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  1. #1
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    I accidently forced a salmon into a row of parked cars last night...

    I feel a little sense of remorse.

    I was JUST on the verge of leaving the "hood" on my commute home last night, the last stretch through the hood is a four lane rural route (East Coast 1). The road bottle necks as you cross the Massachusetts/Rhode Island state line and all four lanes become a couple feet narrower. At one point in the bottle neck, I was passing a stretch of parked cars about two blocks long, riding right in the door zone - it's there or the sidewalk. There were cars passing me on the left, probably a foot away, cruising along at 25-35 MPH. I'm biking 10-15 MPH trying to maintain a safe speed for the minimal space, but also trying to at least maintain some type of pace with the traffic.

    Up ahead of the line of parked cars, I spot a hood rat riding salmon on what looks like a modified Schwinn Stingray, with highrise handlebars. Picture pre-fame 50Cent riding a bike and you'd be close. He's all kicked back, doing a slow gangsta roll along the curb. I see him, he see's me in this narrow lane of travel that I have, and instead of yielding or stopping, he proceeds to pull into the same lane of travel. And, he starts rolling right down the center of this 12-18" of space towards me. I didn't even flinch. I didn't have anyplace to go, I couldn't go left, there was a ton of passing traffic, and he was too close to the cars for me to pass on the right.

    So I held my line, he eventually moves to pass me on the right, between myself and the parked cars, and we pass, with me giving him probably an inch to spare. About 2 seconds after he passes me, I heard the distinctive thud-thud of a bicyclist bumping a parked car. I don't know if he was alright or if he fell. If it was a better area of town, I would have gone back. Given the appearance of the rider and the area I was in, I got the hell out of there. Not that I don't care for my follow man or rider, but I don't really need to be shot on my commute.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member PJCB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteamingAlong View Post
    I feel a little sense of remorse.

    I was JUST on the verge of leaving the "hood" on my commute home last night, the last stretch through the hood is a four lane rural route (East Coast 1). The road bottle necks as you cross the Massachusetts/Rhode Island state line and all four lanes become a couple feet narrower. At one point in the bottle neck, I was passing a stretch of parked cars about two blocks long, riding right in the door zone - it's there or the sidewalk. There were cars passing me on the left, probably a foot away, cruising along at 25-35 MPH. I'm biking 10-15 MPH trying to maintain a safe speed for the minimal space, but also trying to at least maintain some type of pace with the traffic.

    Up ahead of the line of parked cars, I spot a hood rat riding salmon on what looks like a modified Schwinn Stingray, with highrise handlebars. Picture pre-fame 50Cent riding a bike and you'd be close. He's all kicked back, doing a slow gangsta roll along the curb. I see him, he see's me in this narrow lane of travel that I have, and instead of yielding or stopping, he proceeds to pull into the same lane of travel. And, he starts rolling right down the center of this 12-18" of space towards me. I didn't even flinch. I didn't have anyplace to go, I couldn't go left, there was a ton of passing traffic, and he was too close to the cars for me to pass on the right.

    So I held my line, he eventually moves to pass me on the right, between myself and the parked cars, and we pass, with me giving him probably an inch to spare. About 2 seconds after he passes me, I heard the distinctive thud-thud of a bicyclist bumping a parked car. I don't know if he was alright or if he fell. If it was a better area of town, I would have gone back. Given the appearance of the rider and the area I was in, I got the hell out of there. Not that I don't care for my follow man or rider, but I don't really need to be shot on my commute.

    Not sure how much remorse I'd feel. I rode in today through a pretty nasty area (E.Hartford, CT) and had to make the conscious choice to look down and keep pedaling, giving salmon as wide a berth as possible without putting myself in line with the traffic blowing by me at 40-50mph with not a foot to spare.
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  3. #3
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    I am never sure how to pass salmon. There was one on my ride home last night, riding about 6' from the curb. I passed him to my left (moving over to the far left side of the travel lane), and as I passed, he motioned that he had expected me to pass him on the other side. I didn't lose any sleep over it, and would do the same again tomorrow if he were in the same place.

  4. #4
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Admittedly I will receive bad karma for this, but I hope it hurt like hell and I hope his "bike" is damaged beyond repair. I wouldn't feel the slightest bit of remorse and personally think forcing him into traffic would have been justified. He's the one causing a problem, he suffers the consequences. Perhaps if the consequences are severe he will chose not to do it again, or end up not able to do it again. Either way, anything to get an a-hole, dangerous rider off the road is good by me. Personally I think the answer to salmon is a lance.

    The only parties I feel sympathy for are you for having to deal with it and the car owner for whatever damage he did crashing into it. I don't have even the smallest piece of sympathy for the salmon. He chose to ride like a schmuck. He chose to behave in a way dangerous to you and to him. You did nothing other than legally ride your bike in a manner safe for you. You owed him nothing...whatever resulted is a consequence of his chosen behavior.
    Last edited by KonAaron Snake; 07-18-12 at 10:17 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MNBikeCommuter's Avatar
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    Yeah, no one's in control of the situation, which is the big problem. I've had some success pointing at them and then to my left and they steer out into traffic. Over the weekend while out on the tandem, traffic coming up beside me didn't allow either of us to move much. She yelled "Sorry!!" as her wheels scraped the curb and we barely passed safely. I just hollered back, "I bet!!!!"

  6. #6
    4130 on 28's at 15 greaterbrown's Avatar
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    Failure to yield, just to "teach someone a lesson" is ridiculous. The scenario you describe is not a good one. Sure, you're in the right. But if you can act reasonably, then do it.
    Is the OP thinking that if he acts extra tough, he'll convince his "hood rat" to act less tough?

    "Given the appearance of the rider and the area I was in, I got the hell out of there. Not that I don't care for my follow man or rider, but I don't really need to be shot on my commute."
    This is idiotic. Unless you can act respectfully while you're riding through someone else's neighborhood, don't ride through it. Next time your down there, compliment the guy on his cruiser or try a friendly wheelie competition. Play nice or leave.
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  7. #7
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Not as ridiculous as riding in a manner dangerous to others. If the result is an accident, it's on him.

  8. #8
    4130 on 28's at 15 greaterbrown's Avatar
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    Two wrongs make a right?
    2013: quit counting 2012 FG century count: 4 2011 century count: ~20 2010 mileage: 10,239 2009 mileage: 8127 2008 mileage: 7157

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by greaterbrown View Post
    Failure to yield, just to "teach someone a lesson" is ridiculous. The scenario you describe is not a good one. Sure, you're in the right. But if you can act reasonably, then do it.
    Is the OP thinking that if he acts extra tough, he'll convince his "hood rat" to act less tough?

    "Given the appearance of the rider and the area I was in, I got the hell out of there. Not that I don't care for my follow man or rider, but I don't really need to be shot on my commute."
    This is idiotic. Unless you can act respectfully while you're riding through someone else's neighborhood, don't ride through it. Next time your down there, compliment the guy on his cruiser or try a friendly wheelie competition. Play nice or leave.
    WOW...just wow. Really? Some junior thug rides like an ass, and because it MIGHT be in "his 'hood", it's OK to endanger other people? I think NOT.

    Riding in an already hazardous area, squeezed between traffic and parked cars -- WHERE'S THE OP SUPPOSED TO YIELD?!?

    Tool....

  10. #10
    4130 on 28's at 15 greaterbrown's Avatar
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    Why is the OP riding in the door zone? Why is the OP trashing an area that he's only trying to pass through? Why is the OP using so many offensive descriptors for a salmon he's never even exchanged a word with? Why is the OP even there?
    2013: quit counting 2012 FG century count: 4 2011 century count: ~20 2010 mileage: 10,239 2009 mileage: 8127 2008 mileage: 7157

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  11. #11
    4130 on 28's at 15 greaterbrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post

    Tool....
    Are we still talking about riding our bicycles?
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  12. #12
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greaterbrown View Post
    Two wrongs make a right?
    Define how riding legally is a wrong.

    Since we're all dancing around it, I'll say it. There is a definite greeater tendency towards riding like an arse in lower income areas. I suspect it's because a lot of those folks are riding bikes because they have to, not because they want to. Regardless of the reason, yes - I see more salmons and more jerkwad riders amongst lower income communities.

    I'd like to see a new program instituted where salmon and sidewalk riders are ticketed. If they can't pay the ticket, the bike is confiscated then and there. It is then run against a database of stolen bikes (which we don't have, but I can dream). If the bike isn't stolen, and the ticket is paid, the bike gets returned. If not, it gets auctioned off to raise money. It might even have the added benefit of catching fugitives and criminals.
    Last edited by KonAaron Snake; 07-18-12 at 11:26 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    If you didn't cause or contribute to the accident, you are not responsible for it and have no obligation to stop. From your description, sounds like the other rider was 100% at fault for riding recklessly, and suffered the consequences. All this talk about the place you were riding and a description of the other rider is irrelevant. Not sure why you brought it up, other than to inflame.

  14. #14
    Senior Member globie's Avatar
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    OP, please edit out the unnecessary offensiveness about the appearance of the rider, the nature of the neighborhood, or your totally irrelevant fear of *** violence.
    Understand that many riders were taught, with good intentions, to ride opposite of traffic. They don't do it to offend you or fly some sort of countercultural flag.

  15. #15
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    He does have an argument legally since most traffic codes contain something like there is an obligation to avoid an accident, however there is no moral argument in my mind. Legally I suspect most third parties would put the blame squarely on the salmon with little contributory negligence apportioned.

    I'm not sure where the poster above lives, but *** fears are quite legitimate in our inner city. If the ass was dumb enough to ride in that manner, I'd be wary of his judgement across the board. As for offensive terms, agree. Not needed.
    Last edited by KonAaron Snake; 07-18-12 at 11:37 AM.

  16. #16
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteamingAlong View Post
    I accidently forced a salmon into a row of parked cars last night...
    No, the salmon forced himself into a row of parked cars last night. This is not on you at all. This reminds of a conversation my wife regularly has with her students:

    "Ma'am, you failed me!"
    "Who failed you?"
    "You failed me!"
    "Who failed you?"
    "*sigh* I failed me...."
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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    There is a definite greeater tendency towards riding like an arse in lower income areas. I suspect it's because a lot of those folks are riding bikes because they have to, not because they want to. Regardless of the reason, yes - I see more salmons and more jerkwad riders amongst lower income communities.

    I'd like to see a new program instituted where salmon and sidewalk riders are ticketed. If they can't pay the ticket, the bike is confiscated then and there.


    Given that citizens in poor communities are already the subject of vastly greater police scrutiny than the rest of us enjoy, and given that the bicycle is likely their only transportation, and given the fact that a lot of these people don't have two nickels to rub together, let along have money to pay a fine, do you really think that an increased level of harassment in the manner described will really have a long term societal benefit?

    I'm all in favor of educating everyone to ride more safely, but creating an us against them mentality and taking actions that will have a very negative impact on the lives of people whose position in society is already pretty tenuous, strikes me as the wrong way to go about it.

  18. #18
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greaterbrown View Post
    Why is the OP riding in the door zone? Why is the OP trashing an area that he's only trying to pass through? Why is the OP using so many offensive descriptors for a salmon he's never even exchanged a word with? Why is the OP even there?
    Because he wants to blow off steam after another rider rode like an ass and endangered him.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  19. #19
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    I'd rather force them to take the traffic side than the parked car side, but when there's no room, there's no room. Just hold your line or come to a complete stop and make them go around you if there's no other choice. Playing chicken with speeding traffic beside you sucks.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  20. #20
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
    There is a definite greeater tendency towards riding like an arse in lower income areas. I suspect it's because a lot of those folks are riding bikes because they have to, not because they want to. Regardless of the reason, yes - I see more salmons and more jerkwad riders amongst lower income communities.

    I'd like to see a new program instituted where salmon and sidewalk riders are ticketed. If they can't pay the ticket, the bike is confiscated then and there.


    Given that citizens in poor communities are already the subject of vastly greater police scrutiny than the rest of us enjoy, and given that the bicycle is likely their only transportation, and given the fact that a lot of these people don't have two nickels to rub together, let along have money to pay a fine, do you really think that an increased level of harassment in the manner described will really have a long term societal benefit?

    I'm all in favor of educating everyone to ride more safely, but creating an us against them mentality and taking actions that will have a very negative impact on the lives of people whose position in society is already pretty tenuous, strikes me as the wrong way to go about it.

    I respect where you are coming from, but as a manner of practical use of authority...I disagree. I'll start by saying that I support programs that will directly address poverty. I am not a "it's all your fault" guy and I think the cuts to social programs are outrageous. HOWEVER, as a practical manner...all rights are a balancing act. You have to balance things like freedom and saftety. In dangerous areas of high crime, of course that balance is different.

    There are a LOT of working poor in these neighborhoods and families just trying to get by. They are plagued by rule breaking thugs and, to me, increased police presence, including harassmant, is a neccassary evil to protect society. The balance between rights and safety shifts when safety issues are more pronounced. Is this going to result in unequal treatment? Yes - let's not pretend this country provides equal rights and opportunity to all. It doesn't.

    As a practical manner, salmon are endangering others. I have no problem harrassing them into behavior that doesn't impact the safety of others. If that means they lose transportation, so be it. When people drive dangerously, they lose their license. They have a choice - riding in a way that doesn't endanger others and I do not think that respecting poor choices is a viable option. I strongly disagree that it's education...they know. They've been yelled at. More to the point, it's their responsibility to know.

    Perhaps a compromise position? My program combined with education initiaitves and an adjustment period. First offense...some form of bicycle training that eliminates the ticket. Second offense? Bye bye bike and/or fines.

  21. #21
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    to the OP:
    Good luck with that whole riding in the door zone, playing chicken with salmons, and allowing cars to buzz due to your incorrect lane position. (one of those three will eventually get the better of you)

    I hope we don't read about you in the obit's.

  22. #22
    4130 on 28's at 15 greaterbrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    Because he wants to blow off steam after another rider rode like an ass and endangered him.
    He could've told a good story. But it was so infused with hate on the people and place, that it just creeped me out.
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  23. #23
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greaterbrown View Post
    He could've told a good story. But it was so infused with hate on the people and place, that it just creeped me out.
    Sometimes it's hard to live in and around those areas without getting angry. I am not justifying some of the terms used, because I agree with your perspective, but being around some of the pond scum that plague these areas is trying. My real sympathy goes to the majority just trying to keep their heads down and get by.

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    If someone is approaching you head on and there is any doubt about passing safely, then why not just stop? At least then if he hits you, you'll suffer less damage, and by not moving, you won't be at any fault. It also wouldn't hurt to stop and ask if he's okay. You can't judge a book by it's cover and all that...

  25. #25
    Senior Member globie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    I strongly disagree that it's education...they know. They've been yelled at. More to the point, it's their responsibility to know.
    I've been yelled at, too --by motorists who think I'm riding on the wrong side when I ride with traffic.
    When I've informed salmon that they should be riding in the same direction as the motorists, they have told me they were taught the opposite and that their way is safer because they can see the cars coming.
    I can sometimes tell that they are hearing another point of view for the first time.
    They're not doing it just to be contrary. They're not doing it just to get under your skin. It's a cultural norm for many people.
    Dangerous? Yes. Willful, defiant disobedience? Not usually.
    And please refrain from identifying someone as a "thug" because of his personal style or his location. If he holds you up at gunpoint, he's a thug. If not, he's just another human being going about his day in his way.

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