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Old 09-26-07, 12:12 AM   #1
ThePizzaBandit
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Pushing a car!!

Amazing!

This afternoon during my commute home through rush hour, I see a long line of cars ahead of me. I hustle past them thinking, "suckers!" At the front of the line is a guy pushing his car through some serious traffic like his car just up and died. He's youngish, but he's struggling to push it up the gentle uphill. I'm a 150lb tall and skinny lightweight. I quickly lay down the bike on the sidewalk, and start helping this guy push. We're getting it going faster, but it's still in the middle of a major roadway and it's tough going. Then another biker rides up, jumps off his bike, and starts pushing as well. We have a line of cars still in back of us, including a trolleybus. We help the guy (who looks buff and tough but is really struggling) to get his car up the little hill and into a parking lot. He mumbles thanks and is seriously winded. The other biker and I have a quick laugh about the irony of 2 bikers helping a driver out, while none of the drivers would assist. It's even more ironic because I don't own a car. We ride about one more block and have to wait at a railroad crossing with a stopped train. Unfortunately, the train looked a little too heavy for us bikers to push out of the way.

i thought this was a good metaphor for how the world will end. everyone sitting silently in their car, stuck in traffic, not offering any assistance, just waiting for some bikers to push a dead car off the road.
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Old 09-26-07, 12:21 AM   #2
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I've seen that happen a few times. Drivers sit in the car honking on their horns as if that's somehow going to make the broken down car suddenly spring back to life.

I've got off my bike a couple of times to help out too.
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Old 09-26-07, 12:38 AM   #3
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its so much easier to maybe have to push a bike, say you have a flat w/o a tube or something similar to that. Plus, w/o a car you are freer to catch a bus.
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Old 09-26-07, 01:35 AM   #4
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Welcome to the world. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me.....
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Old 09-26-07, 05:39 AM   #5
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AWESOME story, and well-put image of the world ending.
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Old 09-26-07, 05:44 AM   #6
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Nice!
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Old 09-26-07, 06:29 AM   #7
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I've seen that happen a few times. Drivers sit in the car honking on their horns as if that's somehow going to make the broken down car suddenly spring back to life.
If honking at it doesn't work, then you have to escalate measures and start yelling. That way the car knows you mean business, and aren't just playing around.
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Old 09-26-07, 07:11 AM   #8
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Oh the irony!
The last time I helped pushed a car was during winter on compact snow and ice. Even with MTB shoes I could not get any traction.
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Old 09-26-07, 08:14 AM   #9
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The Machine Stops E.M. Forester

He beat you to it.
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Old 09-26-07, 08:21 AM   #10
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I would've chained the car to my seat stay and towed him w/ my bike.
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Old 09-26-07, 08:31 AM   #11
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I have a similar story. One afternoon I was coming over the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan and saw the same line of cars honking and a guy in his car talking on the phone with his car stationary in the lane. I may have kept going had he not been in the crosswalk, but I asked the guy if he wanted to push his car across Tillary St. and out of the roadway.

His response was, "man, you can't push a car, they weigh a ton!"

I drop the bike and tell the guy to put the car in neutral and I push him across the street and free up the roadway.

The guy never stopped talking on the phone and for some reason it didn't occur to him to thank me. So yeah, it is about me, me, me, me, me
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Old 09-26-07, 08:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Percist View Post
The Machine Stops E.M. Forester

He beat you to it.
Anyone see that new Dr.Who episode called "Gridlock"?

Kinda sounds the same..
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Old 09-26-07, 09:19 AM   #13
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Anyone see that new Dr.Who episode called "Gridlock"?

Kinda sounds the same..
I was about to mention that episode. Pretty good really. Everyone's stuck doing a loop through the flyways of New York, and everyone's been living in their flying cars for 20 years now, nobody ever escaped. People lived, had kids and died in their cars.
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Old 09-26-07, 09:49 AM   #14
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Ha, well done!!
I used to keep a chain in my truck for these incidents. I used it 3 or 4 times, but had to take it out when we moved...I didn't want it stolen in the new neighborhood
I haven't seen any random breakdowns while commuting tho (I ride 75% on the ART).
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Old 09-26-07, 09:51 AM   #15
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Love the image, PizzaBandit.
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Old 09-26-07, 09:58 AM   #16
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i thought this was a good metaphor for how the world will end. everyone sitting silently in their car, stuck in traffic, not offering any assistance, just waiting for some bikers to push a dead car off the road.
Of course, if there was no easily available parking and if all the cars that were stuck behind the dead car had only one person in them, then a motorist getting out to help push would have meant a second obstacle in the road (the car). Just saying, it sounds like the motorists had an excuse of sorts.

I have seen people use a car to push another car down the road, though.
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Old 09-26-07, 10:57 AM   #17
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Yeah, you're right. Another car would have blocked the lane for a second. But it still would have helped get the alpha car off the roadway. If I and the other biker hadn't pushed the car, would anyone else have assisted? I have a feeling they'd have sat in their car and waited for a police car to show up and assist.

By the way, I sent the story to the local paper. We'll see if they run it.
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Old 09-26-07, 11:09 AM   #18
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You do have to admit there is a certain irony in it. And I love the image of "the way the world stops."

Anybody remember "The Day the Earth Stood Still." The only thing running on that day would have been human powered machines.

Funny, back during the gas crisis of the '70s, I just knew that one day bikes would rule... Guess it may take a few more generations.
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Old 09-26-07, 11:12 AM   #19
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Heck, in most of the areas I have lived, if I were driving behind the guy, I'd have just asked first then bumped up to him and pushed with my car.

Click and clack are right. People are to crazy about keeping their cars perfect. Cars should come from the factory with a huge scratch on them, so people would just get over it.
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Old 09-26-07, 11:18 AM   #20
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If the theories of this being the peak of world oil production are true, this may very well be the final golden age of the automobile.

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Old 09-26-07, 11:30 AM   #21
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The Machine Stops E.M. Forester

He beat you to it.
Okay, so I just blew off a half-hour of work time for this, but here is the full-text of the story. I love a good sci-fi short story. Great stuff and thank you for mentioning it.
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Old 09-26-07, 11:45 AM   #22
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Heck, in most of the areas I have lived, if I were driving behind the guy, I'd have just asked first then bumped up to him and pushed with my car.

Click and clack are right. People are to crazy about keeping their cars perfect. Cars should come from the factory with a huge scratch on them, so people would just get over it.
I and other members of the Electric Auto Association would love to do this in our beaten up old crappy conversions but those cars had real bumpers!
I'd never do it in a newer car as most I see lately don't have anything you could do a push with that wouldn't damage the front of the vehicle abunch.
I do remember years ago after eating out of duchess with my parent seeing a guy struggling to push a car up into a parking lot off of the main road. My sister and I hopped out of my parents car jogged across the route 1 the boston post road and pushed his car up and over the curb into the lot for him and just wave and then turned and raced back to the car.
There were are least half a dozen people in the lot we pushed it into just walking by and going to their car letting him suffer.

I'm still waiting to find someone else to jump start their car with my bicycle battery. That just makes my week
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Old 09-26-07, 12:02 PM   #23
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Good story!!! I have been there, but I do help when I drive.. It just amazes me how rude people are.... I helped a lady in a minivan stuck in the center of a major intersection.... I was a front car in a turn lane when I helped.. She had 4 kids in her van and was giving her all.... NO ONE ELSE WOULD HELP....Until half way through the other car in the other left turn lane was able to help.... Anyway all the idiots behind us were cussing and yelling that we made them wait through a green arrow BOO HOO get out and help..... Why are people so rude?
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Old 09-26-07, 12:13 PM   #24
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Most cars will move if you crank the starter in neutral, and then drop it into gear. Keep the starter cranking (i.e.: key turned) as you do this. It's a bit tricky in an automatic (have to have one hand cranking while you shift gears, then get back into position to steer) but it works better with a standard (car in 1st gear, clutch in, turn key to crank, ease up on clutch). You won't get very far (maybe 100 ft) or go very fast, and it won't work if the battery / starter is the source of the problem, but if the car is out of gas or turning over but not getting a spark, your starter should have enough torque to get the car to the curb, into a parking lot, or at least out of the way of traffic.

I believe that this capability is actually a feature of automotive design, a left over requirement from the days when the fuel delivery sytems of autos were much less reliable than they are now.

I don't know about these new-fangled cars with the 'push to start' button though.
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Old 09-26-07, 02:26 PM   #25
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Reminded me of the time, years ago, when the company I worked for would pass out paychecks on Friday. I could just rush home after work, gobble down a quick bite of supper, jump in the car, and just make it to the bank to cash my check before the bank closed.

One Friday I'm rushing to the bank and come around this bend in the road, and there's this gigantic Buick Electra 225 sitting sideways in the road, with some scruffy bearded guy trying to push it uphill into the driveway of this farmhouse. I'm really flustered about getting to the bank, and I stop my car in the middle of the road, get out cussing a blue streak and ranting and raving at this guy, throw my shoulder against the Buick and give a mighty heave, and between the two of us we finally push it clear of the road. I'm still grumbling about the delay as I get back into my car and roar off on my way to the bank.

Later on I find out that the house was being rented by the local chapter of the Outlaws motorcycle gang as a clubhouse!
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