Back in the bad old days, a cyclist was required to fly a flag on their bike of they wanted to ride DALMAC.
Obviously I’d wear a blinking jersey before I’d attach a flag to my bike. Now, in some cases, I can understand flying a flag on the back of a bike. A friend of mine rides a hand bike trike that’s so low, a flag absolutely makes sense:
Riding in a pack of eight cyclists in a pace line, a flag isn’t going to matter, even a little bit:
Dude, if a motorist can’t see that adding a flag isn’t going to help.
I was a little surprised when my buddy Phill picked up a flag on the way out of check-in. I hollered after him, “Dude, what’s up with the flag?!” He replied, “Yard art”.
I thought about that a second. Brilliant. I grabbed one too:
In fact, now that I’m paying attention as I drive around, Phill and I aren’t alone. While it would be a stretch to say they’re everywhere, most of the people I know who rode the ride have a flag from one year or another in their yard.
Let’s face it, in terms of cool fitness swag to show off, that flag says a lot. It is first, and obviously, a bike flag. First, it says, “We’re fathers, mothers, sons and daughters and we’re everywhere, even though you might despise us, we don’t deserve to die because we like to ride a bicycle. Please be aware.” Second, if one accepts the idea that a century is the “marathon” of cycling, doing three, almost four over four days in a row is pretty awesome.
In fact, I wouldn’t mind seeing a bike flag flown in the yard of every cyclist, just for the first reason. Just sayin’.
Oh, and sad to say, the bike is not a part of the yard art. That gets safely locked away, obviously.