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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 02-25-14, 11:11 PM   #1
tjspiel
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Winter Commuting for fun and profit

I scored $10 today on the way home.

I filtered my way up through an unusually long line of cars that were waiting at an intersection. It was also on a slight incline and more than slightly icy.

At the top was a van just spinning its wheels and not making any progress. So I set my bike aside and pushed him through the intersection. The light changes. I go back and get my bike. A woman opens her window and thanks me because the van had been blocking traffic.

I forget about it and head home. A few blocks later I see the van parked on the side of the road and the driver walking towards me with a wad of cash. I tell him that he doesn't have to do that, and that I was happy to help. He insists. Said he had been there 15 minutes and no one did squat. He said he would have still been there if I hadn't come by. People just went around him when they got an opening. He tells me to grab myself a bite to eat on him.

So I was happy to have helped the guy and though I didn't really need the money, I got a little treat for myself and the family with it. Feel kind of crappy about the other stiffs at the intersection though. Usually somebody will get their butt out of car and help. Yes, it was a bit cold today but still.

Anyway I'm hoping that at least of couple of people will treat us cyclists with a little more courtesy as a result.
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Old 02-26-14, 12:43 AM   #2
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I didn't get paid, but I got similar comments from another driver I helped push.

In Jan 2011 I came across a car stuck part way up a hill (studded tires make bicycling much easier) and started to push. At that point the driver got out (put his girlfriend in the driver's seat) and also pushed. With 2 people pushing, the next car also stopped, and 4 of us were able to get the car over the hill.

Traffic was light, but the driver did comment that they had been stuck 40 min or so and nobody else had offered to help.
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Old 02-26-14, 06:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
I scored $10 today on the way home.

...At the top was a van just spinning its wheels and not making any progress. So I set my bike aside and pushed him through the intersection. The light changes. I go back and get my bike. A woman opens her window and thanks me because the van had been blocking traffic...Feel kind of crappy about the other stiffs at the intersection though. Usually somebody will get their butt out of car and help. Yes, it was a bit cold today but still.

Anyway I'm hoping that at least of couple of people will treat us cyclists with a little more courtesy as a result.

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...since we [cycle commuters] are so intimately familiar with the Road, compared to motorists, we are more apt to see situations of distress and can more easily stop and help out. Over the years I have found a few wallets and cell phones and returned them to the owners. On one nasty snowy winter day on my cycle commute (with studded tires), I stopped and pushed at least three stranded cars off of slippery surfaces where they could get no traction.
A cycnical aphorism about good deeds though has been enunciated as, "No good deed goes unpunished."

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… So with that delay, and the slow travel I got to work about an hour later than usual [I don't punch a time clock]. What I had hoped would be a triumphal arrival though, was a tongue-lashing because the secretaries thought I was crazy and probably in an accident.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-26-14 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 02-26-14, 06:57 AM   #4
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Neat!
I clear stuff off the roads fairly often. Just yesterday, there was a queen sized mattress in the middle of the road on the way to work. Cars were just driving around it. I stopped and flipped it up onto the snowbank on the side of the road.

I stop quite often to move fallen branches and other such debris, and if I see nails or other such things I'll stop and get them off the road as well. A few years ago on the busiest road that I ride on, some contractor had dropped a full box of 8d nails, which had broken open and there were a few dozen nails on the road. Traffic at the time was pretty light. I got the box and got all the nails I could find. It took about 5 minutes, I had to wait for traffic occasionally. A few people decided to not give me room, so they ran over nails. I don't know how that worked out for them. I got a free box of nails out of it (it was a 5# box so that's probably $10 worth at a guess).

I've also gotten a fair number of tools, not a lot but maybe $50 to $75 worth over the course of 10 years.

Never had anyone thank me for doing any of this though.
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Old 02-26-14, 07:19 AM   #5
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Neat!
I clear stuff off the roads fairly often...

Never had anyone thank me for doing any of this though.
I was once on my bike at a railroad crossing, and after the train had passed, I manually pushed up the stuck crossing arm so the line of cars could pass.

This image of a motorist immobilized in a car comes to mind.

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Old 02-26-14, 07:58 AM   #6
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A couple of weeks ago, there was a taxi stuck on the ice as I was walking by. A bystander was trying to help but didn't know how to do it. I told the driver to turn his wheels this way and that and to go from Drive to Reverse and back and to rock the car. He was out quickly. The driver and the bystander thanked me very much.

I also clear stuff off the road when I'm on my bike. I guess since it's easier to do so when on bike than in a car, it occurs to us cyclists more often.

Yesterday, someone was struggling to carry a mattress up the entrance stairs to a building. I was walking the dog, so I stopped and lifted from the bottom. He said I really didn't have to do that, and I didn't mind.

I don't do this stuff to improve our image in other people's minds. I don't think that's likely to happen. I just do it because it needs to be done. Maybe it will brighten someone's day to know that someone -- anyone -- is willing to help. And maybe not. It doesn't matter. We are not alone.
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Old 02-26-14, 08:59 AM   #7
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Without cyclists the drivers would be doomed...
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