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The latest idiot

Old 10-28-19, 02:10 PM
  #1  
dkatz1
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The latest idiot

I often commute on m bike to my teaching job in Boston. A large bit of my ride is on bike path, but the last half a mile or so is on Massachuestts avenue, one of the major streets in the Boston/Cambridge area. A lot of traffic. In the last few years, they replaced much of the parallel parking with bike lanes, with the weird set up car traffic ( a lane less then they're used to be, a bike lane, then: parking along the street to the right of the bike lane. I'm not that crazy about this set up, I would have left it alone, but that's NOT the point of this rant.
I see so many cyclists blasting down this heavily traveled road, weaving in an out of traffic (as if everyone in a car is carefully watching out for them), no helmet, talking on their phones, nearly running over pedestrians, etc...I'm surprise more of them haven't been hit (and indeed: some of them have).
But a guy I saw a few days ago...he was doing most of the above...zooming along, weaving in and out of the car traffic....and he had, either on his handle bars (or was just holding it?) one of those plastic infant seats, like you see mounted to a rack over the rear wheel.
With an infant child in it. This seemed totally insane to me. I wouldn't think carrying an infant that way is EVER a good idea, but if you were doing it: shouldn't you at least slow down?!?!?!
It's okay to think that someday this man might get (and at least surely be in the running for) a Darwin award, but the tiny baby was way too young to have chosen to be there.
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Old 10-28-19, 02:18 PM
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BobbyG
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I would have called the police.
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Old 10-28-19, 02:25 PM
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At least he was not on an ebike.
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Old 10-28-19, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
I would have called the police.
This
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Old 10-28-19, 03:27 PM
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Jim from Boston
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The latest idiot
Originally Posted by dkatz1 View Post
I often commute on m bike to my teaching job in Boston. A large bit of my ride is on bike path, but the last half a mile or so is on Massachuestts avenue, one of the major streets in the Boston/Cambridge area.

A lot of traffic. In the last few years, they replaced much of the parallel parking with bike lanes, with the weird set up car traffic ( a lane less then they're used to be, a bike lane, then: parking along the street to the right of the bike lane. I'm not that crazy about this set up, I would have left it alone, but that's NOT the point of this rant.

I see so many cyclists blasting down this heavily traveled road, weaving in an out of traffic (as if everyone in a car is carefully watching out for them), no helmet, talking on their phones, nearly running over pedestrians, etc...I'm surprise more of them haven't been hit (and indeed: some of them have).

But a guy I saw a few days ago...he was doing most of the above...zooming along, weaving in and out of the car traffic....and he had, either on his handle bars (or was just holding it?) one of those plastic infant seats, like you see mounted to a rack over the rear wheel…
FYA, I have posted about cycling on Mass Ave.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Generally I get kudos or just indifference towards my cycling, mostly as a year-round commuter here in Metro Boston, even after my serious accident four years ago. The most hostile remarks, particularly in Winter, are from those drivers who fear for themselves to hit me.

Of course I contend with their fears using many of those talking points as mentioned above ["Once again: Health VS Cycling Accidents" (link)]. One soft argument I read on Bikeforums is that cycling in traffic really does look dangerous to car drivers ensconced in their vehicles.

Personally I feel pretty safe, well-lit, with unlimited vision with mirrors, and pretty nimble on my bike. Nonetheless, I’m totally attentive to the cars around me, and I have a number of safety aphorisms in my mind to keep me alert (link).


Once though, I was standing on a busy intersection (Massachusetts and Commonwealth Aves) one Saturday night watching some happy-go-lucky student-type cyclists on Hubway Bike Share bikes, no helmets, riding along and laughing in traffic, and I thought to myself that really does look dangerous.
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Old 10-28-19, 03:35 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
I would have called the police.
Not to be argumentative, but what would you have told them, by the time you got through and the rider was long gone? If identifiable would you call the Dept of Children and Families, which is already notably overburdened in this state.
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Old 10-28-19, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Not to be argumentative, but what would you have told them, by the time you got through and the rider was long gone? If identifiable would you call the Dept of Children and Families, which is already notably overburdened in this state.
You never know. Assuming that it is a child in the seat , An APB could help an officer to notice. If this is a regular occurrence, then the sooner it is stopped the safer for the kids involved. As far as the department of families being overburdened, again if this is a pattern of endangerment, which includes other risky Behavior, then by calling it in you have become part of the solution.
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Old 10-28-19, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Not to be argumentative, but what would you have told them, by the time you got through and the rider was long gone? If identifiable would you call the Dept of Children and Families, which is already notably overburdened in this state.
Of course I would have called the police. In many places police are over-burdened but I don't think that's a reason not to report a crime.
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Old 10-28-19, 05:35 PM
  #9  
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What would the shocked posters have done if they had seen this quite typical in NL combination? And no helmet!! Don't ever visit Holland, you would be shocked, shocked at the Horror!!
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Old 10-28-19, 06:06 PM
  #10  
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May, indeed, have been a infant seat designed to be mounted to the handlebars. I don't know.
I probably rode more safely than the fellow described in the first post but probably more than a few motorists thought I cared not for my sons' safety when they were pulled in a bike trailer thirty plus years ago.
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Old 10-28-19, 06:10 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
What would the shocked posters have done if they had seen this quite typical in NL combination? And no helmet!! Don't ever visit Holland, you would be shocked, shocked at the Horror!!
poor comparison. the us is not a bike commuting community
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Old 10-28-19, 06:37 PM
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There is a dude in our neighborhood riding around on bicycle with I’m guessing a 3 year old daughter sitting in front of him on the top tube with no helmet and riding at a relatively high speed at times.

I probably should step up and chat with him and give him a kids size helmet.
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Old 10-28-19, 07:50 PM
  #13  
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Or, instead of calling child protective services, maybe call your elected representatives to change the entire mindset of drivers-first so it's safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Somehow this seems to work in nations that adopted an overall strategy for shared public resources.
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Old 10-28-19, 07:55 PM
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Old 10-28-19, 08:06 PM
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Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
I would have called the police.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Not to be argumentative, but what would you have told them, by the time you got through and the rider was long gone? If identifiable would you call the Dept of Children and Families, which is already notably overburdened in this state.
Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Of course I would have called the police. In many places police are over-burdened but I don't think that's a reason not to report a crime.
The actions described by @BobbyG are indeed desirable outcomes if intentional malfeasance is occuring, though of course idiocy is no excuse.

I’m skeptical though of the outcome of one observation, and perhaps the OP may have some follow-up. A possible benefit of posting here I suppose is that there is even the possibility that the perp or a another cyclist may be a subscriber to Bike Forums and will recognize his behavior on this thread, and be more careful.
Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
There is a dude in our neighborhood riding around on bicycle with I’m guessing a 3 year old daughter sitting in front of him on the top tube with no helmet and riding at a relatively high speed at times.

I probably should step up and chat with him and give him a kids size helmet.
This reply reminds me of other threads, "What do you say to…ninjas, salmoning…etc,” most with MYOB responses. How dangerous was the cyclist’s riding?
Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
May, indeed, have been a infant seat designed to be mounted to the handlebars. I don't know.

I probably rode more safely than the fellow described in the first post but probably more than a few motorists thought I cared not for my sons' safety when they were pulled in a bike trailer thirty plus years ago.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… One soft argument I read on Bikeforums is that cycling in traffic really does look dangerous to car drivers ensconced in their vehicles [or maybe less experienced cyclists].

Personally I feel pretty safe, well-lit, with unlimited vision with mirrors, and pretty nimble on my bike. Nonetheless, I’m totally attentive to the cars around me, and I have a number of safety aphorisms in my mind to keep me alert (link).

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 10-28-19 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 10-28-19, 08:29 PM
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What crime has he committed that you are going to call the cops on him?
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Old 10-28-19, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
poor comparison. the us is not a bike commuting community
Correct, if the OP and his thumbs up, Call the Police, I saw something that doesn't meet my Bicycling Correctness Standard! comrades are representative of the so-called "bike commuting community".
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Old 10-29-19, 05:27 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
What would the shocked posters have done if they had seen this quite typical in NL combination? And no helmet!! Don't ever visit Holland, you would be shocked, shocked at the Horror!!
Look, I'm finding the "call the police" stuff pretty silly, but the comparison to that photo is also silly. Are we supposed to believe she's zipping in and out of traffic as described in the op? I'd be amazed if she could ride that rig faster than 10 mph, and I'm pretty sure she's not doing a lot of high speed swerving.

Any data showing they're right and we're wrong about mandatory helmets for children? Honest question,
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Old 10-29-19, 07:46 AM
  #19  
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I personally never understood the child seats that attach to the main frame of the bike. I mean, bikes go down now and then. Always used a trailer for my kid.
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Old 10-29-19, 08:04 AM
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That would have been a cause for yelling at them

Busy bodies bless your hearts.
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Old 10-29-19, 08:13 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by 55murray View Post
I personally never understood the child seats that attach to the main frame of the bike. I mean, bikes go down now and then. Always used a trailer for my kid.
They offer protection in falls. So do the bars and the rider's body. A trailer can easily be rear ended by an inattentive driver. Not much integrity to many of those things.
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Old 10-29-19, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
They offer protection in falls. So do the bars and the rider's body. A trailer can easily be rear ended by an inattentive driver. Not much integrity to many of those things.
It's been a long time since my kids were toddlers, but I've done both extensively. No question that the trailer made it much harder to maneuver the bike, need a bigger turn radius, and the added weight makes the riding more sluggish. On the other hand, once the kid gets on the big side of toddlerhood, there's little question that they're more comfortable in the trailer.

Safetywise, I never had an incident, and felt it was something of a wash. They were in fairly secure seats and had helmets on, so unless I rode like a complete idiot, the chances of being hurt in a fall were pretty minimal. Either the bike or the trailer is always subject to getting hit by a car, and there really isn't much effective protection from that possible except avoidance. I always had a big flag on the trailer, so there really wasn't an issue of visibility, and I studiously avoided riding in poor visibility conditions with the kids. Since some of this was done in San Francisco, that often meant resorting to the stroller and buses instead.
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Old 10-29-19, 11:19 AM
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Please do not, in any way, obstruct or interfere with Darwin's work.
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Old 10-29-19, 11:25 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
Please do not, in any way, obstruct or interfere with Darwin's work.
Someone hurting themselves I don't have much of a problem with. Hurting an innocent child, that's a different matter.
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Old 10-29-19, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by dkatz1 View Post
[T]hey replaced much of the parallel parking with bike lanes, with the weird set up car traffic ( a lane less then they're used to be, a bike lane, then: parking along the street to the right of the bike lane. I'm not that crazy about this set up, I would have left it alone, but that's NOT the point of this rant.
I think you mean your other right of the bike lane.

Originally Posted by dkatz1 View Post
But a guy I saw a few days ago...he was doing most of the above...zooming along, weaving in and out of the car traffic....and he had, either on his handle bars (or was just holding it?) one of those plastic infant seats, like you see mounted to a rack over the rear wheel.
With an infant child in it. This seemed totally insane to me. I wouldn't think carrying an infant that way is EVER a good idea, but if you were doing it: shouldn't you at least slow down?!?!?!
It's okay to think that someday this man might get (and at least surely be in the running for) a Darwin award, but the tiny baby was way too young to have chosen to be there.
First, there are front child carriers.
Second, what do YOU mean by "infant child" - how old do YOU think the child is? Are you certain?

Under one year in Massachusetts they must be in a trailer (helmet optional).
Between one and four or under fourty pounds, they may be in a "baby seat," restrained, with a helmet.

Finally, is this YOUR "infant child" on their bike? If yes, you get to choose when and where your child may ride. If no, why do YOU get to choose?

(Helpful definitions from George Carlin - IDIOTS ride slower than you ride. MANIACS ride faster than you ride.)

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 11-03-19 at 10:09 AM.
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