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  • Urban Cryptids: The Cyclist

  • The Cyclist is one of the more common varieties of cryptid you will encounter in your urban landscape. Found in almost all densely populated areas, nobody actually knows these mysterious cycle-dwellers actually work or live. They appear to largely be bike messengers or food delivery workers, but surely we have robots for most of those things now?

    There are two main varieties of Cyclist. While they share some similarities there is one big difference. If you encounter the Cyclist Vigilante you have wronged one of them and you should flee for your life.

    Cyclist Hipster

    The most common Cyclist you will encounter is the Cyclist Hipster. This cryptid can be seen in your neighborhood, always on bike. While they may or may not have a funny cap on they will always appear to be somehow worn about the edges, as if the world they inhabit is just a little scarier than the one you or I inhabit. You probably recognize your neighborhood Cyclist Hipster but your only chance of knowing their name is if they get coffee at the same time as you and the barista is brand new and didn't hear about them from the rest of the staff yet. And honestly, that's probably not their real name anyway, just the pseudonym they've adopted for this facsimile of human ritual they mimic.

    While intimidating, the Cyclist Hipster is generally far more interested in themself, bike maintenance, and complaining about both their local alderman and the department of transportation's new scheme to make the city less friendly to Cyclists.

    Cyclist Vigilante

    While generally harmless, please do be kind to your neighborhood Cyclist Hipster. Each of them has a rapidly dwindling patience for non Cyclist bullshit. You can't tell what it is that will set them off, but one day something inside them will break and they will find themselves reborn as a Cyclist Vigilante. The Vigilante is a terror. Like a Poltergeist it is infused with the power of both righteousness and absolute hate for whomever, or whatever, has wronged it.

    You can spot a Cyclist Vigilante by the haunted look in their eyes, and the blood spattered on the chain around their torso. The one that looks too heavy just for locking up their fixie. Caution. Do not anger the Cyclist Vigilante. While they are mollified by vengeance upon the person to finally break their spirit, many of them do not manage to take down their primary target and so their rage continues unchecked night after night. Always looking for a target.

    I once saw a middle-aged man in a sedan cut off a Cyclist Vigilante. It was so fast. The chain was somehow no longer around his waist but in his hand swinging like a morning star. The chain was denting and cracking pieces of the mans car as he tried, unsuccessfully to drive away. The last I saw before both of them vanished up the street was the unfortunate man screaming out the window at the Cyclist Vigilante as his car was taken apart piece by piece around him. (Let's be honest. The asshole deserved whatever he got. This isn't a story about how awful the Cyclist Vigilante is, just an example of what could happen to you if you are the sort of prick who endangers the lives of people on bikes because you can't be bothered to check your mirrors.)