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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 01-04-10, 08:14 PM   #1
BadBoy10
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Riding(commuting) in peace--SF



Do you get strange people talking to you as you commute? Do people stop you to question you about the bicycle or give their opinion (unsolicited) about your preferred mode of transportation?


Here's the scoop:

I ride a Cannondale Bad Boy (2010). I love her but now want a "vintage bike" because the Bad Boy causes to much attention. I literally have to spend too much time IMO chaining her down or fending off disruption from people wanting to harass me about the bike. I have been in the store, looked back only to see someone touching the seat, sitting on the seat, clicking the brakes!

Saturday, I took the bus home and a strange man approached me at the bus stop and advised me if someone stole "that bike" they would only get a $20 crack rock from the drug man. Huh? It was so strange. Then he proceeded to question the cost of the bike. He guessed $350. Finally, he described from birth to adult hood his life as a thief, exconvict and Vietnam veteran.

This is not the first time someone has approached me and "discussed" something off the wall. Sadly, they are never quite able to pick up on my nonverbal cues of "So what! Leave me alone! I don't care! I don't want to talk!"

Why does this happen to me? I just want to be left alone. I do not bother anyone. I do not make eye contact. I am polite yet cautious. For some reason, I always get the freaks, the weirdos---and I cannot stand it. I do not engage the conversation. Often, I simply stare off into space as they are talking. At the same time, I don't want to tell someone to *(&*&(&*97b ___off and things get upsetting.
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Old 01-04-10, 08:36 PM   #2
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Like it or not, people tend to wanna communicate with other people, especially if you have something that is very interesting.
I didn't know that a C-Dale Bad Boy = one $20 crack rock.
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Old 01-04-10, 08:50 PM   #3
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no ingles!
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Old 01-04-10, 09:05 PM   #4
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You have a bike. Ride away from them...
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Old 01-04-10, 09:07 PM   #5
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Changing your bike won't change anything but the bike. Some people just have that "talk to me" face, attitude, posture, whatever.

You can step up your non-verbal clues. Tell them you don't want to talk. Wear ear buds, even if they are plugged into nothing. Turn away and start talking to another person at the first pause. Lots of things.

Good luck.
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Old 01-05-10, 01:57 AM   #6
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Earbuds are good, but some folks just give off a friendly vibe.

You are allowed to say, "I'm sorry, but I'm not in the mood to talk right now. Thanks for your understanding and have a good day."
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Old 01-05-10, 03:39 AM   #7
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Wearing earbuds is a good one. I don't listen to my ipod when I ride because I feel I need to pay more attention to the road and the traffic, but I've definitely stuck headphones in so that I wouldn't get harassed by strange men when I'm stopped. I've done it on buses and while walking too.
I also once had a car following me on the freeway for awhile, driven by some guy trying hard to get my attention, so when he pulled up next to me, I stuck my finger in my nose like I was picking it. So you could try that next time you're staring off into space while some weirdo talks your ear off. If they're too disgusted to talk to you anymore, problem solved. if they don't notice and keep talking, I'd say at that point they probably wouldn't notice if you just rode off.
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Old 01-05-10, 05:55 AM   #8
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I would remove the Cannondale and Bad Boy Stickers from the bike. I also remove the names on all the components and I paint over the ones I can't remove. This seems to discourage people from asking about my Cross Check but there is nothing I can do to keep people from asking about my Alex Moulton Double Pylon.. As far as people bothering you, if you can't simply ride away, like at the bus stop or on the bus, you can always pretend you have a call on your mobile phone. This will discourage most of them from talking to you. You don't even need a working one for this ruse.
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Old 01-05-10, 09:27 AM   #9
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Maybe you are just a wierdo magnet
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Old 01-05-10, 09:43 AM   #10
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I stuck my finger in my nose like I was picking it.
That's great... Who needs ear buds?? When you pull it out, give it a curious look like you're contemplating eating it. Welcome to the Forum!!!
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Old 01-05-10, 11:54 AM   #11
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LOL! Yes, I have been told strange people like me. Even at my job(s)---counter culture ---types are attracted to me---difficult people--people that areon the fringe-- Yes--- common sense I should ride away but when I am waiting in the cold for the bus---that I REALLY do want to ride ---Thank you for sharing--It is sad to know other people are being harassed and I appreciate your tips---especially the nose picking---LOL!
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Old 01-05-10, 11:59 AM   #12
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I think this has a lot less to do with your bike as it does your locale.
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Old 01-11-10, 11:59 PM   #13
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It may be gross, but it's worked the couple of times I've used it. Another really gross idea would be carrying a pair of nail clippers with you and pulling those out when people got too friendly. I sat next to some guy on the bus once who started clipping his nails like he was trying to be sly about it. He seemed startled and embarrassed when I asked him to stop (fortunately he did). Did he really think no one would notice?
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Old 01-12-10, 12:37 AM   #14
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I know what you mean, some times it can be a bit uncomfortable but for the most part I like how riding a bike opens up the community to me. I like the connection it opens up. Sometimes its weirdo's but most of the time I meet really awesome people.
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Old 01-12-10, 12:44 AM   #15
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I ride a number of vintage bikes... people are always asking me questions about them.
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Old 01-12-10, 06:13 AM   #16
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So far I remember only one situation when a city bus driver started chatting with me friendly while we stopped at a long red light, asking how far I ride, etc. I'm not counting other cyclists saying things like "nice to be out early" or "enjoying the ride?". I imagine this depends a lot on the area though. Large part of my ride is industrial Queens and Brooklyn where people rush to work and are not into casual conversations. I remember during my lone rides in upstate New York, people often chatted with me, always friendly though. I remember once a leather clad, tattooed biker (as in Harley Man) said with a big grin "nice day to be out on wheels!" That was probably the weirdest

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Old 01-12-10, 06:27 AM   #17
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Why is it so weird that people want to communicate. Isn't that the human condition.

I think it's kind of nice. Wouldn't it be worse if everyone just ignored everyone else.

It would be kind of like......Boston
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Old 01-12-10, 06:33 AM   #18
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But that's just it: we (in USA urban areas) are so used to people ignoring each other that when some stranger wants to chat we think it's weird

A.
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Old 01-12-10, 08:15 AM   #19
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The idea of everyone ignoring each other is frightening to me. I'm not a big talker but around here it's not uncommon for random people to ask random questions. As long as it's not harassing or menacing I always communicate back. Even if it's some random old drunk that hasn't been sober since 1962, I don't mind talking to them.
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Old 01-12-10, 08:51 AM   #20
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I'd rather be somewhere that people talked to one another than someplace where they ignored everyone. Oh wait, I am somewhere like that.
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Old 01-12-10, 11:14 AM   #21
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This is definitely true. Here in Boston no one talks to each other (people usually run around with their heads down) so it does seem strange when someone talks to you out of the blue. Usually when it happens it is someone who is from somewhere else.

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But that's just it: we (in USA urban areas) are so used to people ignoring each other that when some stranger wants to chat we think it's weird

A.
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Old 01-12-10, 12:58 PM   #22
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Just wear dark sunglasses, stare back at them and don't reply.








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Old 01-12-10, 02:31 PM   #23
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Don't buy a recumbent then!
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Old 01-12-10, 03:09 PM   #24
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This is definitely true. Here in Boston no one talks to each other (people usually run around with their heads down) so it does seem strange when someone talks to you out of the blue. Usually when it happens it is someone who is from somewhere else.
Wow, BMT, I'm originally from Medford, but moved here 25 years ago. I guess nothing really changes
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Old 01-12-10, 03:25 PM   #25
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wrap the bike in thin black vinyl, always keep your eyes down... look MAD!! look like you just got into a fight.... dress like a crazy biker.. don't wash your cloths, SMELL! dress in black, or ragged army cloths... combat boots... wear army pants with combat boots and a black leather jacket... get a Mohawk...

I dress like a crazy Satanic Hellbilly Cannibal..
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