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Old 10-21-05, 12:25 PM   #1
caloso
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To the Wrongway Cyclist on Freeport Blvd.

Dear Wrongway Cyclist:

This morning about 6:05am near Executive Airport you were traveling north in the bike lane of southbound Freeport Boulevard, which is to say in the wrong direction. I was traveling south. I was wearing my Cal Cycling jersey and riding a Trek 5200 outfitted with a Cygo-Light Night Rover and a Planet Bike blinkie. I don't know what you were riding or what you were wearing except that you had no light or blinkie, that your clothing was dark, that you had no helmet, and that your bike is in such bad need of tuning and lubing that I heard you before I saw you.

I called you a "genius" but I trust you understood that I meant that ironically. I cursed you with some strong words for being a hazard to both yourself and me. And I suggested that if you wouldn't ride in the proper direction, wouldn't use a light or blinkie or wouldn't wear a helmet, would you at least carry an organ donor card.

I do not apologize for this. In fact, if I come across you tomorrow morning, I'll have some even more colorful words for you. But know that I have said a prayer for you, asking Our Lady of Ghisallo and St. Christopher to intervene on behalf of your safety. I hope that the old saying is true, that God takes care of children, drunks, and fools, because it is clear that you qualify as at least one of those categories.

Good luck. If you continue to cycle this way, you'll need it.
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Old 10-21-05, 12:46 PM   #2
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Stop this guy and have a heart to heart chat with him or her.

This is the kind of cyclist that is never going to look here and probably would not look into this particular "folder" anyway.

These are exactly the folks that can use just a touch of education.

Be nice and explain the situation... don't be preachy or militant, be friendly and persuasive. And bring some chain lube and show him how it makes the bike so much faster when used right.

If he doesn't get it then... make sure you are on the "inside" of any future encounters. Force him out into traffic for a real head to head look at what is going on.
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Old 10-21-05, 12:56 PM   #3
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I would play chicken with him with the goal of making him go down.
I hate those morons.
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Old 10-21-05, 01:03 PM   #4
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I realize that the Genius isn't likely to be scanning BF or, for that matter, even having access to a computer. But I like Genec's take. Maybe I'll just swing around and follow her (I think it was a her) for a few hundred meters and try to give some helpful advice.

I also realize that this is probably a working poor person trying to get to work and she probably thinks she doesn't have the money for a light or helmet. I'd almost be willing to give her one of my old ones if I thought she'd use it. And go in the right direction!
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Old 10-21-05, 01:35 PM   #5
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Said person may not even be a working poor person. They may simply be poor. We have quite a few homeless persons with access to bikes. I do commend you on offering a spare helmet. I wish I could do the same for some of the folks I have encountered in Denver.
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Old 10-21-05, 03:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by caloso
But I like Genec's take. Maybe I'll just swing around and follow her (I think it was a her) for a few hundred meters and try to give some helpful advice.
Be careful! Riding the wrong way can be hazardous.
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Old 10-21-05, 04:17 PM   #7
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I was hit head on by a drunk no-light wrong-way cyclist, some high school kid. I was moving at my usual speeds, pretty blinking fast at that time. Probably faster than "safe" - but not that fast. Maybe upper 20s. The idiot's wheel hit mine and slammed into the axle. Fork folded, frame buckled completely, one side of the handlebars bent down. I was double strapped into clips with cleats. Landed on my head in the pre-helmet era. Lost lots of blood and had a tremendous concussion. Only a minor fracture.

These folks can indeed be a tremendous danger, light or dark outside. I just don't get the into-traffic lunacy.
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Old 10-21-05, 06:20 PM   #8
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I ride the wrong way all the time but I don't ride in a populated area and would not if i did. I would not have to if it were not for the people around this area acting like they are seeing a UFO when coming up on a cyclist with their massive SUVs while talking on the cellphone. I typically see 12 SUVS and F250s on a 20 mile ride. If i stayed on their direction of travel I would be probably be clipped many times a year. I'm not about to stay on the same direction of travel in as someone in a speeding 6000 pound vehicle on cellphone or a soccer mom fooling with junior instead of watching the narrow road. Another is the redneck towing a 25 foot trailer. As soon as a here one of those or a school bus I duck into the nearest driveway. If the other side of the road is clear for good line of sight, I heard nothing else coming and I can drive off that shoulder I take it. Just today I could not get over due to a bad line of sight where I was about to cross to another road anyway. What did it get me. Almost clipped by some moron in a speeding Chevy Siverado even thought I was a foot and a half of the road at low speed. And this moron blows his horn at me after not only not give an inch but taking a few on what was a turned out to be a clear road. It was a high $$ one that certainly cost way too much and never hauls or tows. These people have to have the BIG ONE! The one that cannot fit on the road with a bicycle. These people cannot drive. Doing 60 in a 40 in one of those things is just wreckless. I have seen them do it near my house and you think what if there is a kid, cyclist, the old guy that picks up trash or road crew over that hill. I've seen people from the area go 60 in their escalades next to the rails to trails entrances where there are always small kids. These people live in and know the area and still go twice the limit. I am not about to share the same side of the road with them when I do not have to.


NEVER get near a school bus. The requirements to be a drive them are very low as is their pay. Also 40 kids can be distracting. Google cyclist any time in Google news and you are sure to see cyclist killed by school bus, dump truck and suv within the first 20 stories. Another stupid thing is the driver that waves you on to go. Why should I go? A guy in Yukon stopped at a trail crossing (no stop sign for him) and waved for me to go. It would have been quicker for him just to go through with caution like you are supposed to. For some reason this moron thinks it would be best for me and my 18 pound bike to roll in front of his 6000 pound truck that is in drive. After a few times with this a learned it is better to not make eye contact (they'll read something you are projecting) or circle back a few feet till they are up the road.

I expect the other guy to screw up if I'm on my bike, motorcycle or in my car. They usually dont disappoint. Share the same side of the road with some 90 pound women in a Hummer? I'll get on the shoulder first before getting hit.

Last edited by Deep_South; 10-21-05 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 10-22-05, 12:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Deep_South
I ride the wrong way all the time but I don't ride in a populated area and would not if i did. I would not have to if it were not for the people around this area acting like they are seeing a UFO when coming up on a cyclist with their massive SUVs while talking on the cellphone. I typically see 12 SUVS and F250s on a 20 mile ride. If i stayed on their direction of travel I would be probably be clipped many times a year. I'm not about to stay on the same direction of travel in as someone in a speeding 6000 pound vehicle on cellphone or a soccer mom fooling with junior instead of watching the narrow road. Another is the redneck towing a 25 foot trailer. As soon as a here one of those or a school bus I duck into the nearest driveway. If the other side of the road is clear for good line of sight, I heard nothing else coming and I can drive off that shoulder I take it. Just today I could not get over due to a bad line of sight where I was about to cross to another road anyway. What did it get me. Almost clipped by some moron in a speeding Chevy Siverado even thought I was a foot and a half of the road at low speed. And this moron blows his horn at me after not only not give an inch but taking a few on what was a turned out to be a clear road. It was a high $$ one that certainly cost way too much and never hauls or tows. These people have to have the BIG ONE! The one that cannot fit on the road with a bicycle. These people cannot drive. Doing 60 in a 40 in one of those things is just wreckless. I have seen them do it near my house and you think what if there is a kid, cyclist, the old guy that picks up trash or road crew over that hill. I've seen people from the area go 60 in their escalades next to the rails to trails entrances where there are always small kids. These people live in and know the area and still go twice the limit. I am not about to share the same side of the road with them when I do not have to.


NEVER get near a school bus. The requirements to be a drive them are very low as is their pay. Also 40 kids can be distracting. Google cyclist any time in Google news and you are sure to see cyclist killed by school bus, dump truck and suv within the first 20 stories. Another stupid thing is the driver that waves you on to go. Why should I go? A guy in Yukon stopped at a trail crossing (no stop sign for him) and waved for me to go. It would have been quicker for him just to go through with caution like you are supposed to. For some reason this moron thinks it would be best for me and my 18 pound bike to roll in front of his 6000 pound truck that is in drive. After a few times with this a learned it is better to not make eye contact (they'll read something you are projecting) or circle back a few feet till they are up the road.

I expect the other guy to screw up if I'm on my bike, motorcycle or in my car. They usually dont disappoint. Share the same side of the road with some 90 pound women in a Hummer? I'll get on the shoulder first before getting hit.
Print it and frame it.

Sigh. What to do?
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Old 10-22-05, 01:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by caloso
Dear Wrongway Cyclist:

This morning about 6:05am near Executive Airport you were traveling north in the bike lane of southbound Freeport Boulevard, which is to say in the wrong direction. I was traveling south. I was wearing my Cal Cycling jersey and riding a Trek 5200 outfitted with a Cygo-Light Night Rover and a Planet Bike blinkie. I don't know what you were riding or what you were wearing except that you had no light or blinkie, that your clothing was dark, that you had no helmet, and that your bike is in such bad need of tuning and lubing that I heard you before I saw you.

I called you a "genius" but I trust you understood that I meant that ironically. I cursed you with some strong words for being a hazard to both yourself and me. And I suggested that if you wouldn't ride in the proper direction, wouldn't use a light or blinkie or wouldn't wear a helmet, would you at least carry an organ donor card.

I do not apologize for this. In fact, if I come across you tomorrow morning, I'll have some even more colorful words for you. But know that I have said a prayer for you, asking Our Lady of Ghisallo and St. Christopher to intervene on behalf of your safety. I hope that the old saying is true, that God takes care of children, drunks, and fools, because it is clear that you qualify as at least one of those categories.

Good luck. If you continue to cycle this way, you'll need it.
As rare as a Sac biker is, I qualify you as geographically similar- you ride a bike and live where I do. I have a brighter light, a bike that cost 10% of what you ride, and more visible clothing. Which is to say I may possibly make more $ than you, Lance didn't compete on my ride, status is best left to drivers, and that means nothing.
My point is the majority of bike riders in Sac are exactly as you described. If you want to make a difference give the guy a blinky, if you want to feel superior, wear your kit and stay in the roadies room, if your offended, don't take it personal.
Bikes are the last form of transportation for the poor. They are ashamed in a car culture. Consider them the purist form of bicycling: they ride to get someplace, they don't know the rules. In case your a schwartnegger type guy: lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.
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Old 10-22-05, 01:56 AM   #11
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Dear Wrongway Recreational Cyclist I Encountered over Summer:

You were riding the wrong way in the bike lane and didn't even have the courtesy to yield to the righthand side. I don't have a problem with this as I occassionally ride on the wrong side if a turn signal won't switch or I don't want to cross the street to cross again 100 feet down the way. However, I always hop into the street. I'm the nice guy.

If it wasn't for the fact you had headphones on AND you were reading a book WHILE riding on the wrong side of the street I might have some sympathy for you and shrug it off. But no, I wanted to rage because that was even dumber than me riding a fixed gear (brakeless) in the snow and ice.

Thank You
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Old 10-22-05, 10:51 AM   #12
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People do all kinds of stupid things.

I work with 2 guys that do this (wrong side of the road, no lights at night) and after talking and explaining things with them about it, they still think what they're doing is right. You'd be amazed at how strongly they feel what they're doing is right.

I think people have to work out for themselves what the best thing is for them to do. If they don't see reason in something (no matter how reasonable) they won't do it.
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Old 10-22-05, 11:58 AM   #13
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Carless: I only mentioned the bike and jersey so on the infinitesimally small chance that the Genius sees this post, she might recognize me. But I do feel superior to the Genius in that I probably have a much longer life expectancy than she does. And how am I to lead or follow if she rides directly at me. I certainly didn't get out of the way. If she wants to ride against traffic, I'll let her swerve into the lane.

Deep South: I'll say a prayer for you too. Since you won't ride legally or safely, you're going to need some supernatural protection.
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Old 10-22-05, 11:59 AM   #14
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Freeport is a nasty road at times- wrong way or not. As Carless pointed out, riding without any markers and the wrong way is common in Sac Town. My funniest experience was riding through east sac (on M) at night (from the grid to CSUS) and I pass a guy (he was on the wrong side of the road) with an old open foam helmet and no lights or reflectors. I'm blinking rear with a headlight although I was without a helmet riding on the right side of the road. He tells me that I should wear a helmet for safety. The irony almost made me fall.
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Old 10-22-05, 01:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
People do all kinds of stupid things.

I work with 2 guys that do this (wrong side of the road, no lights at night) and after talking and explaining things with them about it, they still think what they're doing is right. You'd be amazed at how strongly they feel what they're doing is right.

I think people have to work out for themselves what the best thing is for them to do. If they don't see reason in something (no matter how reasonable) they won't do it.
Ditto. Any time I have tried to explain to anyone why it's important to ride with traffic, use a headlight, obey red lights, etc. the reactions have never been positive. They have, on occasion, been confrontational. Thus, I no longer do this. The "who are YOU to tell ME what to do?" attitude runs very strong.

In my immediate area, the most frequent offenders can be seen riding in and out of Brandeis University. That's supposed to be an expensive school, requiring smarts to gain admission. And they don't know enough to use a headlight when riding at night? The most common offense: They ride down the sidewalks on South Street without headlights, in the dark. This is not a zoned business district, so technically, it's legal. At least once per year, between October and May, there will be an accident involving a sidewalk-riding cyclist from Brandeis. These accidents will either be with a pedestrian, or a driver who simply didn't see the cyclist ride off the sidewalk.

I wouldn't bother trying to tell any Brandeis students about the state's bicycle laws. I just know the only result would be a blank stare.

Ahh, another rant over and done with..
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Old 10-22-05, 02:39 PM   #16
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Print it and frame it.

Sigh. What to do?
Sometimes ya just gotta laugh
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Old 10-22-05, 02:46 PM   #17
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Said person may not even be a working poor person. They may simply be poor. We have quite a few homeless persons with access to bikes.
I can just see the bum looking at the helmet and saying to himself "A rock, or this helmet?"
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Old 10-22-05, 03:40 PM   #18
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roadie on $3000 bike with blinkies meets homie on $30 with no blinkies...both think they are the ones that own the road...Ah, the story is as old as time
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Old 10-22-05, 04:55 PM   #19
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Sure the advice is good, but the smug attitude is really annoying. Basically telling someone that you know better than them and have the right to tell them the manner that they should get from point A to point B like you're their parent. Maybe you do know better than them, but you won't get the point across that way.
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Old 10-24-05, 11:39 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep_South
I ride the wrong way all the time
Like I said, if you are riding head-on into me on my bike, one of us is going down, and it won't be me.
And yes, I AM an a$$hole.
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Old 10-24-05, 11:47 AM   #21
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Like I said, if you are riding head-on into me on my bike, one of us is going down, and it won't be me.
And yes, I AM an a$$hole.
If he rides head-on into you on your bike, both of you will go down
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Old 10-24-05, 11:47 AM   #22
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Like I said, if you are riding head-on into me on my bike, one of us is going down, and it won't be me.
And yes, I AM an a$$hole.
If he rides head-on into you on your bike, both of you will go down
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Old 10-24-05, 11:48 AM   #23
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Like I said, if you are riding head-on into me on my bike, one of us is going down, and it won't be me.
And yes, I AM an a$$hole.
If he rides head-on into you on your bike, both of you will go down.
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Old 10-24-05, 11:55 AM   #24
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i often wonder how many people actually feel they are supposed to ride against traffic?? i thought i was supposed to do this as a kid (felt safer to me), but then i grew up and learned.
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Old 10-24-05, 11:58 AM   #25
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I guess I'd like to know why people think this is safer. Maybe some of our wrongway forum members could educate us. I promise not to be a condescending and we'll all promise not to flame him.

Seriously, why do you think it's safer to ride against traffic? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller...?
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