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Tales from the Log of the Ruptured Duck

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,799
43
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
A CHALLENGED FRIEND

i've had to think a bit, before wtiting this. More thought about myself was required. I'm not yet through with that part, but feel OK in at least starting out now.

The other day, I rode bike along with a challenged friend. It was the first time for me ever doing anything like this. Now, I know that I like to make jokes a lot; but there's nothing light hearted in this post. I wish there was.

"Fred", we'll call him, is in his early 20s. From early childhood, he found it expedient at home to play dumb, shut up, apologize a lot, and stay out of sight as much as possible. It's called avoidance. Hidden behind that facade, is some one who can - with a helluva lot of patience - be taught to think critically and analytically. But, years of habit stand in the way.

We rode on sidewalks to avoid being in the road with traffic. (That, by the way, is legal in Michigan.) Here, it's called "Share the road." Unfortunately, the short sighted lawmakers can not repeal any of the laws of physics, and 200 pound bike-rider combination weaving along at 10-20mph are NOT a safe mix amongst 2,000-3,000 pound vehicles moving at any speed.

As we arrived at an intersection with crossing lights, I had him push the activator button for the crossing light. I had to remind him at every corner to press the button. Not a good indication #1. I told him that he had to get the bike ready to start off instantly when we got the white walk light, I had to remind him of this every time. Bad indicator #2.

Still, when the crossing light did go, he did not look around at all! Instead, he finally finished getting the bike set up to go, centered all of his attention onto the front tire, and continued staring at that front wheel all the way across! Even though I had just told him to be ready, and then then check in all four directions around himself before proceeding - he did the exact opposite. Horrendous indicator #3.

This episode disclosed weaknesses in everyone involved. (1) I was not diplomatic during debriefing when we were through. (2) His parents had done a terrible job of raising him and preparing him to be a self-sufficient adult. And (3) his habit of playing dumb as a defense posture is a group of ingrained habits that will take years to overcome.

Some of you out there, have abilities to handle situations like this much better than I do. I hold high expectations of trainees I am trying to help. They must want to learn and improve, and then show it by lrarning and changing because of that learning. I don't spend time on someone who doesn't show a desire to learn.

If any of you have already, or in the future do, become involved in similar situations, I hope your abilities are fully up to the tasks. It's a tall order.

Good riding, and godspeed.
 

oldbuffpilot

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2014
178
4
75
Central Kansas and Central Texas
A CHALLENGED FRIEND

i've had to think a bit, before wtiting this. More thought about myself was required. I'm not yet through with that part, but feel OK in at least starting out now.

The other day, I rode bike along with a challenged friend. It was the first time for me ever doing anything like this. Now, I know that I like to make jokes a lot; but there's nothing light hearted in this post. I wish there was.

"Fred", we'll call him, is in his early 20s. From early childhood, he found it expedient at home to play dumb, shut up, apologize a lot, and stay out of sight as much as possible. It's called avoidance. Hidden behind that facade, is some one who can - with a helluva lot of patience - be taught to think critically and analytically. But, years of habit stand in the way.

We rode on sidewalks to avoid being in the road with traffic. (That, by the way, is legal in Michigan.) Here, it's called "Share the road." Unfortunately, the short sighted lawmakers can not repeal any of the laws of physics, and 200 pound bike-rider combination weaving along at 10-20mph are NOT a safe mix amongst 2,000-3,000 pound vehicles moving at any speed.

As we arrived at an intersection with crossing lights, I had him push the activator button for the crossing light. I had to remind him at every corner to press the button. Not a good indication #1. I told him that he had to get the bike ready to start off instantly when we got the white walk light, I had to remind him of this every time. Bad indicator #2.

Still, when the crossing light did go, he did not look around at all! Instead, he finally finished getting the bike set up to go, centered all of his attention onto the front tire, and continued staring at that front wheel all the way across! Even though I had just told him to be ready, and then then check in all four directions around himself before proceeding - he did the exact opposite. Horrendous indicator #3.

This episode disclosed weaknesses in everyone involved. (1) I was not diplomatic during debriefing when we were through. (2) His parents had done a terrible job of raising him and preparing him to be a self-sufficient adult. And (3) his habit of playing dumb as a defense posture is a group of ingrained habits that will take years to overcome.

Some of you out there, have abilities to handle situations like this much better than I do. I hold high expectations of trainees I am trying to help. They must want to learn and improve, and then show it by lrarning and changing because of that learning. I don't spend time on someone who doesn't show a desire to learn.

If any of you have already, or in the future do, become involved in similar situations, I hope your abilities are fully up to the tasks. It's a tall order.

Good riding, and godspeed.
 

oldbuffpilot

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2014
178
4
75
Central Kansas and Central Texas
Jack.
I applaud your efforts. When we work with folks who have these kinds of disabilities, it's so very easy to become discouraged and I've found that my discouraged attitude to be my biggest obstacle. I often feel like I'm getting nowhere, then out of nowhere an break through occurs. I'm trying to learn to find a bright spot in every encounter. Not there yet, but working on it! Sometimes loving Parents or Grandparents can be an obstacle to improvement. That's some of what I have learned in the past few years for what it's worth! You didn't ask for it --but empathized with you anyway!
God Bless your efforts---- keep going forward.

Andy
 

oldsparkey

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2003
9,745
26
74
Central , Florida
www.southernpaddler.com
Jack it's a great thing you are doing and always a blessing when a person can help another.

On the flip side........Considering how the family has maintained that protective shell he likes.
Not sure about your area and it's laws. I only know Florida's.
You might want to check and see what your responsibility is under the civil laws as far as him injuring himself.
Working in Law Enforcement , ( including the Civil Department ) I have seen where the best intentions of a person turned into a real civil litigation headache for them.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,799
43
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
BARBER - LIBRARY - KROGER

Seven miles back, I started out to get some jobs done. Nice weather, so I rode the bike. Even though I don't have the Ruptured Duck nose art on the bike, the bike IS the Duck.
image.jpeg

In a local burg, Haslett, is my barbershop of choice, "Jon's." As in all barbershops, stories are swapped, contacts are made, smiles are exchanged, and hair bristles go down the back of my neck. AARRGGHH!! Oh well, it's all part of going to the barber. Ehh?

Riding from the barbershop over to the library, I cross a railroad. They just completed refinishing the crossing. MUCH better now. They, the railraod line, laid down some nice, smooth asphalt on both sides of the rails, and in between them. Now, you barely notice when driving over it at the 25mph speed limit. Previously, the RR had 3"X8" planks in there. For some reason known only to them, the planks were warped, mismatched, and poorly secured. So, when driving over it, you had to slow way down. The planks would shake, rattle, and roll. They'ed jump up and down in a dance of self destruction. Anyway, it's better now.

Our local library is part of the greater Lansing library system, and it is great. We are dedicated customers. When an author writes a book, let's say it takes them three years. Now, when I'm reading a book or listening to an audio book - I have that three year chunk of their life right here, just for me. That is a special privilege.

Riding from the library ln to the Kroger store, I travel past the Haslett High School where my son graduated. Memories. At Kroger, those saddle bags are again handy. Milk, bread, etc. fit in nicely with a bit of rearranging. ;-)

Back home, it feels good to,sit down on something that holds still. Cheated death again.
 

Wannabe

Well-Known Member
Apr 5, 2007
2,622
1
on the bank of Trinity Bay
BARBER - LIBRARY - KROGER

Seven miles back, I started out to get some jobs done. Nice weather, so I rode the bike. Even though I don't have the Ruptured Duck nose art on the bike, the bike IS the Duck.
View attachment 980

In a local burg, Haslett, is my barbershop of choice, "Jon's." As in all barbershops, stories are swapped, contacts are made, smiles are exchanged, and hair bristles go down the back of my neck. AARRGGHH!! Oh well, it's all part of going to the barber. Ehh?

Riding from the barbershop over to the library, I cross a railroad. They just completed refinishing the crossing. MUCH better now. They, the railraod line, laid down some nice, smooth asphalt on both sides of the rails, and in between them. Now, you barely notice when driving over it at the 25mph speed limit. Previously, the RR had 3"X8" planks in there. For some reason known only to them, the planks were warped, mismatched, and poorly secured. So, when driving over it, you had to slow way down. The planks would shake, rattle, and roll. They'ed jump up and down in a dance of self destruction. Anyway, it's better now.

Our local library is part of the greater Lansing library system, and it is great. We are dedicated customers. When an author writes a book, let's say it takes them three years. Now, when I'm reading a book or listening to an audio book - I have that three year chunk of their life right here, just for me. That is a special privilege.

Riding from the library ln to the Kroger store, I travel past the Haslett High School where my son graduated. Memories. At Kroger, those saddle bags are again handy. Milk, bread, etc. fit in nicely with a bit of rearranging. ;-)

Back home, it feels good to,sit down on something that holds still. Cheated death again.
The way I see it, you are risking your life far more on a bike than an airplane. In the airplane it is all on you for the most part (mid airs do happen). You are in control. On a bike you are not under control that much. Sure, you can follow all the safety rules, try to watch out for traffic (mechanized and pedestrian) and stay out of harms way. Just too many ways to get hurt. And that Sir, is my rationalization for Not exercising on a bicycle. As for you--be safe my Friend.
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,799
43
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
The way I see it, you are risking your life far more on a bike than an airplane. In the airplane it is all on you for the most part (mid airs do happen). You are in control. On a bike you are not under control that much. Sure, you can follow all the safety rules, try to watch out for traffic (mechanized and pedestrian) and stay out of harms way. Just too many ways to get hurt. And that Sir, is my rationalization for Not exercising on a bicycle. As for you--be safe my Friend.
Well, you have a good point, Bob. I'm probably at most risk when crossing roads, either at an intersection where enemy bogeys are approaching from all directions, or far away from corners where I have to judge time-distance problems. Rate of closure is of prime importance here.

As I've written earlier, Michigan unwisely has a "Share the Road" program. Unfortunately, many bikers immediately start to think like jetski riders - "THIS ALL BELONGS TO ME!! ANY ONE ELSE OUT HERE JUST BETTER MAKE WAY. I'M GOING TO RIDE IN THE TRAFFIC LANE, S L O W. W W L Y Y Y Y Y. AND SWERVINGLY.

I ride on the sidewalk. I'm a sissy. My bike weighs about 40 pounds and tops out at about 15-18mph. Cars weigh, say, 1,000-2,000 pounds, and top out at, say, about 100mph. Using my super human powers of thinking, I puzzled it out. In a collision, I might scratch their paint, and they're going scratch my body, a lot. Even though my body isn't as pretty as some others, I kinda like it.

So, I'll keep riding like a sissy
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,799
43
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Hi, Andy. You're right about bright colors. The brighter the better. Reflective materials and lights too.

Other side of that coin was, we didn't wear the standard reflective gear at night on the ramp in Nam. It would have made us too good of a target. Our F-1O0s weren't the only thing they'd shoot at.
 
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Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,799
43
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
Yeahhhhhh - but it's a necessary risk. A doctor-type friend of mine told me the other day that social isolation produces twice the death rate of either smoking or drinking. I like friends better than cigarettes, and even better than single malt scotch (almost all of the time.)
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,799
43
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
DELAYED CASUALTY


About 2 1/2 months ago, I wrote about having erred, and not getting Julie's handlebars fully secured. As a result, she tumbled off her bike. As it turns out, she sustained an injury; a hairline crack in an arm bone right at the wrist. Now, she has a cast on her right forearm. Oops!

So, I do some extra help around here, and she struggles in the shower to not get the arm wet. The old "plastic bag and rubber bands" trick helps. (I learned it from Secret Agent Smart.)

Some solo rides in my future. sigh