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Old 11-19-13, 12:16 PM   #1
OneGoodLeg
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Awesome motorists on my morning commute

The negative "cager" comments are plentiful in most commuter forums, time to credit when due.

I had quite the crappy start to my commute this morning, that wound up in me meeting two cool people. I had switched rims on my bike this morning and could not get the tire to seat correctly due to what I think is a defect in the bead of the tire that wasn't a problem for the other rim. Finally, I thought I had it, but ended up pinch flatting 4-1/2 miles into my commute. So as I'm changing the tire on the corner of a main road and a sub-division, a mini van pulls into the side street and stops. This woman gets out and says "did you need some help? A phone? I assume your on your way to work." So, I decline her offer, but thank her and she says to me, "I was wondering where you were, I usually see you crossing the bridge as I'm on my way home every morning. I usually know what time it is when I see you". She had actually passed me on the side of the road working on my wheel, had turned around and came back to check on me. She leaves and I start working on my wheel again.

I get the tire mounted and inflate it with my CO2 inflator and it's still not seating right. So I had to let the air out of the tire and try to seat it again. And my CO2 cannister is empty, which is the moment I realize the spare cannisters that I thought were in my bag, had never left the shelf in my garage. So I lock my bike to the guardrail, ditch my bag in some woods near my bike and start the 4+ mile walk back to my house to get the spare cannisters. I get about a mile down the road and I see a car traveling the other way pull over. And, the driver asks if I need a ride towards my house. It turns out that he was on his way to taking his daughter to pre-school and saw my bike locked to the guardrail and he then passed me walking, turned around and picked me up. He says to me, "we were wondering where you were today (he and his daughter), we see you pretty much in the same spot on the road, at the same time every day.". As we were talking on the way to my house, I found out that he worked as a wrench for 10 years and his wife used to race professionally. They were both former bike commuters. He dropped me off pretty much on my door step. And I ended up hoofing it back to my bike with fresh CO2 cannisters. At least it's a nice day, 49F and sunny.

That's three people I've run into who have told me that the know what time it is when they see me on the ride as they're driving along. I must be punctual in my commute, because all three have mentioned they know what time it is when they see me. Most of the drivers on this particular commute are pretty cooperative about sharing the road. Compared to when I worked and road in Providence, I have very few negative encounters. I'm stopping by the LBS on the way home for a new tire, I have no idea what's wrong with this tire, other than it's a Kenda, which I've had a past experience with a Kenda tire distorting as it wore, so I'm chalking it up to a cheap tire.
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Old 11-19-13, 12:23 PM   #2
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I find that most cagers are OK. In fact, I've never had a single issue with a cager in Germany or the UK so far. In fact, I have many more issues with other cyclists, especially those riding on the wrong side of the street (salmon), those with no lights (ninjas), those riding so far they don't watch traffic (racers) and those with blinding lights without cutoffs (idiots).

On those I see the cager as more of a friend than an enemy.
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Old 11-19-13, 01:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
I find that most cagers are OK. In fact, I've never had a single issue with a cager in Germany or the UK so far. In fact, I have many more issues with other cyclists, especially those riding on the wrong side of the street (salmon), those with no lights (ninjas), those riding so far they don't watch traffic (racers) and those with blinding lights without cutoffs (idiots).

On those I see the cager as more of a friend than an enemy.
I agree, most cagers are ok here too. Just a few once in a while that like to show off and be superior. As far as bikers, we don't have much (salmon) and their really slow and mostly on sidewalks anyway so that's ok, No (ninjas) yet, No real (racers), and as far as I can tell no (idiots) so I think I have it pretty good.
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Old 11-19-13, 01:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by OneGoodLeg View Post
The negative "cager" comments are plentiful in most commuter forums, time to credit when due.
Absolutely, the vast majority of the folks I meet on the road are OK, and it's a shame that we mostly remember and comment about the minority. OTOH, the comments of both of those who stopped should be noted by everyone on this forum.

As commuters, we tend to be riding with the same people day in, day out. They remember us for better or worse, so it pays doubly to put out good vibes. Motorists are not the enemy, they're people just like us who simply choose another alternative.
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Old 11-19-13, 02:26 PM   #5
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We're bombarded with so much negative news that this otherwise totally healthy attitude to assist another human being seems out of place in today's society, and thankfully OneGoodLeg's post should remind us that the majority of our society isn't out to harm us, and that WE should also have this helping-hand mentality.
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Old 11-19-13, 02:27 PM   #6
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Yup, if I'm being honest most drivers out there behave pretty good. Every once in a while I'll get somebody to wave me through an intersection, stuff like that. I try not to focus on the rotten apples but unfortunately those are the ones I remember...
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Old 11-19-13, 02:36 PM   #7
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Yup, if I'm being honest most drivers out there behave pretty good. Every once in a while I'll get somebody to wave me through an intersection, stuff like that. I try not to focus on the rotten apples but unfortunately those are the ones I remember...
I occasionally have people shout out my name as I'm known around campus as the faculty member with the banana bike by students and other staff.

It's quite funny actually and it's a college town so occasionally I see people that shout my name from their cars ... it's not as large as Frankfurt here.

Quite fun actually, including the sheer number of people that say they saw me riding

Overall, motorists are quite good, but I see a huge number of ninjas
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Old 11-19-13, 03:01 PM   #8
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As commuters, we tend to be riding with the same people day in, day out. They remember us for better or worse, so it pays doubly to put out good vibes.
Every "regular" on my rural commute moves all the way into the oncoming lane to pass and even wait as I crest hills and round corners to make the pass.

If someone does pass close, it's a vehicle that I haven't seen before.
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Old 11-19-13, 08:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by OneGoodLeg View Post

I get the tire mounted and inflate it with my CO2 inflator and it's still not seating right. So I had to let the air out of the tire and try to seat it again. And my CO2 cannister is empty, which is the moment I realize
"I should carry a pump."

Oh. Carry on then.
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