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  1. #1
    Some Guy on a Bike
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    Convincing People that I Chose to Bike to Work

    The past few weeks of bike commuting have been a really fun experience. I'm really enjoying getting out and riding and the reactions of my coworkers when they learn I'm riding.

    I'm loving how amazed people are that I'm riding all of TWO miles from my house to the office. It was great when a coworker asked if I knew that I lived uphill from work. I gad a couple coworkers that I had a convince that I still had a car, and furthermore no I don't need a ride home. The best responce so far has been someone assuming I got a dui and couldn't drive any more. I have a license and a car and I chose to do this with my free will. Other than a few weird assumptions I surprised at how positive everyone has been about the idea.

    I'm beginning week four and still enjoying it, even now that it has become routine.

    Does anyone else have any fun responses from coworkers?

  2. #2
    Junior Member drifter757's Avatar
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    I've had to show my license to people to show them that I still have it
    Last edited by drifter757; 09-22-09 at 10:15 PM.
    Where is your soul that I may ride it?

  3. #3
    Senior Member MNBikeguy's Avatar
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    You seem to have run the gamut of typical responses- DUI assumption, constant "helpers" offering you rides, etc. Just wait until you ride in poor weather and the deer-in-the-headlights looks will surface.
    I remember one guy actually asking me, "What are you trying to prove?"
    Enjoy the ride and remember you don't have to explain yourself. It gets tiring.
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    - Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  4. #4
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    They'll get tired of talking about it eventually - mostly. There are still a number of people who ask me if I rode today. They all know that I sold my car over a year ago.

    The only thing that really bothers me is that half of the management meetings I'm in, and ALL of them with anything at all to do with business continuity, disaster recovery, etc. turn into a discussion of my bike riding. Apparently it's fun to discuss who has "just about hit me six times", etc.

  5. #5
    Junior Member rorowe's Avatar
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    I'm in about week 4 as well, riding all of THREE miles to work, and I know exactly what you mean. Luckily, I have one manager who rides a motorcycle year-round and knows what I put up with weather/traffic wise.

  6. #6
    danke shubonker's Avatar
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    2 miles.......i envy you. Sortof.

  7. #7
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    I ride to work, live 2 miles away... and usually stretch it to over 5. Just for more saddle time.

    I rode to work when the commute was 9 miles one-way... from -5F to +95F.

    Sold my last car nearly 5 years ago, when the motor went belly-up. Never looked back.

    Last winter, while I was temporarily at another location, a co-worker who claimed to be a friend started spreading 'the rumor' -- I rode because I'd gotten the DWI; she also claimed I'd told her I was an alcoholic.

    Since my return, she hasn't said three words to me -- and the look of uncertainty in her eyes lets me know that she knows she's busted.

    I've never had to pull out my license -- but I will if it's brought to me, and I will then tirade on the ignorant fool who was stupid enough to give that story any credence.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    "For non-conformity the world whips you with it's displeasure."

    Emerson

  9. #9
    gna
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    I live six miles from work, and I've been commuting 3-4 days a week since July 1st. Yes, I was asked if I got a DWI. Another coworker asked if I was a "health nut." People seem astonished that I can ride 12 miles a day and enjoy it.

    It doesn't hurt that we've had a dry, cool summer and a warm fall so far.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by landesb View Post
    The past few weeks of bike commuting have been a really fun experience. I'm really enjoying getting out and riding and the reactions of my coworkers when they learn I'm riding.

    I'm loving how amazed people are that I'm riding all of TWO miles from my house to the office. It was great when a coworker asked if I knew that I lived uphill from work. I gad a couple coworkers that I had a convince that I still had a car, and furthermore no I don't need a ride home. The best responce so far has been someone assuming I got a dui and couldn't drive any more. I have a license and a car and I chose to do this with my free will. Other than a few weird assumptions I surprised at how positive everyone has been about the idea.

    I'm beginning week four and still enjoying it, even now that it has become routine.

    Does anyone else have any fun responses from coworkers?

    Don't worry, after a few years the responses will subside a bit, I still have my employer commenting almost daily after work, "ride carefully", and I reply "I always do".

  11. #11
    Some Guy on a Bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchxout View Post
    "For non-conformity the world whips you with it's displeasure."

    Emerson
    Perfect!

  12. #12
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    "What do you do when it rains?"

    Asking someone about the DUI thing seems pretty intrusive. You should tell them you ran a bus full of nuns off the road while they were on their way to the orphanage.

    I can't believe that's such a common question. Of course, now I probably jinxed myself, and someone will ask me today. I'll let you know how I answer.

  13. #13
    nashcommguy
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    ...Don't worry, after a few years the responses will subside a bit, I still have my employer commenting almost daily after work, "ride carefully", and I reply "I always do".
    Yeah, I used to get this one alot. Not necessarily from my employer, but from co-workers. It's not an expression of genuine concern, but a subtle admonition for how stupid they think you are for bicycling to work. You threaten the status quo and CHOOSE your commuting vehicle according to your own internal voice. It shows them up everyday, though that isn't your intent at all. And they LOVE it when you don't ride, so they can make some remark about how 'you're slipping' or slacking or some other unfunny, cliche'd observance. It gets old, but comes w/t territory.

    At one point I printed cards w/my vitals and cholesterol numbers on them and would give them to people who queried re why I cycle-commuted. A bit over the top, perhaps, but the constant barrage of questions/remarks stopped, finally. One gets a rep as a bit of a misanthope, but it's better than having to have one's lunch constantly interrupted by superfluous remarks or ominous warnings about impending rainstorms. They're jealous, pure and simple.

  14. #14
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    If you ride long enough they will be more astonished that you didn't ride no matter what the weather. Keep up the good work and like nashcommguy said, it kinda comes with the territory.
    lil brown bat wrote:
    Wow, aren't other people stupid? It's a good thing that we're so smart. Yay us.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    I have been asked a few times weather or not I lost my license but the one that really gets to me is when people ask me if I am riding to work because money has gotten too tight to drive. This summer I bought a new Trek 1.5 road bike and decided to ride it to work a couple of times and while I was on my bike leaving work someone asked me if times were tough enough that I had to ride a bike to work. Really? was all I could say. I was riding a new bike that I just spent over $1000 on and the only thing they could ask me is if I was too broke to afford gas for my truck.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    I stopped caring what other people thought after the first day of riding to work.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by landesb View Post
    The past few weeks of bike commuting have been a really fun experience. I'm really enjoying getting out and riding and the reactions of my coworkers when they learn I'm riding.

    I'm loving how amazed people are that I'm riding all of TWO miles from my house to the office...
    I'm beginning week four and still enjoying it, even now that it has become routine.

    Does anyone else have any fun responses from coworkers?
    I've been riding 14 miles to work for over 25 years, and a usual greeting is "nice day for a ride" in pleasant weather, or "You didn't ride today, did you?" in foul weather. The latter comment actually serves as an incentive to ride to maintain my status as a "nut case."

    At dress-up social functions outside the work place, I'm invaraibly asked "Did you ride your bike here?" All the comments are in good fun and it's a nice reputation to have. In fact I'm usually introduced as a "guy who rides his bike here from Kenmore Square all year round." I'm not fond though, of comments such as "You're a better man than I am," or even a couple of times, "You're a saint."
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 09-22-09 at 06:17 AM.

  18. #18
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snake_p20 View Post
    I have been asked a few times weather or not I lost my license but the one that really gets to me is when people ask me if I am riding to work because money has gotten too tight to drive. This summer I bought a new Trek 1.5 road bike and decided to ride it to work a couple of times and while I was on my bike leaving work someone asked me if times were tough enough that I had to ride a bike to work. Really? was all I could say. I was riding a new bike that I just spent over $1000 on and the only thing they could ask me is if I was too broke to afford gas for my truck.
    People that don't ride bikes have no idea what a real bike costs. For all they know, your Trek was some Wally world price.

    Back in the '80s I was in a car crash on a Trek that cost me close to $900, the insurance company adjuster of the motorist that hit me was incredulous that a "mere bicycle" could cost that much.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by benda18 View Post
    I stopped caring what other people thought after the first day of riding to work.
    This

  20. #20
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    I'm not interested in convincing anyone about what I do. But to temper the strange comments I get when people start talking about it, I like to quickly say that this is my weight control program. That quickly diverts the attention from me to the fatso who's questioning my sanity.

    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  21. #21
    billyymc
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    Ask them if they can give you some money for gas, so you don't have to ride anymore.

  22. #22
    Senior Member jungovox's Avatar
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    Good for you - i work for a guitar mfg. and have been commuting 6 mile each way for about 6 month s- oddly I am the only one out of a staff of 50 - Most think it's pretty cool and they keep me in their thoughts as the tstorms invent themselves at the end of the day here in Tampa Florida -

    For various reasons I take the car (2008 accord ex - nice) and act thrilled that this 'vehicle' has a clear shield that protects me from the wind, tons of power and climate control - Grin -

    Enjoy your Commuting LandESB - and do know this form is lousy with good commuters with GREAT tips .. I humbly read it daily - cause DAMN - I am in Tampa bay - never cold and always flat - I am in awe of folks that ride at sub-zero temps in ice and snow, up and down huge hills - amazing.

  23. #23
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by landesb View Post
    Does anyone else have any fun responses from coworkers?
    Not really. There are five of us who bike to work, out of a company of about 25. I don't even know what a "fun response" would look like. "Wow, you rode your bike, that's great! Here's a brand new Baileyworks bag!" Something like that? That would be fun, all right.
    You have the right to your own opinion. You don't have the right to your own facts.

  24. #24
    Fairweather Bike Commuter Matt1972's Avatar
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    A fat kid at work exclaimed to me, "Matt! You rode your bike? Why?". I replied, "'Cause I wanted to!" End of discussion

  25. #25
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I work with cyclists... I used to get way more flack when I drove a car on rare occasions.

    Now it's more a case of people commenting on my daughters who commute 14 km a day which they see as incredible... my little 9 year old says "it's nothing" and it isn't.

    I did meet another parent who commuted 10 km a day with her son and while doing this pulls her 2 year old daughter in the kid trailer.

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