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People making Alto Velo look bad

Old 07-23-08, 11:41 AM
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jimples
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People making Alto Velo look bad

About an hour ago, I was biking north on Charleston here in Palo Alto, a few lengths behind a guy on a Scott CR-1 in full Alto Velo kit. As we got to the intersection at Carlson, the light was red. I slowed down; he blasted through.

Rolling stop signs is one thing. Blasting stop signs is another. Blasting red stop lights is worse yet.

But this guy has the sheer absence of mind and utter disregard for the safety of others that he blasts a red stop light and forces a woman in a minivan with her kids in the back - who had the green light, mind you - to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting him!

I caught up to him two intersections later at Middlefield and pointed out what he had just done. The arrogance in the ensuing exchange was absolutely disgusting: he asked me "So what? Did anybody die?". I told him that he was making cyclists like us look bad and all he had to say for himself was to ask if I was a police officer and to tell me to f*** off if I wasn't.

Alto Velo needs to realize that anybody wearing their club's kit represents the club and when they act like a complete jackass in doing so, it makes the entire club look bad. I sincerely doubt that they actively encourage their members to contemn the law like this; I would think that if they had any interest in their reputation, they would set some standards of decorum for their members.
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Old 07-23-08, 11:46 AM
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That's really bad. It's almost a shame that the woman in the minivan managed to stop.
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Old 07-23-08, 12:08 PM
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You gotta approach kit dudes a different way. Next time say, "hey, you shoulda stopped. You got to work on your interval training and sprint starts."

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Old 07-23-08, 12:34 PM
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I've seen ******** and arrogant behavior from AV kitted riders and packs for years. I admit, I have a prejudiced and almost irrepairably low opinion of the whole club as a result of that. Though simply forum hearsay to me at this point, sad to say it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if it all went down exactly as you described. Granted, there are a lot of asshat riders out there who wear one kit or another, AV has such a conspicuous presence in the peninsula that this d00d's behavior really does them a disservice.
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Old 07-23-08, 12:54 PM
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Your thread title could also read: "Alto Velo making all cyclists look bad"
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Old 07-23-08, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by kster View Post
Your thread title could also read: "Alto Velo making all cyclists look bad"
Except I don't blame Alto Velo as an organization in the slightest. I e-mailed the original post to the president and vice-president of Alto Velo, and their responses were exactly as I expected: courteous and concerned.

I totally agree with you. Unfortunately, there is very little either I or Matthew can do to remedy the situation. We consistently remind club members of their responsibilities and that they are representing our sponsors. With nearly 300 people in the club you are bound to have some individuals that never quite get it.
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Old 07-23-08, 02:18 PM
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The guy's a complete jerk and doesn't represent the vast majority of AV riders. It is certainly not behavior that is tolerated on our club rides and I have no hesitation chewing someone out if I see behavior that reflects poorly on our club.

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Old 07-23-08, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jimples View Post
I caught up to him two intersections later at Middlefield and pointed out what he had just done. The arrogance in the ensuing exchange was absolutely disgusting: he asked me "So what? Did anybody die?". I told him that he was making cyclists like us look bad and all he had to say for himself was to ask if I was a police officer and to tell me to f*** off if I wasn't.
Unfortunately, jerks like that will never listen to what you have to say. It will just piss you off more. He will only learn when he gets hit by a car.
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Old 07-23-08, 03:24 PM
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That kind of arrogant "FU" attitude is getting more and more common place between drivers and cyclist. It would almost seem that its beeing spurred on equally by both sides. I got into an incident with a club member about 3 weeks ago while I was bumping around in PA. I wont say what club, but this dude grabbed my wheel, which is fine, but when I stopped for a red light he nearly crashed, mostly because he had no intention of stopping. I gave a hand signal waay in advance and came to a nice slow stop, but that wasn't good enough. I let this tard berate me for about a minute. When I stepped off my bike to offer a way to settle our differences he kindly left, big suprise. I have ridden with members of that club before and since and have never had a bad experience. Thus this is just 1 clown, making the others look bad by association. In this case stereotyping is easy because they're all dressed the same.
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Old 07-23-08, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Ty.S View Post
... I let this tard berate me for about a minute. When I stepped off my bike to offer a way to settle our differences he kindly left, big suprise. ...


Showed him two tickets to the gun-show I see.
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Old 07-23-08, 03:52 PM
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To the OP. Is this the guy?



To be fair, the guy was just coming off his doping regimen and might explain why he was a wee bit grumpy.
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Old 07-23-08, 05:08 PM
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Wow, what a putz.
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Old 07-23-08, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by kb5ql View Post


Showed him two tickets to the gun-show I see.
OMG, I can't stop LOL'ing.
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Old 07-23-08, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by kb5ql View Post


Showed him two tickets to the gun-show I see.
Actually, I think Ty challenged him to a Macarena competition.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:50 PM
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I was raising the roof actually :-P I lack the rythm to pull the Macarena, sadly.
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Old 07-23-08, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveE View Post
The guy's a complete jerk and doesn't represent the vast majority of AV riders. It is certainly not behavior that is tolerated on our club rides and I have no hesitation chewing someone out if I see behavior that reflects poorly on our club.
It sucks for all cyclists when any cyclist does stupid stuff, and it is not hard to see people of all shapes and colors doing some *really* stupid stuff. It sucks worse for club-mates of those in identifiable kit, because we all take the heat for one person acting like an idiot.

As a member of AV I'm keenly aware that people are judging the entire club based on my actions whenever I'm on the road, and I make my best effort to keep us in a good light by riding responsibly, etc..

Unfortunately I have absolutely no control over the 400+ people who send in their $75 to join but I guess that's the breaks when you're in a club. As Steve mentioned, this kind of thing comes up on our organized rides from time to time, and I have personally witnessed him chewing someone out for doing something stupid on a ride. We are also discussing this specific incident on our mailing list, hopefully it will remind our membership (again...) that we have an extra responsibility that non-kitted cyclists don't.

Really sorry to read about this...we are not all jerks, really!
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Old 07-23-08, 11:24 PM
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I would like to say that I am the mother of one of the Alto Velo members. He is not with us anymore because he was killed in September of 2006. He was obeying the rules of the road, as he always did, when he was killed on his bike. He was proud of his club and I have since met and talked with a lot of A/V members. I have not met one of his fellow A/V members that have not been kind and giving. I've not encountered one member that I feel is capable of the action described. It is my theory that this guy could have been wearing an A/V jersey and NOT a member of the club. Is that beyond the realm of possibility?

Alto/Velo is a large and well-known club. Anyone can wear whatever they have or were loaned or found, or bought on eBay and be an ass on the road. I started riding at 60 years old and I occasionally wore an A/V jersey given to me by my son. I always tried to ride with the rules of the road in mind but if I were to have done something asinine in St. Louis, where I live, nobody would have recognized the jersey. Let someone who is a non-member do the same thing in NorCal and they blame it on Alto/Velo. Whether or not he was truly a member of Alto/Velo remains in question. If, indeed he was a card carrying member, he represents 1/400th or something of the whole. Don't judge the club for one idiot wearing an Alto Velo Jersey.

Every member of A/V I met during my son's funeral came off as educated, caring, and wholesome and I still chat with many of them two years later via e-mail. These guys aren't the uncaring ogres some may paint them as. I am closer to them now than most cyclists are who meet them on the road. I think you're barking up the wrong tree by blaming an entire club for something someone did that may not even KNOW a member of A/V. How easy is it to get a kit? Or a jersey? The description of this person doesn't fit the personality of anyone I've met through Alto Velo. Quite the contray, as a matter of fact. I think this guy was a jerk and he had on the A/V kit OR he was 1/400th of the whole. Any way you cut it, and no matter how you want it to be, Alto Velo Racing Club is a quality Racing Club with high standards. I'd really like to know who this guy is but my money is on the fact he really doesn't ride for Alto Velo.
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Old 07-24-08, 12:23 PM
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Hi MaryAnn, it is nice to hear from you. First off, I should mention that while I never met John, I do think about him every time I am heading for a ride (I would guess many AVs do), as we quite literally wear his name on our sleeve.

re: the possibility that the person running the stop light was not an actual AV member: I suppose it's possible, since anyone can buy Webcor pro kit through Velowear.com. It's somewhat easy to distinguish Webcor pro kit from the Webcor/Alto Velo club design: the club/amateur kit has added yellow stripes. But I would not expect anyone outside (or maybe even inside) the club to be paying that much attention to it. And some AV members do buy bits of the pro kit from time to time (discount sales, etc.). But, possibility is one thing; likelihood is another. Sadly, chances of this person having been an actual member of AV are pretty good.

jimples: I'm sorry you had such a crappy run-in with this person and I would again like to reiterate that he does not represent the views nor practices nor policies of the club. You did the right thing by mentioning it to the club president as well as here and I hope the exposure will help to shame the person into better behavior. Thanks.
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Old 07-29-08, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jimples View Post
Alto Velo needs to realize that anybody wearing their club's kit represents the club and when they act like a complete jackass in doing so, it makes the entire club look bad.

While I agree this cyclist's behavior was wrong, do we expect the AAA (for example) to police the driving done by their members? How often do you write to AAA when you see some dolt driving like an idiot? Do we expect motorists to be "ambassadors"?
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Old 07-29-08, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by richardmasoner View Post
While I agree this cyclist's behavior was wrong, do we expect the AAA (for example) to police the driving done by their members? How often do you write to AAA when you see some dolt driving like an idiot? Do we expect motorists to be "ambassadors"?
How about if their car is plastered with AAA advertisements?
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Old 07-29-08, 10:35 PM
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As a club sponsor, it makes me cringe to hear about this kind of behavior. A little etiquette on the road is not a bad thing.
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Old 07-29-08, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jimples View Post
How about if their car is plastered with AAA advertisements?
No, but this is a much smaller club than AAA.

Nobody's trying to turn Alto Velo heads into the cycling police and make them responsible for every member's behavior at all times. It's just a good heads-up for them to maybe emphasize safe riding when groups of folks get together, if they don't already.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:22 AM
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You think that's bad, I do a fixed ride on tuesdays and I can tell you right now, that only about 3-4 out of the 15-20 guys/gals tonight actually stops for reds.
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Old 07-30-08, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jinws View Post
You think that's bad, I do a fixed ride on tuesdays and I can tell you right now, that only about 3-4 out of the 15-20 guys/gals tonight actually stops for reds.
Ya, but y'all in sponsor tagged kits, or are ya pimpin' da plaid, stripes, knickers and Chrome bags?
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Old 07-30-08, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by oaklandcyclist View Post
Ya, but y'all in sponsor tagged kits, or are ya pimpin' da plaid, stripes, knickers and Chrome bags?
well, there were a few guys wearing their girlfriends jeans. I don't even know how they get their foot through the pant legs.
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