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Old 09-21-07, 06:38 PM   #1
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10-year-old Cycling Expert...NOT! (A Pedestrian Dissaproval Story)

Hello folks,

Here's another crazy story for you:

I was riding my '73 Raleigh DL-1L (rod-brake, step-through frame) on a test ride after doing some repairs on it. Not more then a half-block from home, while getting up to a good speed (15/20mph) on a semi-busy residential street, I heard a voice shouting from the sidewalk to the left. A group of three boys, about 10 years old each (no parents), were walking some little yapping breed of dogs on the sidewalk. The shouting came from one of these boys who was yelling in a distinctly authoritative and angry voice:

"SLOW DOWN!" "S L O W DOWN!"

I took one look at them, and by default, distorted my face into that of disapproval. Normally, I wouldn't have given a second thought about their nonsense, but it hit me somehow this time - perhaps I just wanted to have a good A&C rant story to tell, who knows - and I made a sweeping left onto the next street, continued my turn onto the sidewalk, and came up about 50 feet behind these brats. As I had passed them in order to make my U-turn, they weren't expecting what was to come.

I yelled back.

"HEY, YOU! You know anything about the Florida cycling laws and statutes?"

A curiously quick, snappy retort followed:

"Yes, I do."

I couldn't believe my ears when I heard him say this. Whether his ignorance or just the fact that he couldn't bear being pegged as wrong, I had the hardest time keeping from laughing at this. The kid probably never heard the word statutes in his life. One of his friends was already getting a tad worried when I very quickly came back with my own sarcastic rebuttal:

"Yea, right - fat chance, kid. Get lost!"

I pedaled back on the road and continued my test. I happened to see them on my way back, and while passing by, added that if they were to try to interfere again with the operator of a vehicle on the roadway, I'd call the police. Not that I would, or that this was necessary, but I figured it'd keep their big fat mouths shut the next time they try to be smart.

Just thought I'd post this. Stupid, and in retrospect, humorous encounters like these adds some levity to the A&C forum Have to laugh at some of this nonsense sometimes - especially when it comes from a 10-year-old brat who thinks he's an expert on cycling.

Take care,

-Kurt
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Old 09-21-07, 07:30 PM   #2
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so what you're saying is that ten year olds acted like ten year olds, and you were a jerk to them?

If you were going to take any time at all, why didn't you ask why he wanted you to slow down? 10 year olds are not any kind of lost cause, so you might as well try and make them see things the cyclist way, even if that just means being polite.
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Old 09-21-07, 08:00 PM   #3
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Kurt, how old are you?
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Old 09-21-07, 08:51 PM   #4
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...
I yelled back.

"HEY, YOU! You know anything about the Florida cycling laws and statues?"
...
I couldn't believe my ears when I heard him say this. Whether his ignorance or just the fact that he couldn't bear being pegged as wrong, I had the hardest time keeping from laughing at this. The kid probably never heard the word statues in his life.
Have you ever heard the word?

Statues = Graven images

Statutes = Formal, written law
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Old 09-21-07, 10:29 PM   #5
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so what you're saying is that ten year olds acted like ten year olds, and you were a jerk to them?

If you were going to take any time at all, why didn't you ask why he wanted you to slow down? 10 year olds are not any kind of lost cause, so you might as well try and make them see things the cyclist way, even if that just means being polite.
Eh, I wouldn't call it as much acting like a 10-year-old (doesn't anybody discipline their children on appropriate mannerisms?) as acting like a pompous, confrontational brat that gets away with such things as his parents don't try to stop it (as evidenced by their letting their kids walk halfway around the neighborhood unsupervised - it is an OK area, but I would never recommend it). Mind you, he wasn't just saying "slow down" as you would expect from a concerned child, rather, his tone was aggressive, militant, and insisting - had I not slowed my pedaling in semi-shock, I dare say he would have kept it up as well.

I had it in mind to ask him where his ideas were coming from, but his attitude simply put me in the wrong mood for it. I realize that I could just as well be considered a jerk for venting on them, but we're all entitled to their curmudgeon moments every now and then. Perhaps you would have seen it differently had you been there.

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Have you ever heard the word?

Statues = Graven images

Statutes = Formal, written law
Whoops - thanks for pointing it out. It never fails that one ends up being the butt of one's own complaint through their own carelessness.

-Kurt
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Old 09-22-07, 02:22 AM   #6
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Oh I always have people giving me looks, especially because I drive a manual, and downshift often into corners, we are always pointed at being yelled at as if we're speeding, I'm not speeding, I'm a economy Civic in 1st gear doing 10 mph. =\ (which is often while delivering Pizza, speed bumps make it so I don't wanna shift from 2->1->2 every speed bump thats 5 car lengths, so listen to my loud(er than normal) engine you suburban jerks)

These people grow up wishing they could be cops just so they can be authoritative ******, personally I wish it was legal to run them over.
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Old 09-22-07, 03:03 AM   #7
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Why didn't you just flip him off and continue on, upon hearing his initial assertion?
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Old 09-22-07, 05:20 AM   #8
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I'd say that, if you were going to all the trouble to turn around and confront him, you should at least have imparted a little knowledge through your verbal rant. It looks as though you responded at his level and accomplished nothing. Who knows why the kid acted the way he did . . . probably just parroting something he's heard or witnessed from some grown up.

I probably wouldn't have bothered with him at all, but, you're right, we all have our moments (good and bad) at times.

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Old 09-22-07, 05:41 AM   #9
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Mind you, he wasn't just saying "slow down" as you would expect from a concerned child, rather, his tone was aggressive, militant, and insisting - had I not slowed my pedaling in semi-shock, I dare say he would have kept it up as well.
I have to admit, I find it rather odd that the kids even yelled at you. I can't imagine most young kids around here even noticing my speed, much less caring about it. Kids around here usually seem to be in their own world and pay me no mind at all when I ride by. Frankly, most pedestrians period -- adults, teens, children -- pay me no mind at all.
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Old 09-22-07, 05:56 AM   #10
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You have distinctly odd 10 year olds down there. Are you sure they weren't old folks? Sometimes the size can fool you.
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Old 09-22-07, 07:40 AM   #11
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Oh I always have people giving me looks, especially because I drive a manual, and downshift often into corners, we are always pointed at being yelled at as if we're speeding...
Yep - yelling because of the illusion. Seen it before. Wonder what people like that think when they're parked on the side of a 70-mph expressway...

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Why didn't you just flip him off and continue on, upon hearing his initial assertion?
Too crude, too overused, and I find that it is more likely that the motorist behind you will take it as being directed to them (either that, or they'll get on your back for witnessing a cyclist flipping the bird to a bunch of kids).

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I'd say that, if you were going to all the trouble to turn around and confront him, you should at least have imparted a little knowledge through your verbal rant. It looks as though you responded at his level and accomplished nothing. Who knows why the kid acted the way he did . . . probably just parroting something he's heard or witnessed from some grown up.
As a matter of fact, the only thing I could think of is that he was simply repeating something previously said by his parents.

I could have educated him a bit as well - perhaps I might have had he not responded with a venomous "YES" to when I asked whether he was familiar with Florida bike laws. That ticked me off.

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I have to admit, I find it rather odd that the kids even yelled at you. I can't imagine most young kids around here even noticing my speed, much less caring about it. Kids around here usually seem to be in their own world and pay me no mind at all when I ride by. Frankly, most pedestrians period -- adults, teens, children -- pay me no mind at all.
That goes for here too - it is the first time a ped has yelled anything to me (which probably contributed to my low tolerance of their shouting). The fact that it came from some kids DID take me for a loop though. Around our area, I would have expected some idiot walking their dogs (over a minimum of half the street, as usual) to complain that my presence "is scaring their dog" - while at the same time their mutt is baring his teeth and growling, ready to tear me into a few pieces.

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You have distinctly odd 10 year olds down there. Are you sure they weren't old folks? Sometimes the size can fool you.
Not sure if this was meant to be a humorous comment or not, but at 4 foot 5 inches or so, they weren't old folks. Not with their polo shirts hanging out of their dark blue school cargo pants, anyway.

-Kurt
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Old 09-22-07, 09:42 AM   #12
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…snip
Just thought I'd post this. Stupid, and in retrospect, humorous encounters like these adds some levity to the A&C forum Have to laugh at some of this nonsense sometimes - especially when it comes from a 10-year-old brat who thinks he's an expert on cycling…

Why not just ignore them? People really hate to be ignored…












…I said, why not just ignore them? People really hate it when you…

- Wil
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Old 09-22-07, 11:50 AM   #13
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I have to admit, I find it rather odd that the kids even yelled at you. I can't imagine most young kids around here even noticing my speed, much less caring about it. Kids around here usually seem to be in their own world and pay me no mind at all when I ride by. Frankly, most pedestrians period -- adults, teens, children -- pay me no mind at all.
I think this supports my theory that everyone thinks they can mess with cyclists, even kids. These kids would never have dared to say anything to someone in a car. And car drivers routinely yell and scream at me, chasing me down and yelling at me, something they would never do to another car driver or a pedestrian.

Theres just an attitude amongst most people that cyclists are fair game and you can say anything you want to a cyclist.
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Old 09-22-07, 12:28 PM   #14
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Why not just ignore them? People really hate to be ignored…
Had intended to. Temper got the better of me.

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I think this supports my theory that everyone thinks they can mess with cyclists, even kids. These kids would never have dared to say anything to someone in a car. And car drivers routinely yell and scream at me, chasing me down and yelling at me, something they would never do to another car driver or a pedestrian.
Exactly, although I WOULD expect a Miami driver to chase after a ped to give them a piece of mind.

In fact, drivers will chase after other drivers to tell them off - I must admit that I once did hold Miracle Mile once for about a minute after I saw a delivery truck barrel out of an alleyway and clip the fender extension off a Jeep, narrowly missing me as well. As he wasn't going too fast, I came up to him and started writing down his truck's tag number and the phone number of the courier service right alongside him, just to make him crap in his pants. Indeed he did. "Cyclist in car chases after cager." Figure that one out.

Incidentally, Aldo - you might like to have a look at my latest vintage catch - a '67 all-chrome Schwinn Paramount P-15.

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Old 09-22-07, 12:38 PM   #15
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Had intended to. Temper got the better of me.



Exactly, although I WOULD expect a Miami driver to chase after a ped to give them a piece of mind.

In fact, drivers will chase after other drivers to tell them off - I must admit that I once did hold Miracle Mile once for about a minute after I saw a delivery truck barrel out of an alleyway and clip the fender extension off a Jeep, narrowly missing me as well. As he wasn't going too fast, I came up to him and started writing down his truck's tag number and the phone number of the courier service right alongside him, just to make him crap in his pants. Indeed he did. "Cyclist in car chases after cager." Figure that one out.

Incidentally, Aldo - you might like to have a look at my latest vintage catch - a '67 all-chrome Schwinn Paramount P-15.

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Sorry but i do not see any reason to loose your temper with a child over something like this. If you felt so wronged by what the kids said talk to their parents. At ten years old they do not know better. They have likely heard their parents say similar things and are repeating what they have heard.
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Old 09-22-07, 12:39 PM   #16
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dude... you just posted a story about how you yelled at 10 year olds. and your "sarcastic rebuttal" was about as inspired as what an average 10 year old mind would produce.

LAME
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Old 09-22-07, 02:16 PM   #17
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Sorry but i do not see any reason to loose your temper with a child over something like this. If you felt so wronged by what the kids said talk to their parents. At ten years old they do not know better. They have likely heard their parents say similar things and are repeating what they have heard.
At 10 years old, they should already know that they shouldn't be yelling at vehicles (apparently, a good deal of the posters here - plus the kids' parents - are of the generation that couldn't care less about teaching their child proper public protocol at an early age). If nobody ever tells them that screaming dictations to vehicles is out of line, they'll keep it up until they're adults, screaming at you from their cage.

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dude... you just posted a story about how you yelled at 10 year olds. and your "sarcastic rebuttal" was about as inspired as what an average 10 year old mind would produce.

LAME
I didn't yell, I shouted - we were 50 feet apart, mind you. I would have said it in a normal tone of voice had I not been that distance away (and I wasn't about to approach them to diminish their legal ability to say they felt threatened by close presence).

As for my rebuttal, what would you say to a 10 year old that he'd understand? If what you say doesn't make sense to them, they couldn't care less.

-Kurt
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Old 09-22-07, 02:23 PM   #18
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Geeze Kurt, be happy it wasn't me and my buds at 10...while one of us distracted you the rest of us would have been stripping your bike and lifting your wallet.
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Old 09-22-07, 02:44 PM   #19
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(1)At 10 years old, they should already know that they shouldn't be yelling at vehicles (apparently, a good deal of the posters here - plus the kids' parents - are of the generation that couldn't care less about teaching their child proper public protocol at an early age). If nobody ever tells them that screaming dictations to vehicles is out of line, they'll keep it up until they're adults, screaming at you from their cage.



(2)I didn't yell, I shouted - we were 50 feet apart, mind you. I would have said it in a normal tone of voice had I not been that distance away (and I wasn't about to approach them to diminish their legal ability to say they felt threatened by close presence).

(3)3As for my rebuttal, what would you say to a 10 year old that he'd understand? If what you say doesn't make sense to them, they couldn't care less.

-Kurt
1
Not really at 10 years old kids are just now starting to learn how to behave when it comes to being polite etc. I my self do not have kids of my own. How ever i do know how kids should be raised and punished etc. What many parents call punishing is border line child abuse. Ive seen parents berate their kids or back hand them (nearly went over the counter at a fast food place i worked at at one such moron). I my self am from a generation that puts kids first. I'm 35 years old just for the record. At least where im from we have the same ideas when it comes to kids.

2
Sorry to say but they could still be able to say they felt threatened by your presence as you acted in a very threatening manner with them.

3
You say in point 1 that "hey should already know that they shouldn't be yelling at vehicles" then go on to say "what would you say to a 10 year old that he'd understand?" implying that they should easily under stand that they acted in a way that was wrong. You can not have it both ways.

You could have said the speed limit here is 25 I'm doing 20 which is less than the max speed i can travel here. Give kids credit they are not stupid. If you was riding close to the curb and side walk they may have felt as if they were in danger by you passing them closely. And one last point from your first post it sounds like you were on the wrong side of the road to begin with. Another thing you missed is they may have been aware of some hazard they just seen that you did not. You simply did not give them any benefit of doubt instead you just jumped on to them.
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Old 09-22-07, 03:36 PM   #20
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1
Not really at 10 years old kids are just now starting to learn how to behave when it comes to being polite etc. I my self do not have kids of my own. How ever i do know how kids should be raised and punished etc. What many parents call punishing is border line child abuse. Ive seen parents berate their kids or back hand them (nearly went over the counter at a fast food place i worked at at one such moron). I my self am from a generation that puts kids first. I'm 35 years old just for the record. At least where im from we have the same ideas when it comes to kids.
All right, we agree on that.


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2
Sorry to say but they could still be able to say they felt threatened by your presence as you acted in a very threatening manner with them.
Threatening, no (not until the statement about the police, and that was later - should have kept my mouth shut big time at that point). As for the initial conflict, considering the distance I kept, and the fact that I was shouting only enough to be heard at the distance - not so that it would resonate miles away - it would be hard for them to prove it.


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3
You say in point 1 that "hey should already know that they shouldn't be yelling at vehicles" then go on to say "what would you say to a 10 year old that he'd understand?" implying that they should easily under stand that they acted in a way that was wrong. You can not have it both ways.
I'm saying that a child who has been educated properly shouldn't be yelling at vehicles at this point. One can reasonably assume that a child who has not been properly educated will also have a lesser ability to understand basic reasoning.


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You could have said the speed limit here is 25 I'm doing 20 which is less than the max speed i can travel here. Give kids credit they are not stupid. If you was riding close to the curb and side walk they may have felt as if they were in danger by you passing them closely. And one last point from your first post it sounds like you were on the wrong side of the road to begin with. Another thing you missed is they may have been aware of some hazard they just seen that you did not. You simply did not give them any benefit of doubt instead you just jumped on to them.

Somehow, I don't think reasoning would have worked with this kid. His attitude was of a 10-year-old General Patton - and I dare say he wouldn't have changed his opinion at the suggestion of a stranger.

Now, you can say what you want about my yelling at these kids, but I do not appreciate one word of your accusations that I was wrong-way cycling or passing too closely (both highly against my riding rules). Below is a diagram of the situation:



The red signifies the positions of both parties when the initial shout of "SLOW DOWN" was said, the orange is where we were when we exchanged comments, and the yellow is an approximation of my overall path. The white is a fence.

As you can see, #1: I had an excellent, clear view of any obstructions up front. #2: They did not. #3: I was just beginning my accelerating up to 15/17 MPH from a very leisurely 10 when the shout was raised. #4: I was as far away as physically possible from them when they first raised the shout, and my presence was easily visible from farther away as well. #5: I stayed a good distance away.

-Kurt
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Old 09-22-07, 03:39 PM   #21
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Geeze Kurt, be happy it wasn't me and my buds at 10...while one of us distracted you the rest of us would have been stripping your bike and lifting your wallet.
That's why I remained 50 feet away. Didn't know if it was your kids or not

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Old 09-22-07, 04:23 PM   #22
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Geez man, it was just a couple of kids. Are you going to get some guns and climb the nearest tall structure because someone was rude to you.
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Old 09-22-07, 04:41 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by biknbrian View Post
Are you going to get some guns and climb the nearest tall structure because someone was rude to you.
Cool it.

-Kurt
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Old 09-22-07, 05:20 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
I heard a voice shouting from the sidewalk to the left. A group of three boys, about 10 years old each (no parents), were walking some little yapping breed of dogs on the sidewalk. The shouting came from one of these boys who was yelling in a distinctly authoritative and angry voice:

"SLOW DOWN!" "S L O W DOWN!"
Could they have been yelling at the dog then looking at the funny biker riding by? I was walking my boarder collie today (well my wifes really) and the dog pulls alot and darts around like craaazy. Still needs to be leash trained crazy dog. Until you mentioned you turned around to present them with the law that is how I read your story.
If they weren't you should take it as a compliment.. You were going soooooooooooooooo fast a bunch of ten year olds were really worried about yah!
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Old 09-22-07, 05:42 PM   #25
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Kurt, people like you tend to confuse me.
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