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  1. #1
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    Hey you! Don't be a bike snob!

    How do you tell someone not to be a mean, trail hogging bike snob?

    I havea friend that I ride with regularly and I'm not sure she .... uhh... I mean they get it. Although this friend loves how friendly everyone in our local bike community is, they sometimes for get to display it.

    On our ride yesterday, we were rolling at a pretty good pace, as this part of the trail was pretty empty. We came upon a group of kids riding and enjoying the trail, as they should be. As kids can be unpredicable we started to slow and prepare to stop if necessary. At least I thought so, until I heard her..... uhhhh... I mean the friend telling the kids "on your left" and "stay to the right" in a pretty frustrating tone. Now I can understand this if you're trying to pass someone in full kit who you would expect to know the cycling "rules", but kids? C'mon! We should be chatting with them and encouraging them to keep it up and stay active, not shouting about what side to be on.

    And then there's the habit of wanting to run lights and stop signs when the situation calls for more caution. The habit of asking "is it clear?" is really annoying. Hell, I can't see aroud the bush so I do I know if it's clear? Prepare to stop and check instead of asking is it clear. "Clear" for me, may mean you get plowed under!

    Anyway, what is the way to tell her..... I mean, my friend, that she should show the same courtesies that were extended to her, and that she should be more safe when riding?

  2. #2
    Senior Member jubal117's Avatar
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    Just tell her. If she gets pissed so what? She will get over it if she is really your friend. My friends always tell me when I am being an ass, and most of the time when I think about it, they are right.

  3. #3
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    "She" sleeps next to me every night, and prepares some of my meals. I really can't afford to tick her off too bad.

    I did mention the thing with the kids, but I don't think it's gonna help. Every thing i say is taken as negative criticism, and this will go as just one more thing I found "wrong" with her. Time will tell.

  4. #4
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    You could always just leave this forum page up on your monitor.

  5. #5
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by DelusionalDude View Post
    "She" sleeps next to me every night, and prepares some of my meals. I really can't afford to tick her off too bad.
    Yes, don't annoy her. She might tell your wife.

  6. #6
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    I don't know anything about being a guy not offending his wife--oh, I mean, his friend--but I work with kids and we try to use positive reinforcement. If she isn't being polite (and so you can't positively reinforce her ) then maybe you could be positive about what someone else is doing? Like talk about how awesome it was when someone else was polite to people who were in their way. I mean you don't have to be super-obvious about it. Or maybe you could anticipate what she's going to say (like "STAY TO THE RIGHT!") and act first in a more polite way?

    Or maybe she's right and it is just one more thing you're finding wrong with her

    If you're worried about her getting hurt then remind her that you love her too much to let her get run over, so it bothers you when she isn't careful. Today I was at a shop and heard the song "Button Up Your Overcoat"...maybe you should play it for your "friend"!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BplJZCDkpCU
    Go until you stop, then take a break.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jubal117's Avatar
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    Oh well that makes it even easier. I tell my wife all the time when she is doing things that I don't agree with, she does the same with me. We have been happily married for 15 years, so I guess our approach hasn't hurt anything yet.

  8. #8
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    I usually try to be positive, and I will work harder at trying to do that. Our history is complicated, my behaviour is probably 75% of the problems. I'll see tomorrow how she took it.

    I talked with her just as she went to bed and just mentioned that we shouldn't expect kids to know about certain things in cycling, and that instead of expecting them to move, we should just be prepared to stop. On of the little girls was slow about moving, but I would rather stop and then pass than have the girl startle and fall. I don't want to slow her enthusiasm, I just want her to be safer.

    I think I will push the "I care so much" angle. I think that might be the smoothest, and most honest, way to express the safety concerns.

  9. #9
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I don't understand getting upset with the kids. I always slow wtching for the unexpected. BTW, a few small kids (4yo) sometimes show better riding habits than many adults I've encountered!

    The people that annoy me are club riders and adults taht stop onthe trail to take a break or check the bike. Blocking both lanes? C'mon! I would think the clubs would be the ones promoting cycling safety!

    Then the riders in traffic running every stop sign and signal. Pretty much why I can't stand to read the "stupid driver" whining threads. Riders on the trail can't even follow simple rules!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DelusionalDude View Post
    How do you tell someone not to be a mean, trail hogging bike snob?

    I havea friend that I ride with regularly and I'm not sure she .... uhh... I mean they get it. Although this friend loves how friendly everyone in our local bike community is, they sometimes for get to display it.

    On our ride yesterday, we were rolling at a pretty good pace, as this part of the trail was pretty empty. We came upon a group of kids riding and enjoying the trail, as they should be. As kids can be unpredicable we started to slow and prepare to stop if necessary. At least I thought so, until I heard her..... uhhhh... I mean the friend telling the kids "on your left" and "stay to the right" in a pretty frustrating tone. Now I can understand this if you're trying to pass someone in full kit who you would expect to know the cycling "rules", but kids? C'mon! We should be chatting with them and encouraging them to keep it up and stay active, not shouting about what side to be on.

    And then there's the habit of wanting to run lights and stop signs when the situation calls for more caution. The habit of asking "is it clear?" is really annoying. Hell, I can't see aroud the bush so I do I know if it's clear? Prepare to stop and check instead of asking is it clear. "Clear" for me, may mean you get plowed under!

    Anyway, what is the way to tell her..... I mean, my friend, that she should show the same courtesies that were extended to her, and that she should be more safe when riding?
    I always hated that statement, "on your left", if your riding along and not expecting to hear someone speaking to you, it's easy to end up hearing "eft". Huh? I had this happen on Saturday, better is a bike bell, it doesn't take as much processing, it also tends to work if the person does not speak English. Some riders might not. Most of the riders around here that use "on your left" are the full carbon roadies who wouldn't dream of putting a whole 45g bell on their bike.....

  11. #11
    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    Is your wife a bike newbie? If so she may not be comfortable enough yet to understand the nuances of cycling. Encourage her to go out on her own. I also think you should be able to tell her when she does something wrong (then you become the bike snob ).

    You might also want to bring up "hypotheticals" during conversations and hope she gets the hint. For example "I was riding along today and a bunch of kids were all over the path. Normally I'd say "on your left" if it was an adult, but I doubt they would understand. So I slowed down to a reasonable speed and passed when I could;" or "I saw an adult basically yell at the kids "on your left" and the kids got so scared they almost fell over when he flew by them. Doesn't he understand how dangerous that is? Those poor kids might never ride again because some pretentious jerk scared the bejeezes out of them. What do you think Honey?"
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  12. #12
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    I always hated that statement, "on your left", if your riding along and not expecting to hear someone speaking to you, it's easy to end up hearing "eft". Huh? I had this happen on Saturday, better is a bike bell, it doesn't take as much processing, it also tends to work if the person does not speak English. Some riders might not. Most of the riders around here that use "on your left" are the full carbon roadies who wouldn't dream of putting a whole 45g bell on their bike.....
    I understand that "eft" sounds very close to "eh", the usual end of a sentence in Canada.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    I understand that "eft" sounds very close to "eh", the usual end of a sentence in Canada.
    Well that would depend on where you are, there may be something garbled in front of it. As I said, I usually only hear it from roadies who don't want to add the horrifically massive weight of a 45g bell to their unobtainum bicycles. Of course for me, with a bike that weights nearly 15kg, I don't give a crap about an extra 45g, besides the bell costs $4, the fine for not having a horn, bell or gong is $150, seems like a no brainer to me. If I have the bell I would rather use it....

  14. #14
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    I think it should be fine to tell someone, almost anyone, when they do something that you don't agree with. However, that is completely different from expecting them to do it your way. Adults disagree. You have an opinion and are free to express it, but you are not free to give orders.

    When you express an opinion without any expectation that it will change the other person's behavior, it leaves them free to consider your viewpoint. When you express an opinion and expect it to change them, they are much more likely to reject your opinion without considering it.

    That said, I personally wouldn't even mention either of the things that you listed to her. I would let the "on your left" go completely. As to rolling through stops, I would just ride the way I think is safe and let her wait for me on the other side. She'll get the message, and she won't have to worry about what you might say when she needs her full attention to get through the intersection safely.

    All of this is just my opinion, and worth what you paid for it.
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  15. #15
    billyymc
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    Quote Originally Posted by DelusionalDude View Post
    "She" sleeps next to me every night, and prepares some of my meals. I really can't afford to tick her off too bad.

    I did mention the thing with the kids, but I don't think it's gonna help. Every thing i say is taken as negative criticism, and this will go as just one more thing I found "wrong" with her. Time will tell.
    Yoinks! If everything you say is taken as negative criticism, you're either saying everything wrong or she's hearing it wrong. Kinda implies there are bigger issues than biking in this relationship. Better post in Foo, I'm sure that'll help.

  16. #16
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    Just be glad your wife rides with you.

  17. #17
    Senior Member turtlewoman's Avatar
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    A long time ago I learned a form for confronting someone about a difficult subject. What you want to do is own your feelings about the situation and clearly, non-judgementally offer a solution. The formula goes like this, "When you _____________, I feel ____________ and what I need is _________." Like, "When you sound short with kids on the MUP, I feel sad for you because I know that's not who you are and what I need from you is to talk in the gentle way I know is really you." Something like that. It's really very disarming to the person and doesn't usually put them on the defensive. I've been using this formula for years at work and at home and it has always worked for me. Other people I've told about it have had success, too. Hope this helps.
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  18. #18
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    I like this place. I don't think I'll ever have to pay for counseling or psychology services!

    Thanks for all the advice and suggestions. I did speak with her last night about a cuple of things nothing else was said today about it. I probably won't mention anything else about her riding style and how she communicates with others. I'll just do what I feel is right and safe and hope for the best. I just hope she learns the safe part before she gets hurt or gets someone else hurt.

  19. #19
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleric1234 View Post
    Just be glad your wife rides with you.
    I would have to agree with this ^^

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I don't understand getting upset with the kids. I always slow wtching for the unexpected. BTW, a few small kids (4yo) sometimes show better riding habits than many adults I've encountered!

    The people that annoy me are club riders and adults taht stop onthe trail to take a break or check the bike. Blocking both lanes? C'mon! I would think the clubs would be the ones promoting cycling safety!

    Then the riders in traffic running every stop sign and signal. Pretty much why I can't stand to read the "stupid driver" whining threads. Riders on the trail can't even follow simple rules!
    There are places were it is legal for bikes to roll thru stop signs if no traffic is present and red lights are come to stop but continue if no traffic is around. I would love this in my area but yes untill the law states otherwise we really should stop.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by youcoming View Post
    There are places were it is legal for bikes to roll thru stop signs if no traffic is present and red lights are come to stop but continue if no traffic is around. I would love this in my area but yes untill the law states otherwise we really should stop.
    There is an issue though, when driving a car, between the time your wheels stop turning, you access the situation and start up again it's usually well over 4 seconds, with a bicycle you often do the assessment first, so between wheel stop and start again it's often under .4 seconds, so a lot of car drivers don't even realise that you have stopped and started again. As for the stop signs, that was begun in Idaho, so it's sometimes called the Idaho stop. As for stop lights, in many places the light is triggered by a wire in the pavement, many of them are set so that you need a very large steel object to set it off, even steel bike frames don't contain enough metal, they can be set so that bicycles set them off, but even Toronto which claims to be bike friendly does so rarely, even many lights that are on signed bike routes don't. I complained about one last summer, that was marked one way but not the other, still waiting for it to be fixed over a year later... There are solutions without violating the light, like the double right turn, you turn right go about 10m, pull a U turn, then turn right to resume your trip.

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