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Return of the Bike Ninjas...or "Stop it, you're making me feel old!"

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Return of the Bike Ninjas...or "Stop it, you're making me feel old!"

Old 12-08-15, 11:11 AM
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BobbyG
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Return of the Bike Ninjas...or "Stop it, you're making me feel old!"

Riding home last night after dark, with lights, helmet lights, reflective wear et al. There's a stretch with a narrow bike lane with crumbling pavement towards the curb, and side streets every 50 yards. The cross streets have stop signs, but because of fences, visual obstructions and human nature, most cars brake hard at the last second and end up intruding on the bike lane, and with traffic so close on the left, due to the narrow bike lane, cyclists need to be alert, anticipate and be visible. As I was looking up ahead I realized there was another cyclist just four or five bike lengths ahead of me in dark clothing, with no lights, no reflective anything, riding no-handed with headphones on. As I got within a bike length a car came flying up to the intersection. Not wanting to see carnage I blasted my AirZound air horn and the car seemed to stop very suddenly. The cyclist ahead of me seemed oblivious to the whole thing. I checked my mirror and when traffic cleared behind me I swung out into the main lane and passed him. At least he wasn't salmoning. But then a half mile later, I encountered a Ninja Salmon, who I happened to see in the light of a streetlamp, though by then I was on a wide, quiet residential street (one of my favorites) and I was able to swing way out into the center of the street.
From bottle generators and incandessants, thru halogens, to LEDs I have not ridden at night without at least a front light since 1973, and traffic concerns aside, just coming up on broken pavement or potholes while riding no-handed in the dark is dangerous enough. Seeing reckless young riders makes me feel old. But now that I think of it...if I've been nightriding with lights since 1973, I may just be old anyway. However, riding my bike, especially at night makes me feel 14 years old, every time.
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Old 12-08-15, 11:22 AM
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The fact that you've been riding for 40 years is a testament to your own diligence and care every time you saddle up, especially at night.

I see those ninjas too, and yeah, they're mostly the younger guys on MTB's.
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Old 12-08-15, 11:23 AM
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People do dumb, oblivious things all the time. That's just how it is.
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Old 12-08-15, 11:37 AM
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Our local bike ninjas are mostly men on mountain bikes too. They vary in age, tend to be dressed like they're going to/coming from a hard physical laboring job of some sort, and usually prefer sidewalk riding over road.
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Old 12-09-15, 10:44 PM
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It's a harsh thought on a subject that I can't change: Organ donors have to come from somewhere.
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Old 12-10-15, 07:03 PM
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Most of the salmon ninjas I see are low income folks who have no other transportation, and kids. Invariably they either ride on the sidewalk, or against traffic. We have very few pedestrians using sidewalks, and most of those are older and handicapped folks in wheelchairs, on walkers and canes. The salmon ninjas aren't fast and usually their bikes emit enough squeaks and groans to serve as audible warnings.

Whenever I encounter one coming toward me on the road I just move left and take the rightmost lane to make it clear to the salmons they should continue upstream on the inside. So far, so good, no wheel dancing or juking for position.
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Old 12-10-15, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Most of the salmon ninjas I see are low income folks who have no other transportation, and kids. Invariably they either ride on the sidewalk, or against traffic. We have very few pedestrians using sidewalks, and most of those are older and handicapped folks in wheelchairs, on walkers and canes. The salmon ninjas aren't fast and usually their bikes emit enough squeaks and groans to serve as audible warnings.

Whenever I encounter one coming toward me on the road I just move left and take the rightmost lane to make it clear to the salmons they should continue upstream on the inside. So far, so good, no wheel dancing or juking for position.
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Most of the salmon ninjas I see are low income folks who have no other transportation, and kids. Invariably they either ride on the sidewalk, or against traffic. We have very few pedestrians using sidewalks, and most of those are older and handicapped folks in wheelchairs, on walkers and canes. The salmon ninjas aren't fast and usually their bikes emit enough squeaks and groans to serve as audible warnings.

Whenever I encounter one coming toward me on the road I just move left and take the rightmost lane to make it clear to the salmons they should continue upstream on the inside. So far, so good, no wheel dancing or juking for position.
Like you, I also have found most of the ninjas and salmons I see appear to be low and no income folks. In retrospect I may have sounded smug, but that was not my intent. I just wanted to relate that with age comes wisdom (hopefully) and that wisdom can make one feel old.
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Old 12-10-15, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Like you, I also have found most of the ninjas and salmons I see appear to be low and no income folks. In retrospect I may have sounded smug, but that was not my intent. I just wanted to relate that with age comes wisdom (hopefully) and that wisdom can make one feel old.
I don't think you sounded smug. I understood the voice of experience intent. With age, injuries and slowed reflexes I've become much more cautious, and safety conscious about how others ride.
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