Hi all. Something that has really bothered me about the mentality of where I live is how I am excessively profiled in a negative way while riding around on my BMX bike. I do a lot of street riding - I find bike trails that go on-and-on in a straight line to be quite boring. This means that I do pass through many different areas and neighborhoods with people out and about.
For one straight year I had a typical 21speed bike (a Trek) that I rode around various places. Nobody bothered me, passerbys would smile or say hi. I started to miss the days when I had a Hoffman bike, so I decided to purchase a nice United BMX bike. I gave my 21speed away to a friend since I rarely ever rode it.
Really quick: I am 27, but I could easily pass for an 18 year old, I have a feeling this hurts more than helps.
So anyways, it has been a good 10 months I've had the BMX bike. I can honestly say I am very shocked at how I am treated while riding the bike. I've had people yell at me for no reason, getting stared down, scoffing at me when I pass them, security guards on power trips, cars honking. And I have no idea why. I have never seen a group of BMX kids acting roudy or disrupting people. So why am I being profiled?
I was on my usual bike route that winds through a neighborhood one day. A mid 40s gentleman was standing outside in his yard. Once I got near his house I saw that he was glaring at me, watching me the entire time I passed by his house. I looked over my shoulder after I passed and he was still staring me down. WTF? Once I was biking down a sidewalk and a woman (older, 50s) was holding a toddlers hand and walking with her husband (I assume). I slowed down to a crawl and passed around them through the grass. As I passed she blurted "thanks for calling it out". Another time I was biking to my car that was parked at my workplace in a garage attached to the office building. No sooner than entering the garage did a security guard run up to me and yell at me to get out of there. Really dude? Just tonight I was on a shorter path I take at nights. I heard loud dance music coming from somehwere so I slowly biked up to the establishment to check it out. Immediately a security guard yelled "Off the bike now!" I tried to explain that I was just checking it out but he kept saying "Get off the bike! You can't enter".
Anybody else have this happen to them while riding their BMX bike? It's unbelievable. I am regularly stunned at the stupidity of the general public, but this was sobering. I should probably get a custom made bright yellow shirt that says "I mean no harm, I love you!" with a smiley face on it, perhaps that would calm these imbeciles down?