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  1. #1
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    The indignities we suffer as cyclists

    I normally don't think too much about how society picks on cyclists, but recent threads have made me realize that I'm tired of being treated like a second class citizen or a kook and I'm going to do something about it.

    Last month, I decided to take my wife out for a nice night out to dinner and the opera. Bicycles are my preferred form of transport, so I took the tandem to the drive through car wash to get it looking nice. They refused to sell me a ticket despite the fact that the sign clearly stated that a single vehicle costs $6 for a basic wash and that large SUVs and tall pickups could not use the facilities. Despite the fact that I had a vehicle that was not listed as prohibited, they still refused to serve me saying that it might be unsafe for an uncovered person in the wash.

    Things only went downhill from there. When I arrived at the restaurant, the valets simply refused to park my vehicle. They seemed willing to park any other vehicle and despite the fact they undoubtedly knew how to ride a bike before they can drive, they still refused. Again, no written policies refusing services to bicycles were presented despite my repeated demands.

    After this insult, I insisted on seeing a manager. One did show up, but rather than talk about the surly and incompetent staff, he said I needed a jacket and tie before I would be seated. I knew about this policy in advance and made sure my jacket had been neatly washed and I brought my favorite bolo tie in my pocket. I asked him to produce written documentation as to why my jacket was not OK, and all he said was that I could not bring something visually distracting despite the fact that I need my hi viz jacket with reflective stripes for safety. He said I needed a sport jacket and offered me one, but I wasn't about to take mine off for that piece of garbage -- particularly since mine had much more to do with sports than the loaner he offered. I left with my wife in disgust.

    Knowing from reading BF that McDonald's wouldn't let us use the drive through, we tried Wendy's. We encountered incompetent and hostile staff/management and then attempted a number of other chains with equal lack of success. Eventually, we found a locally run taqueria which served us on our bikes.

    We went to the opera, and practically the same thing happened as at the restaurant. We were refused valet service. We were refused entry despite having a valid ticket and the requisite jacket and tie. At least the opera management gave us a full refund.

    I have written letters to the management and headquarters of all companies involved as well as all my elected officials detailing the difficulties I encountered and offering to attend meetings with decisionmakers to see what can be done. Just a handy tip -- if you provide thorough and well-reasoned arguments in your letters, you can save money by sending them via UPS rather than the post office.

    I am thoroughly disgusted by this discrimination against cyclists, and my wife was very upset by the way we were treated. You'd be amazed how grumpy she was by the end of the evening even though the opera was only 20 miles from where we lived.....
    Last edited by banerjek; 09-07-07 at 01:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    cyclists aren't kooks


    but you are

  3. #3
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    You should've taken her to a drive-in movie.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  4. #4
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    made me chuckle - thanks

  5. #5
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Be thankful you didn't ride into Jiffy Lube. My bike was coated with 5 quarts of Valvoline and a new filter before I could say Tri Flow please.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  6. #6
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    Next time, forget valets and park the bike yourself. Bring a u-Lock.

  7. #7
    Thread Killer evblazer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    Parody is lost on many people.
    This ain't parody damnit it's my life story!

  8. #8
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    Parody is lost on many people.
    This does appear to be the case. I suspect this may be why A&S is referred to as the "cheese and whine" forum in other areas of BF What's even funnier is that some discussions here are so nutty that it would even be conceivable for a guy to get offended because he couldn't take a bike through a drive through car wash, get valet parking, think hi vis biking gear would qualify for a dinner jacket in a restaurant with a dress code, and shower everyone with complaint letters so lengthy that it's cheaper to send them via UPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
    Be thankful you didn't ride into Jiffy Lube. My bike was coated with 5 quarts of Valvoline and a new filter before I could say Tri Flow please.
    When they topped your fluids, the water bottles should have been filled -- hopefully with water rather than the wrong type of coolant. Also, did they try to sell you an air filter?

  9. #9
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Even the cops are part of the conspiracy. The kid ended up working late this past Saturday and didn't take his lights to work, so I figured I'd ride up, give him his lights and ride home with him. On the way up I ran into a sobriety checkpoint, so I waited in line with the other traffic until it was my 'turn'. The cop just waved me through. I loudly slurred "Occifer, I want to report a crime. I was just mindin my own bizness in the bar, and when I came out I found that some b@stard had gotten my bike drunk! I think it needs a breath test!" The heartless, jackbooted storm trooper still just waved me through...the nerve of these people!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  10. #10
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    ...think hi vis biking gear would qualify for a dinner jacket in a restaurant with a dress code
    Hi Vis clothing is always acceptable in a restaurant with a dress code when the cyclist tips the maitre d' for seating his bike at a good table.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    Parody is lost on many people.
    it's lost on you apparently


    because my response was ....Parody

    -------------------------------------------------
    maybe i should put smileys on all my funneh replies so you don't not-get-it

  12. #12
    njm
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    Quote Originally Posted by edzo View Post
    because my response was ....Parody

    -------------------------------------------------
    maybe i should put smileys on all my funneh replies so you don't not-get-it
    PWNED!


  13. #13
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    Even the cops are part of the conspiracy. The kid ended up working late this past Saturday and didn't take his lights to work, so I figured I'd ride up, give him his lights and ride home with him. On the way up I ran into a sobriety checkpoint, so I waited in line with the other traffic until it was my 'turn'. The cop just waved me through. I loudly slurred "Occifer, I want to report a crime. I was just mindin my own bizness in the bar, and when I came out I found that some b@stard had gotten my bike drunk! I think it needs a breath test!" The heartless, jackbooted storm trooper still just waved me through...the nerve of these people!
    I was once waved right through a border check point nearly the same way... officer looked at my fully loaded bike and just shook his head and said "get outta here" pointing the way north.

  14. #14
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Hi Vis clothing is always acceptable in a restaurant with a dress code when the cyclist tips the maitre d' for seating his bike at a good table.
    Strangely enough, I've gotten great service at fancy restaurants before when dressed in cycling togs.

    Earlier this year, I was riding in some pretty cold weather. Got caught in a decent hailstorm -- the kind where the hailstones are big enough that they hurt through clothing and represent a serious safety hazard. I was hungry, freezing, more than an hour from home, and didn't feel like eating crap. I went into a nice place wondering if I could be served (fallback plan was to load on grease and carbs at a burger joint). They went out of their way to be accommodating, and while I was attracting attention of other customers, the attention wasn't negative. The weather was definitely helping me though.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    Parody is lost on many people.
    D@mn you Banerjek, it's Friday morning, I'm looking forward the Argentina vrs. France to open the World Cup and you have to go and write a parody. If not for recognizing you and thinking it was out of character I would have bit.

  16. #16
    JAFC
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    ...think hi vis biking gear would qualify for a dinner jacket in a restaurant with a dress code...

    I just want to know where I can find a good hi vis tie.
    <<This Signature Intentionally Left Blank.>>

  17. #17
    Senior Member tt1106's Avatar
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    Good read.

  18. #18
    Grumbly Goat Bushman's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, but you wanted to:

    - take your bike thru a car wash? ( you are aware there are MOVING chains and trolleys underfoot in the car wash, as well as hi pressure sprays, chemicals, and other hazards that could injure you?)

    - valet parking for your bike? is this a joke?

    I would hardly call cyclists "second class" citizens........we as cyclists in North America have it pretty damn good. There are people that could eat for ten years on what we spend on one bike, people that dont even have a bike to ride, let alone have a valet park.....

    my god man, you need to give your head a shake and be thankful for what you have.

    You ride a bike, we GET IT, no need to rant about it or look down on others....its JUST A BIKE...get over yourselves.

  19. #19
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
    I'm sorry, but you wanted to:

    - take your bike thru a car wash? ( you are aware there are MOVING chains and trolleys underfoot in the car wash, as well as hi pressure sprays, chemicals, and other hazards that could injure you?)

    - valet parking for your bike? is this a joke?

    I would hardly call cyclists "second class" citizens........we as cyclists in North America have it pretty damn good. There are people that could eat for ten years on what we spend on one bike, people that dont even have a bike to ride, let alone have a valet park.....

    my god man, you need to give your head a shake and be thankful for what you have.

    This is not a joke, it is a very serious problem. Tractors get to do all that stuff in the OP, cyclists should be able to also.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  20. #20
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
    I'm sorry, but you wanted to:

    - take your bike thru a car wash? ( you are aware there are MOVING chains and trolleys underfoot in the car wash, as well as hi pressure sprays, chemicals, and other hazards that could injure you?)
    Not if you wear a helmet and a mouthguard and take the center of the wash lane.

  21. #21
    Grumbly Goat Bushman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Not if you wear a helmet and a mouthguard and take the center of the wash lane.
    but then his fancy jacket and tie will get soaked....and then the diner wont let him in to eat..
    You ride a bike, we GET IT, no need to rant about it or look down on others....its JUST A BIKE...get over yourselves.

  22. #22
    Senior Member JohnKScott's Avatar
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    Really?

    What characteristic style where you imitating?
    yours, preemptively. I am just that good.

  24. #24
    Banned. Jeronimo_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    Really?

    What characteristic style where you imitating?
    Cluebie would be my guess.

    You need to take down that FOI pano in your sig line. It's killing me to not be there riding it right now. That was a crazy ride that day. I'll never forget those clouds floating over the ridge. Surreal.

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    This does appear to be the case. I suspect this may be why A&S is referred to as the "cheese and whine" forum in other areas of BF What's even funnier is that some discussions here are so nutty that it would even be conceivable for a guy to get offended because he couldn't take a bike through a drive through car wash, get valet parking, think hi vis biking gear would qualify for a dinner jacket in a restaurant with a dress code, and shower everyone with complaint letters so lengthy that it's cheaper to send them via UPS.
    I was halfway through it before I got it, and the biggest clue was that it was you. If it had been any of a dozen or so folks I can think of here, I would have bought the entire thing.

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