...]


Jacob McCrea

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Jan 27 2014 at 6:58pm #

I saw him on the 14th in Bloomfield. I was having lunch at Tessaro’s; he rolled by on a bike that was in much better shape than the one pictured above. It had a hubcap affixed to the handlebars. When we walked out he was outside the coffee shop on the side street; he heckled us from the other side of the street as we walked to the car. So, as of the 14th he was alive and well, and hopefully still is.


devohelmetguy

Private Message

Jan 27 2014 at 7:02pm #

Car bike looks dead :( He was out and about yesterday on another bumper bike. I believe he’s sleeping outside in this weather. That’s very rough.

They didn’t teach me how to help humans at robot school so it’d be great if someone familiar with available services could speak up.

And if anyone from Sunoco is on the board please hook him up with a sponsorship deal.


byogman

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Jan 27 2014 at 8:25pm #

This thread makes me sad, and more than a little uncomfortable. Some people have it really hard for what reason or reasons. Nobody much wants to talk about it when they’re going through it let alone have others talking about it.

Ignoring those who need help doesn’t solve anything either. So I don’t know. I’ll just say that a man with so much devotion to biking and clearly some mechanical skills to go with would probably be quiet decent at making or fixing bikes or bike related stuff and should make enough from it not to sleep on the street. Someone has to believe in this guy first though.


Vannevar

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Jan 27 2014 at 8:54pm #

Ben you are such a fine person. I think Aaron’s situation has more to do with our failure to have a comprehensive, effective, caring mental health system than nobody believing in him. And it’s a shame either way.

EditToAdd: that’s not a knock on the caregivers and folks in that field. Society’s budget, priorities, decisions and systems are inadequate.


Ahlir

Private Message

Jan 27 2014 at 9:00pm #

@byogman: I agree with your sentiment.

I don’t know what I can do for Aaron but I think it’s important to work to maintain awareness in our community. I’d rather he be someone familiar, even at second remove. Enough so that you’re ok with waving to him as you ride by, or giving him a couple of bucks if he asks.

I really like the idea of maybe getting him connected to some sort of practical bike activity (like repairs). But making that work is really hard, and it’s a job for professionals. I speak as someone who had tried, over many years, to get a bipolar friend on their feet and functional. It was very, very hard. I failed. And I no longer see how good intentions and energy on their own can accomplish anything enduring. But it is doable.

Also keep in mind that in our current political narrative people like Aaron are “moochers” who are owed nothing and deserve to be ignored and trampled into the ground. That’s not right. Remember this in November and vote for people who promise to reject this hatred.


buffalo buffalo

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Jan 27 2014 at 9:12pm #

I saw him semi-recently—was riding down Liberty, and he wandered over from where he’d been to wave and say hi. I’ve seen him once or twice but never spoken to him; it seemed to be just a general hey to another biker on the road. Not sure what date; it’s been over a week since I’ve been on my bike, however. I think it was the corner at the Crazy Mocha, but I might be off by a block either direction.


byogman

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Jan 27 2014 at 11:54pm #

I know some things about mental illness. Enough to say that good intentions can count for a lot less than it seems they should. The enemy is in the control room.

But one thing that does count for more than it seems it should is having something to do, something you have to do, a routine around which you can build a day that feels normal, lets you see yourself in a normal way and doesn’t leave you constantly drowning in the poisonous bullshit your mind is feeding you. The most common good answer to that question is a job.

It’s not the whole answer by any means. As has correctly been pointed out our system is a disgraceful shambles… real continuous and responsive care is a must for all and right now almost nobody really has it, and many (generally those with the worst diagnosis) have nothing at all but doctors that see them for a few minutes at a time in hospitals and well meaning but also overburdened staff with nothing enduring at all to come of it. But even if you fix all that, still no stable productive routine to center you? Any grip on things is very tenuous indeed.


StuInMcCandless

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Feb 24 2014 at 7:19am #

I finally met him in person, rather than seeing him out riding. I walked into Big Idea for a quick bite & drink, and a book, and there he was, chatting with the cashier. We had a nice little chat about how he helped develop the DeLorean car, and how he planned to fly his helicopter to Florida soon. He seems genuinely sincere about whatever he’s talking about, and is very easy to talk with.

If this is mental instability, there are several other people in my world who appear less stable than that.


byogman

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Aug 26 2014 at 9:18pm #

Chatted with him for a while sidelined with cramps on the teamdecaf ride. He was sans bike and talking about going to California to film something related to bumper bike, bike pittsburgh, etc…

Very personable, started off by asking if I was ok, which I was, but was appreciated. The way he talked up bike pittsburgh was sweet. Being hugged was really unexpected.

I hope he gets something out of these flights of fancy and doesn’t crash too hard from them. I hope something a little more grounded actually turns out for him (like, previously mentioned, a steady job). We did get to the fact that his current situation is very bad. I gave him some money for food.


Vannevar

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Aug 26 2014 at 9:41pm #

I saw him Sunday with a great bumper bike combo in bloomfield. He looked hard pressed.

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