BikePortland

A ‘white-boy electro-rap’ ode to the Idaho Stop


Self-described web developer, musician and bike geek T. J. VanSlyke, a Portland resident, has a track on his new album about the Idaho Stop law. VanSlyke describes his music as “white-boy electro rap” and the “Idaho Stop” track appears on his album “I Sold Out But No One Bought Me.”

Before sharing some of the song’s lyrics, here’s some background on the Idaho Stop for all of you who are not familiar…
Idaho Stop refers to a law on the books in the great state of Idaho wherein people on bicycles are not required to come to a complete stop before proceeding (safely, of course) through an intersection. Oregon made a very serious bid at a similar law back in 2009, but after several setbacks — including some inaccurate news coverage, some unlikely opposition (that turned out not to be), and the unfortunate timing of a personnel change at the BTA — the bill failed to win necessary support from legislators.

VanSlyke’s tune describes his encounter with the police after getting a ticket for rolling a stop sign. Here are some of the lyrics:

“Rollin on up to M.L.K., piggie to my left and I ride away… take a right turn over too many lanes, piggie don’t like that rolls my way. Piggie don’t like that rolls my way…

Roll through a stop sign looking both ways, piggie flips his sirens makes his quota today.”

And the chorus:

“This is the story about one little pig blew the money out the wallet of one punk kid. This is for all you cyclists out there who think running stop signs ain’t no serious affair.”

T. J. emailed to say the inspiration for the song came from a June 28th incident where he was cited for three moving violations (failure to obey a stop sign, improper right turn, and failure to obey a no left-turn sign) near the intersection of SE Yamhill and Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd.

T. J. admits he made the illegal maneuvers but said he did so because he was, “Unfamiliar with that stretch of MLK and was uncomfortable remaining on such a busy thoroughfare.” He did “Idaho Stop” as, “a tribute to cyclists who believe they should be permitted exceptions to the rules of the road and given privileges above and beyond those of automobiles.”

Listen to Idaho Stop and the entire album at T.J.’s page on BOP.fm (might be NSFW, so put your headphones on). The album is due out next month. Learn more about T.J. at TJVanSlyke.com.

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