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Stupid dangerous prank incident this evening...




I was riding my son's 50cc trail bike in darkness this evening (downhill flat-out at about 40mph)and noticed 2 lads walking toward me on the near pavement ahead. Just at the last second they both pretended to jump into the road as if to knock me off the bike, but luckily my brain was quick enough to process the 'prank' and aside from the smallest wobble I carried on down the hill.

I was fuming though! Absolute rage that anyone could be so stupid to risk anothers safety like that.
My son can't ride his bike on roads until he turns 16 and passes a 'riding round cones' type one day test in the next few weeks. I imagined what could have happened if as a new rider these lads did something similar to him and he crashed...I was fuming, Grrr!!

The two lads who were about the same age as my son (15-16) were well up the hill behind me and I couldn't pull over to turn round due to cars behind and oncoming. Well, I reached the junction at the bottom and ragged that little two stroke engine back up the hill until I caught up with the lads.

They heard me approaching and started running although I could not get over to their side of the road due to oncoming downhill traffic. When I overtook them I shouted a question regarding their own opinions on how clever they thought they were, but in a perhaps more course building/construction site fashion, then I pulled over, found a gap in the traffic and sprinted across to them.

The discussion was heated and I expressed in no uncertain terms what such a 'prank' could produce for inexperienced/nervous/new riders...it was a prolonged and emotive rant. I actually really really wanted one or both of them to instigate a first violent move so that I could use 'reasonable force' in my own defence, but they were very submissive and appeared afraid of the rough manual construction worker bloke I am who was raging at them. For that reason, I gentled my tone and spoke 'more kindly' about how we should all think of each others safety, and that if they were working with dangerous tools disk-cutters, chainsaws, nailguns, etc with me then I would care about their safety...help them stay safe, blah.

We parted company when I was satisfied my message was clearly understood.
Some issues are important, and if other parents haven't instilled such instinct in their offspring then I will address it when it infringes on my life...if only one other motorbike rider is saved from a future prank by those two lads then I'll be happy I ragged that bike back up the hill Smile



5 blog comments below

I see at least two lessons from what happened to you. The first and most important one is how to recognize pranks and not to respond to them. The other one is how to deal with those who make the pranks. How would you advise your son to respond to the pranksters as distinct from you of course being an elder statesman so to speak.
deanhills on Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:32 pm
A more intelligent but equally potentially dangerous stunt was pulled on me by a couple of kids a few years ago. I was on my old Yam FJ1200 doing about 40mph when I noticed 2 kids ahead on either side of the road. As I approached they both pulled a rope tight, across the road. I jammed on hard, and it took me a moment to realise there was, of course, no rope.
I was fuming for a moment, then I couldn't help smiling at their ingenuity, despite the irresponsibility of it....
Bikerman on Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:47 pm
Well done, watersoul.
standready on Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:48 pm
Deanhills wrote:
How would you advise your son to respond to the pranksters as distinct from you of course being an elder statesman so to speak.
Ooh, that's a question about recognition of risk and expected chance of success in a situation, based on personal experience and awareness of capabilities.

My lad is as big as me and pretty close in strength as I admit I work harder for the arm-wrestle wins these days, he plays regular rugby for his school and club (ten years of matches and training every week now), and he is mostly an A grade student who is capable of making very reasoned decisions.

We haven't spoken about this yet but we're meeting up at a nearby field tomorrow for a day of (manual gearbox/clutch) motorbike practice and I shall of course mention it.
My advice is always the same as he's grown up. Always cover your arse legally, only take a risk if you think it is important enough and your reasoned judgement is that whatever risk actually has a chance of success. But most importantly, watch out for the people out there who have no regard for the safety of others...you could be the best rider in the world but some thoughtless person could pull out in front of you, or take a risk of running a gap...or pull a dangerous prank - Basically when you're riding distrust everyone who isn't riding with you.

...if you're asking would I support my son in a situation where he has employed reasonable force in a conflict situation, yes, of course, and he has a strong understanding of the related laws, as well as wider moral questions and personal awareness of risk.
His choices at all times are his own and my advice at all times remains the same in such situations:
Quote:
Always cover your arse legally, only take a risk if you think it is important enough and your reasoned judgement is that whatever risk actually has a chance of success. But most importantly, watch out for the people out there who have no regard for the safety of others.
...that would be a topic in itself though Wink
watersoul on Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:34 pm
Bikerman wrote:
I noticed 2 kids ahead on either side of the road. As I approached they both pulled a rope tight, across the road. I jammed on hard, and it took me a moment to realise there was, of course, no rope.
I was fuming for a moment, then I couldn't help smiling at their ingenuity, despite the irresponsibility of it....
I would have probably reacted with less intensity to that as well, the straight on nature of 'the rope' is certainly different to a 45 degree angle apparent/perceived attempt to knock you off your bike with attacking hands less than half a metre from your face.

...it is why I put my dad head on and softened my tone to a mantra of all us people looking out for each other - my rage procured the initial attention to my words, but safety of fellow strangers was the message, and then delivered more softly because anger in itself is rarely constructive.
When someone is scared of another person it is more challenging for them to understand or accept their message.
If scaring someone to force their attention to a message (which is then more softly shared) is an option I think will be effective to assist me dealing with people who wish to disruptively intrude on my life, then yes, I will always keep it somewhere in my life toolbox Wink
watersoul on Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:57 am



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