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Old 04-30-06, 12:10 PM   #1
Banzai
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Kid with SUV "safety" chase. WTFO?

I was riding yesterday when I saw a kid riding on the road the opposite direction. Small kid too, so he probably hasn't been riding long, and is just discovering the thrill of what also looked to be a fairly new tiny bicycle. His parents are safety chase behind him...sounds like a great family outing on a beautiful day, right?

Only get this; safety chase isn't riding a bike with little cyclist dude. Safety chase is in a frackin' behemoth SUV with the hazard lights on cruising a couple of yards behind him. By the by, to set the scene, this is a VERY low traffic road on base on Saturday. A car every 10 minutes or so.

I give the little guy a HUGE grin, a wave, and a "hang loose" as we're about to pass each other. (I make sure to slow my pace accordingly.) Kiddo smiles real big and waves back at me, which makes me a little nervous as it suddenly occurs to me that maybe at his skill level both hands on the bars are a great idea.

Ma and Pa in monster SUV see this, and smile and kinda wave. I, however, ignore the gesture and just pick up speed again. Maybe that was wrong of me, and maybe it was ungentlemanly and rude...but I was just so irritated that they couldn't be bothered to actually get off their lazy butts and ride with their son who obviously was thrilled to be out for a ride.

What if the driver gets distracted, and manages to not quite brake in time if something happens?

I was so irritated by the whole spectacle.

That is all. Just wanted to vent.

Discuss.
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Old 04-30-06, 02:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banzai_f16
Ma and Pa in monster SUV see this, and smile and kinda wave. I, however, ignore the gesture and just pick up speed again.
So now they think you're a pedophile out there only interested in kids.... A spandex clad one at that.

Yes, you should have acknowledged the gesture. At least they're getting the kid out rather than telling him he can't ride because it's not safe. Maybe it's too late for the parents, but not for the kid. By being such a snob, perhaps you've planted the idea in their heads that they won't want their kid associated with such a crowd.

Besides... what difference does it make if it was a "frackin' behemoth SUV" or a Prius. Your beef seems to be that they were tailing him in a car vs riding with him. A Prius can run over the little kid just as good as the SUV, right? Hell, fully grown dad on his own bike can, too, for that matter.

Based on your tone, I'd put you in the same category as you put the parents in. You're generalizing on the scene. What if ma and pa can't ride (arthritis, combat injury, other disease or something else)? They're still getting "out there" with their kid and encouraging him in his passion.

Your whole post is pretty telling of your own attitude and prejudices. Life's too short to get worked up over other people's shortcomings (according to your own yardstick).
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Old 04-30-06, 03:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by skiahh
Besides... what difference does it make if it was a "frackin' behemoth SUV" or a Prius. Your beef seems to be that they were tailing him in a car vs riding with him. A Prius can run over the little kid just as good as the SUV, right? Hell, fully grown dad on his own bike can, too, for that matter.
I would have been just as irate about it if it was a Prius. The SUV I thought deserved commenting on, as it really seemed to complete the "picture." And fully grown dad on a bike doesn't weigh three tons.

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Originally Posted by skiahh
Based on your tone, I'd put you in the same category as you put the parents in. You're generalizing on the scene.
You can't put me in the same category as the parents. The parents weren't generalizing on the scene, only I was. To be in the same category as the parents, I would have to be tailing me in an SUV.

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What if ma and pa can't ride (arthritis, combat injury, other disease or something else)? They're still getting "out there" with their kid and encouraging him in his passion.
I'll acknowledge the possibilities in that, and that perhaps I was being short sighted. It is also possible that they just bought the bike, and junior wanted to ride RIGHT NOW! It just struck me as unsafe, and given the lazy suburbanites I see every day (yes, on base too, where they look like they don't come CLOSE to meeting weight standards!), I started generalizing...but it was a generalization that fit the environment, at least to me.

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Originally Posted by skiahh
Your whole post is pretty telling of your own attitude and prejudices. Life's too short to get worked up over other people's shortcomings (according to your own yardstick).
Well, yes, perhaps. Everyone has attitudes and prejudices, and I do try to honestly assess mine, though not always sucessfully. Trust me though, I'm not worked up...I had a great ride, and I was happy to see little biker dude and wave to him.

P.S. I don't wear spandex.
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Old 04-30-06, 04:44 PM   #4
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Maybe that was wrong of me, and maybe it was ungentlemanly and rude...
Personally, I would have waved back. Maybe even, circumstances permitting, struck up a conversation and implanted the idea of how GREAT it would be to go on a family ride.
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Old 04-30-06, 05:12 PM   #5
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They are following the kid in a vehicle? Thats creating a dangerous situation. They will have less time to respond if the child darts off or is attacked by a dog compared to walking or riding along with the child. Even worse would be if they accidently pressed the gas a little too hard.
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Old 04-30-06, 05:51 PM   #6
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They are following the kid in a vehicle? Thats creating a dangerous situation. They will have less time to respond if the child darts off or is attacked by a dog compared to walking or riding along with the child. Even worse would be if they accidently pressed the gas a little too hard.
That was the biggest thing that really chapped me, from a safety perspective.

BlueOrder, you're correct...that was ungentlemanly of me, and I probably should have been friendlier.
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Old 04-30-06, 06:40 PM   #7
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P.S. I don't wear spandex.
Well got on that, dammit. Can I get some solidarity here?

Seriously, I was going to respond something to the effect that I didn't think there was a safety issue here so much as an ideological one. I would probably be offended (and admittedly prejudicial) if I saw a pair of parents tailing their kid in an SUV. I'm sure they're good people, but SUVs in urban areas (assuming you're talking urban?) seem to offend me regardless.

Yeah I WAS going to post that, then I remembered the accident I saw on Thursday. We were stopped at a red light (yes, in a car. Add hypocrasy to my CV). The light turned green and the lead car in the lane beside me stalled out. Six cars behind the lead car also remained motionless. The seventh car, however, started driving as if all those cars were actually moving. CRUNCH!! Right into the truck in front of her. I'm really not a bad person, but I couldn't help but laugh at the mindlessness of some people. And by "laugh" I mean "laugh my farking ass off". So, moral of the story, yeah there may be a safety issue if you're following your kid in an SUV.
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Old 04-30-06, 06:56 PM   #8
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Chris Carmichael out training the next Lance Armstrong?
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Old 04-30-06, 07:37 PM   #9
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Mphetameme,

That is a brilliant illustration of why driving should probably be an earned exception, rather than just a given fact of life.

That's just about the most funny story I've heard in a while.
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Old 04-30-06, 08:17 PM   #10
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I haven't seen this situation, but often parents walk while their kids, little ones I mean, ride. I give them all a greeting. Cyclist first, of course.
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Old 04-30-06, 08:46 PM   #11
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I just think it's too bad that they're missing out on the joys of riding with their kid. Heck, I don't even like kids (I had 8 siblings, enough said), but if I had them, I still think I'd enjoy riding with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mphetameme
The light turned green and the lead car in the lane beside me stalled out. Six cars behind the lead car also remained motionless. The seventh car, however, started driving as if all those cars were actually moving. CRUNCH!! Right into the truck in front of her.
I forget which commedian made a crack about that sickening feeling you get when you decide to go for it as the light turns orange...only to have the car in front of you chicken out. I got a kick out of it.

That's a pretty classic case of not really paying attention. I saw a somewhat similar one. At a 5 lane intersection (2 each way, plus one turn lane) the turn lane got a green arrow, but the straight lanes remained red. The person at the front right next to the turn lane had an obvious brain fart and started pulling into the intersection and realized their mistake in time to avoid the people making left turns from the other direction. They slammed on their brakes about a car length in, but the car behind them had made the exact same mistake and put a nice crease in their bumpers. I had a moment of shock when I realized what they'd done, then several moments of amusement.
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Old 04-30-06, 08:59 PM   #12
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They may have just been using their SUV as a shield between their kid and other vehicles. Or maybe they're lazy. Or maybe they don't have bikes. I don't know. I'd still be friendly and implant that idea about family riding. Who knows, next time you see them, they might all be on bikes.

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Old 04-30-06, 09:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by banzai_f16
I give the little guy a HUGE grin, a wave, and a "hang loose" as we're about to pass each other. (I make sure to slow my pace accordingly.) Kiddo smiles real big and waves back at me, which makes me a little nervous as it suddenly occurs to me that maybe at his skill level both hands on the bars are a great idea.

Ma and Pa in monster SUV see this, and smile and kinda wave. I, however, ignore the gesture and just pick up speed again. Maybe that was wrong of me, and maybe it was ungentlemanly and rude...but I was just so irritated that they couldn't be bothered to actually get off their lazy butts and ride with their son who obviously was thrilled to be out for a ride.
You were right to do this. Afterall, we should all be looking up people's criminal records and doing background checks before we can acknowledge them as human beings. And if they're driving (the horror!) then I think that's grounds for an instant shunning. An SUV? Well break out the middle finger. Give them no credit whatsoever for attempting to encourage their kid to ride.


Quote:
Originally Posted by banzai_f16
What if the driver gets distracted, and manages to not quite brake in time if something happens?

I was so irritated by the whole spectacle.
The safety issue is of concern. However, if it bothered you so much, why not bring it up with the parents? It's not like they would have been moving too fast for you to catch up to them and grab their attention. Channel your concerns and anger into constructive actions instead of simply ranting to no effect. Did your inner criticism and public outcry on an Internet forum serve to progress the safety of that child?
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Old 04-30-06, 10:56 PM   #14
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Wait wasn't there a car comercial with similar scenario? Anyway halarios story.
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Old 05-01-06, 09:13 AM   #15
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You were right to do this. Afterall, we should all be looking up people's criminal records and doing background checks before we can acknowledge them as human beings. And if they're driving (the horror!) then I think that's grounds for an instant shunning. An SUV? Well break out the middle finger. Give them no credit whatsoever for attempting to encourage their kid to ride.
Ok, ok, I get it. I've already acknowledged that this was ungentlemanly of me.

As for your second point, well, as irate as I was about the safety aspects, I'm not going to be "that guy" either and start lecturing someone about their safety/parenting/etc. Better to ride on by. A scolding could only make them adamant and angry...which does nothing for junior.
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Old 05-01-06, 09:59 AM   #16
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When I visited my stepdaughter's family at Wright-Pat and later Hanscom, the speed limits were 10 mph and strictly enforced.

Following the kid in the SUV is just the height of laziness and entirely misses the point of a family spending quality time together. Parents probably don't own bikes themselves.

People are strange. Everybody does something that makes somebody else mad, confused, perturbed, disturbed, happy, crazy, exasperated. Might as well get used to it. It's not going to change.
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Old 05-01-06, 11:18 AM   #17
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Chris Carmichael out training the next Lance Armstrong?
That was my first thought, a little Mini-Me Lance with his own support vehicle! BIZARRE! Those parents need to get a clue.
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Old 05-01-06, 11:30 AM   #18
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How fast is the kid going? Can't the parents walk/jog at a distance behind their child? Jeez, if I were the kid with an SUV breathing down my neck, I'd learn that biking will always be for kids only...
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Old 05-01-06, 11:50 AM   #19
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LOL, I've seen a couple of jerk-wads in my neighborhood doing this. It seems to me that if you're healthy enough to get your freak on, you aught to able to hang with junior on his training wheeled fixer.

These are probably the same delicate, pasty skinned wastes of carbon I see wearing dust-masks and ear muffs while mowing thier quarter-acre lots on a riding mower.
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Old 05-01-06, 12:28 PM   #20
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Well got on that, dammit. Can I get some solidarity here?
I was going to say the same thing. Spandex forever!
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Old 05-01-06, 02:22 PM   #21
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I think at least one person is missing the point. Following your kid on a small bike in a car is ****ing stupid. End of story. **** being a gentleman, I wouldn't go out of my way to be nice to someone who doesn't deserve it.
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Old 05-01-06, 02:45 PM   #22
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Wow, that’s freaky. I saw the same thing last weekend. Talk about “taking the lane”. I thought it looked a little decadent. However, the higher gas prices may put an end to it. Perhaps the Dad will be begging to borrow his daughter’s bike to get to work.
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Old 05-03-06, 03:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiahh
Besides... what difference does it make if it was a "frackin' behemoth SUV" or a Prius. Your beef seems to be that they were tailing him in a car vs riding with him. A Prius can run over the little kid just as good as the SUV, right? Hell, fully grown dad on his own bike can, too, for that matter.
Following the little kid in a car is lazy and dumb. Driving an SUV is worse than driving a prius though. At really low speeds the Prius at least probably wouldn't be burning much gas (if any).
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Old 05-03-06, 03:48 PM   #24
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Did the SUV have a rack on the roof with several spare bikes for the kid? and was there a guy in the back seat with a Park toolbox?

Maybe it was R600durace on a training ride.... did you happen to notice a dial on the handlebars that went up to 400 watts?
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Old 05-03-06, 05:28 PM   #25
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I think at least one person is missing the point. Following your kid on a small bike in a car is ****ing stupid. End of story. **** being a gentleman, I wouldn't go out of my way to be nice to someone who doesn't deserve it.
That'll show 'em!
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