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Old 09-29-02, 03:56 PM   #1
Bikes-N-Drums
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Kids On The Track

Just venting 'cause I'm ticked off. I decided to go up to the local high school and spin out a bunch of laps on the track. I was alone and about 20 laps into it a family came up to the center of the track - with two young kids, one about 6 and the other about 8 with two bikes, the youngest's had training wheels.
Now, I know the whole family saw me racing around the track. But as maw & paw sat in the dirt, they sent their children out to play & ride bikes on the track. Fine, but they failed to warn these children that there was already someone riding a bike really quickly around the track they were now on. I had to slow to a near stop several times as these kids were continuously weaving and riding directly into my 'lane'. Every time this happened, the parents giggled and said absolutely nothing to their kids about how dangerous this can be. Now, I know the track does not belong to me and other people have the right to use it, but can't you at least say, 'hey, try to watch out for the guy on the bike' after he nearly squashes your children? Or maybe, 'hey, stay in this lane over here since that guy's staying in that lane over there'?
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Old 09-29-02, 04:22 PM   #2
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I agree this would have been common courtesy. Unfortunately common courtesy has become rather uncommon.

A hearty, loud, firm "EXCUSE ME!" every time you lapped them may have gotten your point across, but then you never know what reaction the little darlings' parents would have felt warranted.

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Old 09-29-02, 04:31 PM   #3
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Yes, I know that can be very annoying. It's a mistake on the parent's parts. Here, we have a small walk/skate/cycling park. Walkers, skaters, and cyclists have their own lanes, which are nicely pictured on the pavement. I HATE when people go into a lane where they aren't supposed to be. And, these are grown-ups. They see a fast cyclist coming, but they continue to weave in and out of their and my lane.

I'd say that if it happened again, just ask the parents to tell their children to watch out for you, since they can't figure it out on their own.
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Old 09-29-02, 05:18 PM   #4
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I'm surprised at you B&D, what a great opportunity for you to improve cycling, these kids were there and you were there, the chance to make a huge difference was there.........................yes, that's right..................................I'm talking...........................Bunny hop practice!!!
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Old 09-29-02, 06:59 PM   #5
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Those parents are just plain stupid and clueless- like many clueless parents, they expect you to inconvencience yourself for their kids. I personally would have gone up to them and told them that cyclists come here to train and that it may not be safe for very young kids. Let them protest all they want, it's not your responsibility, their kids' safety is their responsibility.

I see this same thing happen on bike paths- parents teaching their kids to ride bikes with training wheels, oblivious to the dangers. Kids are so unpredictable, wobbling along on their teeny tiny bikes, and many of them simply do not look around. It's not their fault, they're little kids, but it makes it so hazardous. Or I see parents standing on ice side of the path, gesturing to their kid to cross the path on their bike, but not seeming to tell them to look first. And they think I can just screech to a halt? I'm not on bike paths very often, but kids are definitely one of the hazards. What amazes me is how parents today are so overprotective they won't let their kids go on a bike ride alone, but when they do go with them they don't seem to teach them about safety.
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Old 09-29-02, 09:19 PM   #6
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Originally posted by wabbit
I see this same thing happen on bike paths- parents teaching their kids to ride bikes with training wheels, oblivious to the dangers. Kids are so unpredictable, wobbling along on their teeny tiny bikes, and many of them simply do not look around. It's not their fault, they're little kids, but it makes it so hazardous.
It shouldn't be hazardous at all provided that you ride responsibly and realize that there will be occasions where you will have to slow down and maybe stop in order to avoid people and things that get in your way in these paths. If that's not acceptable then don't ride the paths and stick to the roads.
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Old 09-30-02, 09:39 PM   #7
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Well duuhhh.... I mean of course I sow down but you can't guarantee that it will always happen. Somtimes kids on bikes just rush across the path without looking or they just stop or wobble out of the lane- what if I can't stop in time? I worry about it. That's why I generally avoid paths. However, I do notice that a lot of parents don't tell their kids about safety. They think its enough that they wear a helmet. They don't tell them to be aware of what is going on, not to ride on the sidewalk, to look out for other cyclists, vehicles, etc.l
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Old 09-30-02, 09:52 PM   #8
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This is not meant as a flame or judgement of anyone at all, just a different view. I certainly do agree that the children should have been restrained from riding in traffic - common courtesy and safety. But the kids had as much right to be there as B&D (which he clearly acknowledges).

I see the same kinds of things on the streets and read about them here in bikeforums over and over. The major difference in what B&D is reporting and what I'm on about is...it's about motor vehicles and bikes, and (of course) what I read about it here in bikeforums is from the cyclists.

I've never seen a motorist complain about cyclists here in bikeforums and I don't ever expect to. Should it happen though, I think it would likely read much like B&D's report (which was expressed very well, I think).

Just my $.02
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Old 10-02-02, 01:06 AM   #9
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Originally posted by wabbit
Well duuhhh.... I mean of course I sow down but you can't guarantee that it will always happen. Somtimes kids on bikes just rush across the path without looking or they just stop or wobble out of the lane- what if I can't stop in time? I worry about it. That's why I generally avoid paths
Well, I guess you should certainly avoid the paths if you can't pass an erratic child safely. Being able to stop in time shouldn't be a concern because if you see a kid wobbling along on the path (or if you see a small child, period) then you shouldn't be passing at much more than a walking pace, because if you don't already know how unpredictable they can be then you'll find out soon enough and should ride accordingly.

I do a lot of riding on the bike paths in my area, about 300 miles in the last couple of months, and I've encountered scores of wobbly kids, dogs on long leashes, people walking three across on the path, oblivious joggers and rollerbladers, you name it... I haven't had a close call yet. I've had to slow down and come to almost a complete stop on countless occasions, and I just crush the pedals that much harder when I get around whomever or whatever is posing an obstacle and just consider it a form of interval training.
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Old 10-02-02, 06:41 AM   #10
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Sorry B&D, I can't disagree with you more. As a father of two kids, finding a safe place for them to ride was a problem - especially in the early years. Traffic, among other things, made it nearly impossible for my kids to enjoy their bikes at home. There were no sidewalks where I lived.

So, when they were younger I'd load the bikes into the car and take them to a public place, free of the dangers the neighborhood offered. The fairgrounds was our choice. It was a pain in the neck to get them there as two bikes, two kids and me didn't fit in my VW Golf so well. Even so, we went and they loved it.

The kids you observed were enjoying their bikes, learning to ride and the parents had taken time to provide this experience for them. You, an adult, have options. You can ride on the road safely. There is simply no comparison.

There is so much "kid and parent bashing" in this section of the forum that it truly digusts me. I expect (only guessing) it's from people who have never raised kids, experienced the joy of parenthood, or struggled with a youngster that is impossible no matter how hard you try. Parenting is hard and I frequently second guess myself. There are bad parents out there, but most are trying as hard as they can with the tools they have. I can't explain the joy our kids give me and my wife to a single person or childless couple. They see dirty diapers, mouthy teens and an anchor around our ankles. Yes, that goes with the territory, but the satisfaction and joy of raising children is, without a doubt, the most profound feeling a human can feel.
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Old 10-02-02, 07:35 AM   #11
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I appreciate your passion WoodyUpstate. You sound like a responsible parent.

"These" parents should be spanked.

Given the "runner" oriented area where I live, a biker attempting to ride on a high school track would have to be carried off in a box.
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Old 10-02-02, 07:50 AM   #12
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Hey everyone, it's like I said before, I was just ticked at the time. I'm not saying kids should never be on the track or they should always stay out of my way when I'm on it. I just found the whole thing frustrating at the time and I spewed. Eventually, I did leave and hit the streets for a few more miles. No big deal. I would have rather have just finished my laps though!
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Old 10-02-02, 03:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by WoodyUpstate
I can't explain the joy our kids give me and my wife to a single person or childless couple. They see dirty diapers, mouthy teens and an anchor around our ankles. Yes, that goes with the territory, but the satisfaction and joy of raising children is, without a doubt, the most profound feeling a human can feel.
I agree wholeheartedly. Ours are graduated from college, employed and are among our best friends. We find it difficult to come up with remembrabces of their naughtiness (not really) and are extremely proud of them.

One is making us grand parents in March and we can't wait.
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Old 10-02-02, 03:10 PM   #14
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Oh yeah. One of the things we have in common with our kids is bicycling. And, that's special.
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Old 10-02-02, 03:52 PM   #15
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I'd probably have done the same thing I usually do; hunch my shoulders up, lay into the drops, and pass them like a howitzer shell at about two inches while yelling, "TRAIL!"

It's not polite, but it's effective, and I guarantee they'll ignore you once, and only once. *evil grin*
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Old 10-02-02, 08:46 PM   #16
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And if you hit one of them, everyone would be devastated for life. Sure the parents should have told the kids to watch out, but sometimes you have to have some give and take.

B&D had already been out there for some time, maybe it was someone elses turn. In any case, why make the kids suffer for the parents thoughtlessness?
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Old 10-02-02, 09:45 PM   #17
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Funny, I was under the impression that a track or path at the local high school would have been designed for use by kids. I could be wrong of course. Hey, there are plenty of good roads to ride on. My policy is if a particular riding environment is crap, I just go and find a better one.
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Old 10-03-02, 08:11 AM   #18
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Originally posted by Chris L
Funny, I was under the impression that a track or path at the local high school would have been designed for use by kids. I could be wrong of course. Hey, there are plenty of good roads to ride on. My policy is if a particular riding environment is crap, I just go and find a better one.
Chris L ... I see a trend. We agree on a couple things now . See, you're coming around to the correct way of thinking (or maybe I am).
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Old 10-03-02, 02:30 PM   #19
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Originally posted by Chris L
Funny, I was under the impression that a track or path at the local high school would have been designed for use by kids. I could be wrong of course. Hey, there are plenty of good roads to ride on. My policy is if a particular riding environment is crap, I just go and find a better one.
Seems especially true if more than one party has a "right" to use the facility and reservations are not required.
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Old 10-04-02, 03:11 PM   #20
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I'd probably have done the same thing I usually do; hunch my shoulders up, lay into the drops, and pass them like a howitzer shell at about two inches while yelling, "TRAIL!"

It's not polite, but it's effective, and I guarantee they'll ignore you once, and only once. *evil grin*
I am sorry, this would NOT be appropriate behavior by an adult, knowing there's little children on the track. Remember, we're all examples for the children around us. They didn't know their doing anything wrong, thanks to their parents. It's the parents that needed to be spoken to.

I would get off my bike and address the parents in a curtious manner. Informing them of their duty to consider the effects of allowing their children on a fast track that's already occupied. I would also prepare for a possible legal case, with hope that the father would start something that I would finish by mopping the floor with his bank account balance in legal fees & court costs.
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Old 10-05-02, 06:27 AM   #21
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with hope that the father would start something that I would finish by mopping the floor with his bank account balance in legal fees & court costs.
Is this responsible behavior for an adult?

Oh wait, you're from Southern California.

I know you're kidding.
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Old 10-05-02, 09:05 AM   #22
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Is this responsible behavior for an adult?

Oh wait, you're from Southern California.

I know you're kidding.
LOL....To my benefit, I have retained legal counsel and it's suttle way of teaching a parent with no COMMON SENSE that his aggressive stupid behavior and more importantly, his lack of quality parenting skills needs rethinking. I might live in So CA, but I a mid-western farmboy conservative in my heart, mind. It's sad, that common sense, character, conservative values and morals are NOT widely present in younger parents in So.CA. It's one of my suttle missions in life...live by example.

My 10yr old son is thin, starting the acne stage, and finally has asthma under control (thanks to where we live now). Like his mom, nothing like me on the physical side... I'd be happy if he becomes an Architect later in life...

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Old 10-12-02, 11:12 AM   #23
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Kids and bike paths! Oh boy! Here is a great horror story that happened to me earlier this week. I was on a bike path at my favorite local park. The path is only 3 miles long. It is a narrow path. Many local people use it for running, walking their dogs and riding their bikes. It is a nice path to work out on because it has turns and hills. You are also able to just bike around the park after you have gotten bored with the path. Anyway, here is my horror! I was practicing for a race I am going to be in this coming Monday. I am not a fast rider usually the turtle in the group. I was practicing my speed going uphill. I was only going 9 miles per hr. (Thank GOD) Bikers are to the left on this path. To my immediate left, there is an extremely deep cliff that leads into the bay. No fence, if you fall you are in big trouble! I passed a woman to my right. She did not even eye contact me. She did not acknowledge I was to her left. No biggie? As I was coming close to the hill I was about to climb, this woman's children came full speed ahead on scooters coming directly head on at me!!!! I had no where to go. Woman to my right and her two kids head on at me! She did not even try to move so I could get out of the way of the kids! If they did hit me, I would have went off the cliff and probably have been badly injured or killed! Thank God I was able to see them in time. I shouted Excuse me to the woman and quickly moved over to the right hand lane! She "SLOWLY" moved! Meanwhile, here come her lovely children whipping down the wrong way head on! I did not even know that these children were hers. After, I stopped shaking, I got off my bike and politely and calmly told the children that they should not do that again. They could badly hurt themselves as well as others on the path. I explained the rules of the path and told them they were going the wrong way head on at people. The woman said to her children "Come on kids, you don't have to listen to her" Off they went on their merry way. Probably to do the same thing again to another unsuspecting victim. Great parent! I did report her to the park ranger. We all have to work together on these public paths. They are for the enjoyment of all! I have never before had any type of problem like this on any path! Hopefully, I never will again. Thanks for letting me vent!!!!!!! I feel much better now!!
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Old 10-12-02, 06:15 PM   #24
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Kids and bike paths! Oh boy! Here is a great horror story that happened to me earlier this week. The woman said to her children "Come on kids, you don't have to listen to her" Off they went on their merry way. Probably to do the same thing again to another unsuspecting victim. Great parent! I did report her to the park ranger. We all have to work together on these public paths. They are for the enjoyment of all! I have never before had any type of problem like this on any path! Hopefully, I never will again. Thanks for letting me vent!!!!!!! I feel much better now!!
I am impressed and pleased you did what their mother didn't. Keep it up. Maybe next time, you might speak to the mother. More people would likely behave, if more people were like you. Stand up and speak up. It's parents like her that don't deserve to be be some childs roll model.
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Old 10-12-02, 07:57 PM   #25
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Thank you! see it was well worth it to vent. I feel 110 percent better now! (I stopped shaking yesterday LOL) Sincerely,
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