UCI Worlds are currently being contested in Wollongong, a city in New South Wales nominally under the jurisdiction of the Australian state. But that’s merely a political fiction; the city is clearly governed by an avian junta. And they are extracting their blood price. Let us consider the evidence.
Exhibit A : This trespass warning that local magpies forced their sapient subjects to print. Exhibit B : Grace Brown, women’s time trial silver medalist and native Australian, confirmed that locals get no special treatment from the birds. “I’ve been swooped twice already since being here,” she told the Guardian . “So it’s not just the international athletes that are worried about it. I get pretty scared by magpies.”
Exhibit C : Testimony from Remco Evenepoel (“A fairly large bird came very close and it just kept following me. It was terrifying. But that’s Australia, apparently”), Stefan Küng (“Yeah, one of our guys has been attacked already by a magpie”), and a grim statistic: a cyclist died in 2019 after hitting a pole while swerving to avoid a magppie.
Exhibit D : Bauke Mollema has video of an attack by a magpie that occurred during a training ride. Exhibit E : He was also attacked (?) by a gull during the time trial. Exhibit F (Science Exhibit) : Magpies are not small birds, with wingspans between two and three feet, and they are extremely territorial, hence the swooping. An estimated nine percent of the large Australian magpie population becomes violently […]