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Old 07-27-10, 07:42 AM   #1
GiantDefyGuy
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Either Poor or DWI. LOL!

I mentioned to my mother the other day that I started commuting to work on a bike. I was telling her about my big $80 beater bike that I ride and keep locked up outside and stuff....just the normal stuff you tell someone that just found out you ride a bike to work.

Anyway, she started laughing and said that whenever she sees someone riding their bike and they're obviously on their way to work, she automatically assumes that they are riding because they can't drive for one reason or another. And those reasons are because they either got a DWI and got their license taken away, or because they can't afford a car due to serious financial issues. Basically, no one would just ride their bike because they WANT to. (well, except for that guy at her office that rides his bike in every day.....but he's "serious.")

The good news is that she's a good driver and respects cyclists rights (even if they're just poor or have DWIs). LOL

The conversation just kinda made me laugh a little bit. I wonder if everyone thinks I'm riding my bike because I lost my license. One lady the other day noticed my bike and asked me about it. She said "do you even have a car?"
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Old 07-27-10, 07:48 AM   #2
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I wanted to ride the the DMV office last week to renew my license, just for kicks, but it was too freaking hot, so I drove. Imagine what people would have though seeing me locking my bike outside of DMV?
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Old 07-27-10, 08:01 AM   #3
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With my fairly generous cycling budget, even the undiscerning eye can tell that I ride not because of limited funding. So far, no one has even asked me about a DUI conviction,(never had one) for being a reason for riding my bike.
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Old 07-27-10, 08:18 AM   #4
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I wonder if everyone thinks I'm riding my bike because I lost my license.
Around here - yes! I'm asked all the time. I don't think it enters into many people's minds that there is the possibility that someone would ride a bike for health or fitness, to attempt a greener existence, or least of all(GASP!) because they actually ENJOYED cycling!
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Old 07-27-10, 08:21 AM   #5
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Everyone I work with thinks I'm crazy starting around December.. but I think they're partly right.
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Old 07-27-10, 08:25 AM   #6
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I wanted to ride the the DMV office last week to renew my license, just for kicks, but it was too freaking hot, so I drove. Imagine what people would have though seeing me locking my bike outside of DMV?
The building that houses the closest DMV to my home is butted up against a bikeway. I don't normally take that bikeway to work but I have in the past and it's not far out of the way at all. Anyway, on the way to the office one day I stopped at that DMV to renew my license. I went through the line carrying my helmet and messenger bag. I didn't really think much of it at first, then the the irony of it hit me and it gave me a little smile.
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Old 07-27-10, 08:36 AM   #7
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Oh yeah.. I'm pretty sure a good number of people who pass me on the road are laughing about the guy with the DUI riding his bike to work. Could probably get rid of that by wearing spandex.. But then I'd be wearing spandex.
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Old 07-27-10, 08:36 AM   #8
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The "going to the DMV on a bike" idea cracks me up. If I did that and got a look from anyone, I'd just shrug my shoulders and give them a "I'm trying!"

Honestly, a big reason I ride a bike to work is so I can leave my car in my driveway all day to confuse the robbers who love to kick in my door(s) while my car is gone. I wish I could make them understand that it is inconvenient for me to have to spend ~$1,000 on a new door every time this happens!....because I'm sure they'd stop once they found that out.
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Old 07-27-10, 08:37 AM   #9
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oh yeah.. I'm pretty sure a good number of people who pass me on the road are laughing about the guy with the dui riding his bike to work. could probably get rid of that by wearing spandex.. But then i'd be wearing spandex.
rofl!
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Old 07-27-10, 08:38 AM   #10
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It's like that in my hometown (Burlington, NC). Not so much in L.A. Here they just think you're suicidal.
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Old 07-27-10, 08:44 AM   #11
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Hah, actually being poor, ie a college student, IS what got me commuting by bike; I couldn't afford the car repairs i needed sooooo.... But after getting back on a bike and realizing how great it is to ride, I was looking to upgrade to a better bike rather than fixing the car. Currently i have greatly reduced my dependance on the car altogether and use a mix of bike and bus commuting, guess i went green.
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Old 07-27-10, 08:54 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by GiantDefyGuy View Post
The conversation just kinda made me laugh a little bit. I wonder if everyone thinks I'm riding my bike because I lost my license. One lady the other day noticed my bike and asked me about it. She said "do you even have a car?"
For some reason just saying, "I'm going green" is reason enough. That seems to shut them up fast because most people feel inherently guilty because they know or feel that they are not "green" enough.

As for the motorist next to me on the lane or strangers, who gives a damn what they think.

As the saying goes "Call me anything but don't call me late for dinner."
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Old 07-27-10, 08:57 AM   #13
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I wanted to ride the the DMV office last week to renew my license, just for kicks, but it was too freaking hot, so I drove. Imagine what people would have though seeing me locking my bike outside of DMV?
I rode my bike to the DMV a couple times. It was not a big deal. One of the offices had a wheelbender type bike rack.
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Old 07-27-10, 09:04 AM   #14
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The "going to the DMV on a bike" idea cracks me up.
Why? I've done it a lot over the years. Less since online license plate renewals came into being.
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Old 07-27-10, 09:14 AM   #15
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My friend and I were actually discussing this. He rides around town a lot, and has made me feel guilty driving short trips. Now I bike pretty much any time we hang out.

We've determined that the presence of a big shaggy beard can be one indication that you might not be riding by choice (no offense to the bearded ones here). Another, is how the bike is maintained.
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Old 07-27-10, 09:15 AM   #16
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It could be the beater bike that makes people ask you guys if you are financially strapped.

Ride a the latest carbon fiber wonder and all doubt will cease. But if you are not wearing spandex people will think you stole the bike. So be careful.
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Old 07-27-10, 09:29 AM   #17
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I'm not sure that most non-cycling people would know the difference between the latest carbon wonder and the latest wally world special.
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Old 07-27-10, 09:39 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by GiantDefyGuy View Post
The "going to the DMV on a bike" idea cracks me up. If I did that and got a look from anyone, I'd just shrug my shoulders and give them a "I'm trying!"

Honestly, a big reason I ride a bike to work is so I can leave my car in my driveway all day to confuse the robbers who love to kick in my door(s) while my car is gone. I wish I could make them understand that it is inconvenient for me to have to spend ~$1,000 on a new door every time this happens!....because I'm sure they'd stop once they found that out.
That is funny!

Riding instead of driving to the DMV is the way to go because you can park your bike and go in. If you had a car, you would have to wait for a parking space. That can take forever.
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Old 07-27-10, 09:41 AM   #19
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I'm not sure that most non-cycling people would know the difference between the latest carbon wonder and the latest wally world special.
Indeed, riding a shiny new huffy will probably have people assuming you've got more money than riding a slightly scuffed Madone.
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Old 07-27-10, 10:13 AM   #20
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The conversation just kinda made me laugh a little bit. I wonder if everyone thinks I'm riding my bike because I lost my license. One lady the other day noticed my bike and asked me about it. She said "do you even have a car?"
And what if you didn't?

There's a bit of an attitude around here (meaning BF) where, deliberately or not, commuters who can't afford to or legally are unable to drive are viewed with some level of contempt. It kind of seems to me that importance of cars and driving as a class symbol hasn't necessarily diminished amongst commuters.
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Old 07-27-10, 10:18 AM   #21
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I'm not sure that most non-cycling people would know the difference between the latest carbon wonder and the latest wally world special.
I'm sure they don't! I've got a Target hybrid bike (a Schwinn w/ Shimano components). I've been upgrading it slowly over time, and soon all that will be original/stock is the frame, bottom bracket, headset, and stem, but it's still clearly a Target Schwinn, and I get comments all the time from lots of coworkers about how nice my bike is and how it must have been really expensive, etc. It almost pains me to disappoint them and tell them I originally got it at Target for $200. Perhaps it's compliments on my upgrades and additions? No, it's definitely lack of knowledge.

Edit: Neil said it more concisely than I did...
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Indeed, riding a shiny new huffy will probably have people assuming you've got more money than riding a slightly scuffed Madone.
The same lack of knowledge perhaps that makes people unable to realize that someone might actually enjoy riding their bike to work and not due so only out of financial need or a suspended driver's license.

Last edited by EKW in DC; 07-27-10 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 07-27-10, 10:26 AM   #22
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And what if you didn't?

There's a bit of an attitude around here (meaning BF) where, deliberately or not, commuters who can't afford to or legally are unable to drive are viewed with some level of contempt. It kind of seems to me that importance of cars and driving as a class symbol hasn't necessarily diminished amongst commuters.
Not sure I agree. There's an entire forum on Car Free Living in addition to a lot of practical advice on bicycling for utility, etc. (including in the Commuting forum). Enough that it's made me consider not owning a car as a serious alternative instead of simply viewing car owndership as an almost necessary and indispensible convenience.
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Old 07-27-10, 10:28 AM   #23
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Perhaps on the rare occasions when I drive my car to work I should explain that I got nailed for cycling while intoxicated and now I have no choice but to drive a car. Would my beard lend credibility to or detract from that story?
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Old 07-27-10, 10:29 AM   #24
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I don't mind it if people think I'm poor because I ride a bike. Maybe they may even show sympathy for me on the road instead of running me over. I have a makeshift bracket on my rack which I can install some lisence plate on it and it is about a driver's eye level when they are behind me. I'm thinking of having one engrave with the phrase:

"Not poor, just broke. So please give me a brake"
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Old 07-27-10, 10:41 AM   #25
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I've had a few people ask if I needed a lift in their massive pickup trucks (oh, the irony!) but I politely told them I was only 10 miles or so from home, I didn't need a ride. The looks on their faces: priceless.
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