20180128_110708January 28, 2018 (VA) Local shoppers at Potomac Mills were shocked when a dangerous carnivorous bicycle was discovered hiding in plain sight behind the Bahama Breeze.

Thomas Parnam (27) of Lorton was cutting behind the restaurant from the AMC 18 movie theater and spotted it on the ground near a small tree. His first thought was that it was simply an abandoned bicycle and he approached it to see if it was locked. It wasn’t until it snapped at him that he realized how close he’d come to being eaten.

“It was acting wounded,” Parnam said. “The derailleur appeared to have come off the rear wheel and the chain was hanging loose. It had a nice chrome green paint job. When I got closer, it suddenly reared up off the ground and had a go at me.”

He ran into Potomac Mills and called mall security, who rushed into action and cordoned off the area around the composite framed beast.

“That young man is a hero,” said Sylvio Manbun, head of mall security. “This could have been a real tragedy. A carnivorous hunting bicycle might have had struggled to devour an adult human, but if a small child or elderly person had come too close, we’d be looking at a very nasty scene.”

Resident experts from the nearby Olde Town Bicycles shop were summoned to the scene to handle the dangerous creature. As a horde of onlookers cheered them on from a safe distance, the brave bicycle wranglers surrounded the bike, which spun vicious carbon fiber wheels and even rang a small bell attached to the handlebars as they closed in on it.

“You can’t be too careful with these things,” said Max Silverhammer of Olde Town Bicycles. “They may look like a harmless domesticated two-wheeled, non-motorized conveyance, even down to a well-known manufacturers label on the frame… this one was clearly marked as a Glendale… but that’s just clever camouflage to lure the unsuspecting victim close enough for them to pounce.”

More normally found in the wild, often in proximity to mountain bike trails, carnivorous hunter bicycles (habebat vehentem Laufmaschine ) typically hide beneath piles of leaves or sometimes lean up against trees.

“We’ve been seeing them in urban areas more and more,” Silverhammer added. “As their natural habitats continue to be encroached, we’re going to see more of this, especially in the lean winter months when hunger drives them to more populated areas, looking for food. It’s sad really as they’re magnificent creatures and really misunderstood. This one, for instance, is really quite beautiful despite being so deadly.”

Olde Time Bicycle wranglers quickly secured the beast and sedated it. “We’ll take him out to the country, there’s a nice downhill track where we’ve relocated several others over the last couple of months. I’m sure he’ll be fine, and will soon be feeding on his usual diet of lost children and despondent hikers in no time.”

Thomas Parnam, for one, will be a little more cautious the next time he sees a seemingly abandoned bicycle. “Just because it isn’t locked up or appears to be broken, that doesn’t mean it can’t still be dangerous,” he said. “I’ve learned my lesson.”

Olde Town Bicycles urges anyone who thinks they’ve seen a carnivorous hunting bicycle to contact local law enforcement and don’t attempt to take matters into their own hands. “You’d be surprised,” said Silverhammer, “but people think that just because it looks familiar, it can be easily handled. Leave it to the professionals. We don’t want anyone losing a finger in the wheels or getting a pant leg torn in the chain mechanism. It’s just not worth it.”

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