ChainLink Theologians Tackle the Third ‘Great Mystery’

Background Reading


First there was the Great Mystery surrounding the notion of how very powerful God really is. Could he create a rock so massive that even he could not lift it? And if in failing to lift it did this signal that he was not all powerful? And yet the fact that he could even create such a rock demonstrated his power. What is a Believer to believe?

The second Great Mystery also has to do with the power of God. In the Middle Ages it was determined that unlike corporeal beings like bicyclists and other flesh and blood creations of the Almighty, angels were different. They could be seen to have mass and volume but in fact they had neither. So as would any good theologian (unencumbered by having to support a family of five) he fell into musing about the number of such beings that might be able to dance on the head of the smallest object imaginable (at the time) the head of a pin. These theologians are a “rocking group“.

Heck after a day of creating Belgian beer what else would you do to occupy your time before vespers?

Well the Theologians at the ChainLink have struck upon a third Great Mystery. And before you ask it is not something as inane as where best to position a nose ring before making out with your Significant Other who is similarly adorned. Nope, there are weightier questions than that. What they want to know is “What exactly is Salmon-ing“?

Is the notion of “salmon-ing” to be restricted to riding against the traffic in a bike lane? Or is it riding against the traffic on a one-way side street? Or perhaps we should consider riding against traffic on the other side of the double yellow line regardless of the presence of bike lanes at all? Inquiring minds want to know.

Here is the conversation:

Reply by Maurice 11 hours ago
This one was particularly bad, causing me to bump this thread.

Around noon today, I saw a group of 4 people on Divvy bikes riding ON THE SIDEWALK west on Grand in the River North area. Needless to say, the (fairly narrow) sidewalk was packed with pedestrians. Grand has a bike lane in this area, but all traffic is one-way going east.

The perps possibly were tourists coming from the Navy Pier area.

Despite all the “happy talk” from John Greenfield and Ron Burke the fact is that Urban Cyclists are going to ultimately find that the new “nigger” in town is the tourist on a Divvy. There may in fact develop a groundswell of indignation that these are the folks who are giving “real cyclists” a bad name by their cockamamie behavior.

This will bring a sigh of relief from all the hardworking Hispanics who ride their Walmart bikes to and from work each day, usually “against traffic” as they and countless others of us were taught in our youth. It is no doubt the case that the practice was exported by the United States and like wearing blue jeans and driving Chevys it caught on. And now the grandchildren of the first converts are returning to us with all those decades of “instruction” under their belts and it angers us.

Urban Cyclists and the Law

Urban Cyclists and the Law

This is our country and we will decide as “white American cyclists” which laws can be broken and which cannot. And while we are generally OK with the notion of “rolling through stop signs” or even “running red lights” we have zero tolerance for people of color who come “riding against traffic” in our bike lanes. The very spectacle of a “white man” having to yield to one of these Hispanics on his way to work is in fact unseemly.

Another Theologian is holding forth on the true meaning of Salmon-ing:

Reply by Anne Alt 2 hours ago
Riding the wrong way is always salmoning.

Alex Z said:
I agree that it is confusing to use the term “salmoning” to describe both riding the wrong way down a one-way street and riding the wrong way in a bike lane.

This female Theologian may have step out of her place and attempted to question male authority. With a verbal pat on her head, knowing that this sort of conversation may be more difficult to grasp for her, he responds:

Reply by Alex Z 2 hours ago
Anne, don’t you think it’s fair to say that one is more problematic than the other?

Always with the “quantification of sin“, who says that Theologians are not fond of the Sciences?

Reply by Anne Alt 1 hour ago
In either case, you are creating a hazard for yourself and others.

Reply by Eli Naeher 1 hour ago
It would be interesting to know whether there is an increased incidence of accidents in or near the contraflow bike line on Ardmore.
I think many of the one-way streets mentioned above could easily handle a contraflow bike lane, and I don’t really see a downside.

Reply by Alex Z 1 hour ago
To my mind, a cyclist biking the wrong way down a bike lane on a two-way street–Augusta, Milwaukee, Clark, Lincoln, you name it–is creating a much greater hazard than a cyclist biking down a quiet, one-way residential street without a bike lane.

In the former case, it is a serious hazard for the oncoming cyclist to avoid and creates a risk that one of the cyclists will be forced to swerve into possibly fast-moving traffic unexpectedly.

In the latter case, it’s annoying but not nearly as dangerous. I see people salmon northbound on Washtenaw every day out my window. I would’ve describe it as “hazardous.”

So take that you Middle Ages Theologians. We can sidestep responsibility for our actions with the best of them. And now that we have Divvy riders to bash for doing the kinds of things we do on Critical Mass Rides it is going to be a great summer! Woohoo!