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3/16/11 9:46 P

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In many communities biking on the sidewalk is illegal. I've had old ladies slow down and try to have a conversation with me, and tell me how dangerous biking on the road is. Poor old things, they don't have a clue.

DACIUS's Photo DACIUS Posts: 1,917
3/1/11 4:24 P

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OK, so this story is basically a rule book for how to NOT handle an altercation with an ignorant. What is an ignorant? Well an ignorant is an individual that thinks bikes have no place on roads at any time and if they are on the road with them, the biker should be taught a lesson. I had an interesting experience this weekend while taking my oldest son for his first road bike ride. It was his first experience with riding solely on the road, with no sidewalk time.

He was nervous at first, but then with the combination of his new, fast, road bike along with the security of watching cars legally pass us got him smiling and really loving the ride.

This happy, good feeling was shattered by an ignorant woman honking her horn and screaming "SIDEWALK" as she zoomed by at double the speed limit. The road we were on has a whopping 25mph limit. Our pace was 17mph. We were riding next to one another, thereby completely owning the lane. This was a very sparsly populated road that has maybe a 1/2 dozen cars an hour drive down it. When I jog on this road I run on the road because of how poor the sidewalk is.

Anyways...this woman yelled and screamed. What she neglected to recognize was she did this right before a red light. So we caught up to her. I normally would say nothing and just let them dwell in their ignorance. But I could tell my son was a little shaken and needed an injection of confidence. Here is how the conversation went. Keep in mind her car looked like it was wrecked at least twice. The woman was extremely obese and smoking with her two children in the back seat.

She said “You know you are supposed to be on the sidewalk”

I said “I apologize mam, you must be confused. See these things we are on are bicycles. I understand a woman of your stature would not recognize this. A sidewalk is for W A L K I N G.”

She said “ You are putting that boy in danger and you know it.”

I said “ Really….that boy right there. What about the two children in the wrecked vehicle you are in? What about the death stick you are sucking on. Is my child at risk? Absolutely, because ignorant people thing bikes are meant for sidewalks, my child will be at risk to those people. But here is the difference. My son is living his life, willfully enjoying exercise, legally riding based on FLORIDA LAW. Your children on the other hand have to sit there and inhale poison as they are carted around by a rude and ignorant person”

The light turned green at that point. It escelated a bit further, but it was resolved for the most part.

How do you respond to hecklers and ignorants?

Why is a Raven like a Writing Desk?
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