The Chainlink

Whenever someone is riding the wrong way towards me, I notice that as they approach they will expect me to veer into traffic that I can't see coming while they go on the side closest to the sidewalk.

This is really annoying! I can't see the cars coming and they can.

What do you do in these situations?

To some degree I usually "play chicken" and go straight towards them and try to force them to go around me but more often than not I lose my nerve to have a confrontation and end up going to the traffic side to avoid a head on collision.

Normally wrong way bikers (salmoners?) don't bother me except for this tendency to want to pass me in this manner.

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Perhaps you are an avid shoaler and are simply being defensive to the point that you bring it up in a thread that is not even discussing it.  If you don't want to read discussions about shoaling maybe don't read those threads and don't bring it up in other threads?

We live in a selfish society. That selfishness has been driven hard by marketing. Shoaling is selfish "me first" behavior and the ultimate whine.

Irv, spare me the "scolding" -- you don't know me nor my riding style. I am a 55 year-old man and I don't have the patience for it from someone I have not met in real space. Play the self-righteous curmudgeon on your own time, pal.

clp, your comment, 'their errant riding!', contradicts your statement, 'can't believe people are so riled up about wrong-way riders.'

Your reaction would be 'to check behind, then swing left, (increasing your traffic risk) well out into the traffic lane.'

So, the wrong-way cyclist IS a cause for your worry! . . .

C'mon Tom AK....swinging out into traffic to avoid UPS trucks and wrong-way riders, etc is standard riding in the City.  I'd much rather be biking down Clark St during rush hour, than riding Golf Road in Arlington Heights for instance. 

Sure, it isn't a perfect cycling world.  But riding in Chicago is a lot less stressful than riding most other places in the US.  And I'm reluctant to criticize others cyclists, before I vent my displeasure on numerous motorists who threaten my life every day! 

I know you are looking when making that swing to the left. I am wary of making that swing without knowing what is coming up behind me and that wariness increases every time I pass the ghost bike by the Payton School.

At least the city has sidewalks the wrong way riders can use to get out of the &%#! way. In the suburbs, some major streets don't have sidewalks. I was riding down one during rush hour, full of cars (I didn't want to take the long way around), when 2 (that's TWO) wrong way dipwads approached. I ain't stopping, so I had to signal to the car on my left that I was merging into traffic. Luckily the cars were slowing due to the nearby train station, or I'd never been able to pull off that move. @$$hats.

But, of course, the Wrong Way Conways do not belong on the sidewalks. Why would you suggest they get on to the sidewalk?? That is not good problem-solving.

I think a couple of folks here have hit on that this is a bit of a generational thing. I was taught to ride against traffic, so you could see what was coming, I was told. This was as a teen sometime in the mid-late 80's San Francisco. Folks need to understand, while cycling is an extremely popular activity, we are still fringe, our community and it's knowledge are still a bit trapped in a microcosm. Best to give person space, use it as a teaching moment, or not. 

I think that message did get garbled for people over 40.  I was told to hike against traffic and bike with traffic but know that this message was often misinterpreted and people thought it was good practice to bike against traffic. I agree with you. It is usually pretty easy to spot the difference between somebody who thinks they are doing the right thing by riding as a salmon  and somebody who simply does not care.  The former are generally riding timidly with eyes darting left and right. The latter will not acknowledge you and are often riding faster than the posted speed limit for cars. I will look out for the former. The latter..well, my humanity helps me erase the instinct to callously think of them in Darwinian terms. I will stay out of their way and hope they get home without injuring themselves or anybody else.

Garbled?? How so? What you were told was pretty straight forward -- I got the very same set of instructions as a third-grade student in 1969 and was not confused.

I say garbled because I was not told to ride the wrong way.  I was told to walk or hike on the left and to ride on the right. I know that others were not given that information. A common misconception coming out of the 60's and 70's was to bike on the left. I was lucky enough to be have people who distinguished between biking and walking teach these things to me.  I also recall, in my youth, having peers tell me they were taught to ride on  the left. That is why I say garbled.  Frankly,  I think the message for walking  at some point drifted over, but not completely to messages for riding.  That is my non-scientific, impressionistic recollection.

"Generational"?? How so? The Rules of the Road have not changed as far as I am aware.

As to the advise you got in your youth in SF, you got some bad intel there.

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