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Old 12-15-05, 12:20 PM   #1
timmhaan
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how much info do you not share with your loved ones?

my GF and my family aren't bike riders, although they have no problem with what i do. however, the few times we discussed the downsides to cycling (agressive drivers, hit and runs, verbal abuse, accidents, etc.) they got more and more worried, and urged me to ride only the safest routes at the safest times.

i naturally started limiting the amount of negative news i would talk with them about. i wanted to protect my freedom to ride wherever i wanted. i certainly wouldn't report each and every incident i heard about. i don't even tell them about all the close calls or things yelled at me as i ride along. as such, they really don't know what i deal with sometimes. i'm wondering if that's a healthy situation or not. are you guys\girls cautious on how much of the bad stuff you reveal?
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Old 12-15-05, 12:23 PM   #2
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My wife tells me she just doesn't want to know.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:24 PM   #3
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I make sure that they know my usual routes, and where I am going. That way if I am hours off schedule and out of contact, they know where to look.

But beyond that what happens on the bike stays with the bike. They just wouldn't understand.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
my GF and my family aren't bike riders, although they have no problem with what i do. however, the few times we discussed the downsides to cycling (agressive drivers, hit and runs, verbal abuse, accidents, etc.) they got more and more worried, and urged me to ride only the safest routes at the safest times.

i naturally started limiting the amount of negative news i would talk with them about. i wanted to protect my freedom to ride wherever i wanted. i certainly wouldn't report each and every incident i heard about. i don't even tell them about all the close calls or things yelled at me as i ride along. as such, they really don't know what i deal with sometimes. i'm wondering if that's a healthy situation or not. are you guys\girls cautious on how much of the bad stuff you reveal?
You know, I have this same dilemma. Most of my family are not cyclists, excepting my father who frequents these forums, and they sometimes don't understand that my complaints are simply complaints and not a reflection of how much danger I am in. For instance, I told my parents (kind of bragging) that I hit 55 mph down a hill, and my mom kind of freaked out. I had to assure her that this was not very dangerous and I was completely in control and very careful.

I worry a little about telling my significant other about some of the things I encounter on the road, but generally, she trusts my judgement and I phrase what I say to her in terms of generallized complaints about society rather than in terms of danger. It has seemed to work so far.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artkansas
I make sure that they know my usual routes, and where I am going. That way if I am hours off schedule and out of contact, they know where to look.

But beyond that what happens on the bike stays with the bike. They just wouldn't understand.
Pretty much the same thing here... although some 15 years ago my wife happened to spot me coming home and later told me she was "totally freaked" by how I rode through traffic.

Admittedly I did do a few messenger-like moves that she happened to catch...

And even today, in heavy bumper to bumper traffic, I think she might take offense to seeing me "filter forward" in some locations.

On a side note, she often comments on my timing and why I wait until rush hour... not understanding that at the peak of rush hour, I am usually the fastest thing moving out there.

"Why not leave earlier... "

"What, and face the coffee hyped idiots driving 55MPH on the 45MPH roads... Ha!"
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Old 12-15-05, 12:33 PM   #6
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I just remind my mom that she's on blood pressure medicine for leading a sedentary lifestyle. And I remind my dad that's he's on cholestoral lowering medicine for leading a sedentary lifestyle. Then I express my concern for their safety and health.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:34 PM   #7
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I try to never let her know what upgrades I've just ordered.

I do try to tell her how long I'll be riding, but I just can't seem to take the short way home.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:53 PM   #8
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If you think you guys are sick of my going on and on about traffic cycling, imagine my poor wife! She is not a cyclist per se, but does "recreational riding" a few times a year, including a few rides on the tandem, and has done some short utilitarian rides around town too.

She has expressed some concern over my safety in the past, but, since I got into vehicular cycling, not so much anymore. Whenever we drive together and see a cyclist we usually talk about what they're doing, and how it might be better or safer to do something different. On our tandem rides I demonstrate VC. One time we had to make a left turn on a 4 lane road into a mid-block commercial entrance. We had to stop in the left lane, wait for a gap in oncoming traffic (just like a car driver would), and then make our left. While we were stopped, traffic approaching from the rear had to change lanes and pass us on our right. Anyway, once we got in the parking lot and off the tandem, a guy came up to us and told us that he saw how "professionally" we managed the tandem, that he was impressed, and that he wished all cyclists would ride like that. Experiences like that help her realize that I'm not taking any unreasonable risks. But the clincher I think was seeing me navigate heavy/fast traffic while bike commuting a few times while she was driving and approaching from behind. She could see how I was interacting with drivers, and how they were interacting with me (or so she told me later); she could see how obvious it was what I was doing, and why (riding in the center of a lane with traffic passing me on both sides - traffic on the right headed for a freeway onramp). There's only one other cyclist I've ever seen manage this interchange the way I do every day (other cyclists hug the right edge of the lane and then cut across it at the last moment when there is a gap).

Anyway, my wife knows how I ride in traffic, so she's not worried. Her only concern is whether I'm sufficiently visible at night.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
If you think you guys are sick of my going on and on about traffic cycling, imagine my poor wife!
I had to laugh out loud when I read that. Maybe we should form a support group for the wives of A&S mavens.
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Old 12-15-05, 01:03 PM   #10
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My wife tells me all the time that she doesn't want to know either. I respect her wishes, except I do try to tell her when I have arrived all right on my commute so that she won't worry. I also find that it helps to check in whenever I am out on a 2 hour+ training ride. She's okay up to 2 hours, but if I am gone longer than that she begins to convince herself that the worst has happened.
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Old 12-15-05, 01:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
are you guys\girls cautious on how much of the bad stuff you reveal?
For years now, whenever I mention the word, "bicycle," my wifes eyes just sort of glaze over in a distant stare, and I know she'll hear absolutely nothing after that. I suspect if I told her about something exciting, she might listen a little more closely...
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Old 12-15-05, 01:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Whenever we drive together and see a cyclist we usually talk about what they're doing, and how it might be better or safer to do something different.
My wife doesn't bike.
Everytime we're in the car together and see a cyclist, she does her best 'wulfheir' voice and says:
a) Where's your effin' helmet?
b) Where's your effin' light? (at night)
c) Get off the effin' sidewalk!
d) Nice effin' stop! (blowing stop sign/red light)
Or any combination of the above. She doesn't actually say this to the cyclist, she just keeps it inside the car.
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Old 12-15-05, 01:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wulfheir
My wife doesn't bike.
Everytime we're in the car together and see a cyclist, she does her best 'wulfheir' voice and says:
a) Where's your effin' helmet?
b) Where's your effin' light? (at night)
c) Get off the effin' sidewalk!
d) Nice effin' stop! (blowing stop sign/red light)
Or any combination of the above. She doesn't actually say this to the cyclist, she just keeps it inside the car.
Sounds like me, without the $%7*&!! - wouldn't want the seven year old in the back seat to think I was a sailor.
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Old 12-15-05, 01:54 PM   #14
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Cycling is one of the safer endeavors I've been/am involved in. My wife has learned two things:

A: I can generally take care of myself pretty well. (As in risk management)
2: Worrying doesn't change a thing.

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Old 12-15-05, 02:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
Pretty much the same thing here... although some 15 years ago my wife happened to spot me coming home and later told me she was "totally freaked" by how I rode through traffic.

My wife has seen my in traffic as well. My style is not so brash so she says it gave her confidence to see how I ride.
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Old 12-15-05, 02:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
are you guys\girls cautious on how much of the bad stuff you reveal?
You gotta be. My basic rule is to be open and tell the truth. However, the massive exception to this rule is that it must be ignored when following it will come to no good.

If someone works their butt off to make something special for you, you say it tastes great. If your wife is in conflict with her boss, but you think he is right, you say things that support her views both in private and in pulbic. If you almost got taken out by a truck that lost control after colliding head on with some drunken maniac (who barely missed you 10 seconds earlier), you either say nothing or that there was a terrible accident that closed the highway, but fortunately it didn't hold you up.

Reporting bad news to people who can't handle it is a bad idea unless you have reason to expect that doing so will benefit them somehow.
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Old 12-15-05, 02:37 PM   #17
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I usually operate under "Need to know" policy. If aksed I tell the truth, but I don't go in to to much details.
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Old 12-15-05, 04:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
my GF and my family aren't bike riders, although they have no problem with what i do. however, the few times we discussed the downsides to cycling (agressive drivers, hit and runs, verbal abuse, accidents, etc.) they got more and more worried, and urged me to ride only the safest routes at the safest times.

i naturally started limiting the amount of negative news i would talk with them about. i wanted to protect my freedom to ride wherever i wanted. i certainly wouldn't report each and every incident i heard about. i don't even tell them about all the close calls or things yelled at me as i ride along. as such, they really don't know what i deal with sometimes. i'm wondering if that's a healthy situation or not. are you guys\girls cautious on how much of the bad stuff you reveal?
Even though I don't have many incidents, I do the same. I once began telling her about an incident that had just occured and she begun turning pale. I don't want her freaking out or worrying every time I get on my bike.
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Old 12-15-05, 04:33 PM   #19
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I often don't know just how long I'll be gone. Sometimes I visit someone during the ride. When that happens I usually use the cell to let her know. I also carry ID. My weekend rides are ormally between 2 and 3 hours. SHe calls the cell after 3.
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Old 12-15-05, 05:11 PM   #20
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Recently I rode my bike to my girlfriend's coffee shop, as I often do.
There is a nice hill for the last 4 blocks to the coffee shop, so I take the lane and go with traffic down it.

The road is a little bumpy, with cobblestone sections and indented manhole covers, so some mild 'hopping' is required to keep things smooth.

This time when I went down, I was behind some hatchback, and had a minivan behind me.

I guess a woman who was going to the shop was in the minivan, because as I stood by the bar, (and my girlfriend) she came in from the parking lot and said:

"You were riding like a maniac down that hill!"

My girlfriend looked at me with an eyebrow raised..

So I had to counter with "Why, because I assertively took the lane while riding the speed of traffic? That seems about the safest way to get down that hill to me."

The woman kinda half smiled like she still thought I was nuts, but didn't have anything else to say.


My girlfriend knows that I bike the same way I drive (ie according to the BCMVA), and she's quite comfortable with my driving.. but she still worries, and asks me to check in if I'm going out for longer than 2 hours.
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Old 12-15-05, 05:49 PM   #21
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I was thinking, these threads are great because I am almost a lone ranger when it comes to my bike commuting, and I don't often get the chance to connect with anyone about my experiences. They just don't get it. But here, it never fails that someone will have had a similar experience, and I can just laugh my head off...
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Old 12-15-05, 06:17 PM   #22
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I'm the GF. I don't tell the BF everything. He worries.

On the way to work (we work at the same place but he drives and I ride), if he finds himself stuck behind me on the long, steep slog up Ortega Hill he'll refuse to pass me just so he can keep all the maniacs behind him at bay.

I really hate it when he does that, but like someone said above, there are some things you don't tell certain people. That's one. The other is what those freakin' maniacs do on days when he isn't keeping them at bay for me.
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Old 12-15-05, 06:26 PM   #23
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My husband gets to hear about it when something weird or scary happens to me. My mom, on the other hand, does not need to know that I rode home in half a foot of snow on slick tires or that I nearly rear-ended a Lexus the other day.

My husband doesn't worry too much. I'm a safer rider than he is, and he knows I know what I'm doing. I've been a bike commuter since college and been riding in Kansas City for the past 5 years. So far, so good.
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Old 12-15-05, 07:58 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artkansas
I make sure that they know my usual routes, and where I am going. That way if I am hours off schedule and out of contact, they know where to look.

But beyond that what happens on the bike stays with the bike. They just wouldn't understand.

That's the way I play it. I can handle any stress I get while riding, why stress my family? I also carry my cell. That way if I am off schedule, they can contact me on the phone. (After I stop and pull off the road to answer, no flames please.)
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Old 12-15-05, 08:47 PM   #25
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I tell them that cycling is no more dangerous than driving in traffic. That's close to the truth, even if the exact figures are endlessly debated. "Only" around 700 cycling deaths a year, compared to many thousands of motor vehicle deaths.
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