Can't stop riding like a jackass?

First off, this is not a troll. I’m having an issue. I know I’ll get flamed, but I think that will help.

So: I’m having an issue where I find myself taking greater and greater chances for absolutely no reason at all other than I feel totally confident and in control of the situation when I do it.

I know this is a classic symptom of overconfidence and that unless I rein in my behavior, my number will eventually come up… but despite that, I can’t seem to stop.

Something about the endorphins, or “the zen,” or whatever just spurs me on. It’s like a switch, I get on my bike and just go off. When I get in this mode, my head is on a swivel, I’m taking the lane aggressively, when I want to, where I want to, how I want to, and basically just passing cars and bikes and peds and everything left and right, spinning like a wild ravenous animal.

Mind you this is all in downtown-style traffic mainly moving 15-30mph, somewhat heavy but not crazy.

Anyways I sort of had a wake-up call this morning. I’m riding downhill on a one-way street with two lanes of traffic and cars parked on both sides. Riding in the lefthand lane, I come up to a stoplight just as it’s turning green and smoke past three cars just getting going at the light. On the left hand side, which of course means that I was leaving myself open for a left hook… which didn’t come, but I knew it could come and took the chance anyways. Stupid.

So then I was mashing down the road, and the front-most of the cars I passed at the light, a red taxi, decides he wants to get cute. In my peripheral vision I see he’s pulled up on my right side about 6" from my right knee. I think, ah, what a sweetie, he’s mad because I smoked his ass back at that light and didn’t even call him afterwards. So now he’s waving his metallic car-cock at me in an effort to intimidate. I ignore him.

He nudges a little further forward, I guess thinking I hadn’t seen him since I hadn’t freaked out yet. He’s now even with my bars, his left fender underneath my right drop. This is getting ridiculous, I’ve got parked cars on my left about 2 feet away and a semi-homicidal cabbie six inches to my right.

My street is coming up, left turn, I’m at top speed so I’ll probably drag a pedal when I go around it, but since I’ve got a red Crown Vic trying to crawl into my lap, it’s not the right time to slow down… No worries. I still haven’t taken evasive action or otherwise acknowledged the cabbie. We’re just in tight Blue Angels style formation six inches apart at 20mph down the street.

Finally the time comes. I give his hood two good solid raps with my open palm and then break left around my corner. Only scrape one pedal. Have an adrenalin high for the next few minutes.

Why, I ask myself, do I have to ride like such a jackass?


parkour is dangerous too. those guys are nuts.

if you didnt like doing it you probably wouldnt do it??

pretty funny that ‘highway to the danger zone’ came on iTunes party shuffle while reading that.

no clue why that song is even in my library.

I practiced it for a 3 years, it’s not really that crazy because you never take unnecessary risks. You train yourself so by the time you do try something new or bigger that you’ll be able to do it first try and ease.

sometimes living on the edge makes life a tad more interesting.

i’m not being critical… just trying to offer advice…
maybe you could find something else that gives you a rush in a more controlled environment… like going to an indoor rock climbing gym or racing at a velodrome.
that being said… according to my personal beliefs (which may be completely wrong): when it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go. A little risk isn’t what’s gonna take you out.

no offense but this story would have been 10X better if you were doing a wheelie the whole time.

I think the main problem is that I spent my youth riding a skateboard… I have insufficient fear of injury and an over-abundance of experience dealing with car drivers who don’t/can’t/won’t see you for whatever reason. I was never hit because I never put myself in a position where a car could hit me (without trying really hard anyways).

I later took the same approach to riding motorcycles and now apply it to my daily bike commute and around-town riding. Obviously when you’re “playing” in traffic you don’t have the same options but the general principals apply. Assume you are invisible and you will not be disappointed. Give them an excuse to share the lane with you, and they will run you off the road… etc.

The main thing is that I know I should just chill out, but like H.G. Wells I just go off “hammer and tongs” every time I get on my infernal machine. I only do this on my fixed gear bike, I’m much more mellow on the road bike (at least in terms of traffic and taking chances) and, for obvious reasons, the Xtracycle. Something about the fixed gear gets me going in ways that no other bike does.

Anyways, thanks for reading. I will work on repeating the above whilst wheeling and doing teh barspinzzzz.

im confident about my abilities, but i dont trust the fucktard in the car next to/behind/in front of me.

Unless, you have sired a child, future generations of the Human species will behave in a safer, more reasonable manner. If you have bred, your genes will ensure that future generations end up as curious red smears.


Why, I ask myself, do I have to ride like such a jackass?[/quote]
because it’s fun and you can
for now

you will get hit eventually, it happens to all of us. And it might not even be your fault but it will make you learn to be more cautious. i still bomb streets and overtake cars but I’ve learned not to try and squeeze into the normal 6 inches of space I get on the side of the lane if I dont feel like it. If I’m going a decent speed or have to make a sharp turn soon I take the lane. Overall it makes it feel much safer.

[quote=“snakesakti”]pretty funny that ‘highway to the danger zone’ came on iTunes party shuffle while reading that.

no clue why that song is even in my library.[/quote]

That’s our bike polo theme song.

i equate it to riding BMX or mountain biking, but in the city, with cars that can kill you. its the same high, and yeah, it can be fun as hell.

Just become a bike messenger already…

I like mountain biking

From the mean streets of Santa Barbara…

Maybe I need to take the brakes off so I’ll feel less safe and go slower? :slight_smile:

The worst part is that I have spawned, twice in fact… two boys. The younger one is definitely going to be hell on wheels, too. I need to chill the fuck out for their sake if not my own. At least I always wear a helmet and have some life insurance… LOL

Anyways, I figured some public humiliation might be the ticket. Keep it up!

Totally agree - it’s what I should’ve done in this instance, but didn’t. Another mistake… just takes enough of them to create a chain of causality ending at the crash site.

Dude. Don’t be a jackass. Especially in traffic. I know things seem all fine and dandy, but all it takes it one person that doesn’t see you and you’re toast. Imagine your kids having to receive that bad news.

Sorry, my collision yesterday has got me all shooken up and uppity about shit like this.

I know a kid that rides like that. I don’t ride with him anymore.