Friday, October 9, 2009


Last Saturday, while on the way into town, a came upon a Salmon cyclist traveling in the same direction I was traveling.

This fellow fit a common stereotype, which I shall describe, but I really do not know his actual circumstances. He was Hispanic, riding a cruiser style bicycle, and he was wearing street clothes. His seat was properly positioned, and his rear wheel had slight wobble.

Now I ride a high-end fancy racer style bicycle. I wear Lycra bicycle specific clothing. I was wearing a helmet. I should have been a snob and zipped by him without even a glance in his direction. (That's how it is done, isn't it?)

But then all the stereotypes fail.

I shout, but in a pleasant tone; "Hello! You should be riding over here." I point to my side of the street. I am riding about six feet from the curb.

It seems to take a moment for him to understand. I am slowing down and I am slightly ahead of him.

"Over there?" he asks.

"Yes, with traffic, it's safer."

To my surprise, he swings across the street to my side of the street, and he says "Thank you!"


I have a stop sign, and he is close behind me. I put my foot down to wait for him.

I try again to explain that it is for safety, and to follow the law. I do not know how much of that he understood, he would only say"Over here?" and thank you three or four more times.

So I continued on ahead, paying close attention to demonstrate best practices. I hope he will ride on the correct side of the road long enough to prefer it. If so, it will be better for him and our whole community.

This is the first time in my experience that an appeal to ride correctly was not received with hostility. It was quite a surprise, and gratifying as well.


  1. Hey, that's really encouraging! Well done, man!

  2. Cool. I can't say I've ever seriously attempted to get salmon to change their behavior.

  3. I am not Hispanic and do not salmon, but I ride either a 50lb English loop-frame bicycle, or a vintage mixte, always in my street-clothes and without a helmet. As far as stereotypes go, roadies should be contemptuous of me, but actually they are always pretty nice. Now the fixed gear crowd - that's another story.