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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-10-06, 12:44 PM   #1
MMACH 5
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Defending the commuter

My commute takes me past a group of day laborers. They wait, every morning, at a corner for contractors, painters or landscapers to pull up and pay them cash for manual labor.

We exchange a wave and/or greeting, when I ride by. Several of them have commented about my bike, when I've been waiting at the red light.

So, this morning, at the cross street just prior to this intersection, a car pulls out into my lane, right in front of me. I slam on the brakes to keep from hitting his door and yell something along the lines of "WTF are you doing, dip-$@*#?!"

He shoots me the bird and I return the favor. That could have been the end of it, but the light, just half a block up, had turned red and I pull up behind him. He gives me his assumptions of my maternal relations along with some thoughtful suggestions of where I should ride my bike. Before I could even respond, four or five of the day-laborers had descended on the passenger side of his car and were assailing him with a barrage of insults, (in both English and Spanish) and telling him not to mess with "our boy."

He looked pretty surprised to now be dealing with more than just a puny, middle-aged man on a bicycle. The light changed and he took off, I waved with gratitude to my buddies and continued on to work.

It would be way cool to have that kind of support, for the other 99.9% of my commute.
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Old 07-10-06, 01:10 PM   #2
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Nice.
I used to be one of those day laborers. Did it every summer while I was attending school at the University of Kentucky and worked my ass off to pay for school. I remember how small people would make you feel when they drove by with their noses up in the air thinking that they were better than the rest of us. Maybe they think of you as one of them, I know my crew and I would have, it's astonishing how far a smile and a wave can get you.
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Old 07-10-06, 01:12 PM   #3
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Very Nice, You need to take them donuts or something.
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Old 07-10-06, 01:27 PM   #4
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^^^^ I had a newspaper hawker that would signal me about impending danger
on a huge hill I would go down with a blind corner and once chased and retrieved
my blinkie that came off and passed the bike after hitting a huge pothole. I took him
donuts and a jug of Gatorade to show my appreciation.
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Old 07-10-06, 01:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CigTech
Very Nice, You need to take them donuts or something.
+1 Yup, them guys got your back. You gotta show you appreciate them.
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Old 07-10-06, 01:34 PM   #6
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Very Nice, You need to take them donuts or something.
Yep, I think this is pretty straight forward.
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Old 07-10-06, 01:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMACH 5
He gives me his assumptions of my maternal relations
LOL, it must be a monday, because it took me 5 minutes for this to hit me.
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Old 07-10-06, 03:46 PM   #8
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I pass a Krispy Kream a few miles before I get there. I'll set them up, for sure. That's a great idea.
Thanks.
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Old 07-10-06, 04:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyossarian
+1 Yup, them guys got your back. You gotta show you appreciate them.
Agreed. They're your boys, now do them a solid with a box of donuts or empanadas.
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Old 07-10-06, 04:47 PM   #10
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That so great! I can just imagine how that idiot felt when he saw all those guys giving him hell. I bet he finds a new route to work. Oh, if only we all had a posse of day laborers to protect us on our way in.
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Old 07-10-06, 05:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CigTech
Very Nice, You need to take them donuts or something.
+1
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Old 07-10-06, 05:33 PM   #12
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Thread of the Day.



Thanks for sharing this. Just what I needed to hear today.
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Old 07-10-06, 05:34 PM   #13
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Think of how many of them use a bicycle as their only means of transportation. They are pretty much kindred spirits when it comes to bicycle commuting. Buy 'em a round of coffee and donuts for their help.
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Old 07-10-06, 05:44 PM   #14
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This thread brings tears to my eyes! What a great day for you! I'm sure they'll appreciate the donuts, too.
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Old 07-10-06, 06:28 PM   #15
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That's cool nmach. I wonder if the crack dealers I ride by every night would have my back?
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Old 07-10-06, 06:29 PM   #16
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That's awesome! I second the doughnut suggestion...
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Old 07-10-06, 08:59 PM   #17
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What a terrific story MMach!

Now (and please peg your sarcasm meter here) when are we going to build a 20 foot tall electrified fence and send the cops to get all of those lousy immigrants out of our country, so that we only have to deal with "good, upstanding Americans"?
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Old 07-10-06, 09:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
That's cool nmach. I wonder if the crack dealers I ride by every night would have my back?
Depends on how much business you do w/ them. They'd be willing to protect a loyal customer.
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Old 07-10-06, 10:13 PM   #19
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Hell of a story.

Migrants, both legal and otherwise, tend to stick together to give safety. They're, of course, a hated minority and know how to stick up for the little guy. And let's not kid ourselves, these days day laborers tend to be mostly migrants.

I'm also voting for the doughnuts.
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Old 07-11-06, 07:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
That's cool nmach. I wonder if the crack dealers I ride by every night would have my back?
Depends if you, or some other cyclists in the area, have been known to be snitching on them.
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Old 07-11-06, 09:30 AM   #21
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Did anyone mention a posse of day laborers? Of course, these guys are the locals and I am the immigrant... Do you think anyone would give them a hard time?

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Old 07-11-06, 09:46 AM   #22
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Great thread! Kudos to these guys for backing you up like that.
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Old 07-11-06, 09:55 AM   #23
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+1... er... +100 That's awesome! *highfive*
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Old 07-11-06, 09:57 AM   #24
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Love it Donut them!!!
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Old 07-11-06, 11:03 AM   #25
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Great story. I read an article in Bicycling, just reprinted in the Utne reader about the invisible bike people of LA. Like another poster said, I bet that some of them ride bikes a lot and get their share of hassling for it. I wish that some more of these folks would make it up North. Stay cool.
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