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  1. #1
    Senior Member jp173's Avatar
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    The Return of Mr. Helmet

    He's baaaack. Still wearing that stupid helmet. With a repaired derailleur. And not wearing fleece in 79 degree weather.

    He showed up at the club's regular Friday night ride, which is a go-at-your-own pace, self-directed ride over a marked route.

    Despite the fact that it is a self-directed ride, I often unofficially lead first-timers. When he showed up, he asked the ride coordinator if there was someone he could ride with since he was unfamiliar with the route. The ride coordinator brought him over to me.

    I flat-out refused. I told him that he had turned one ride into hell for me, the gashes I have from my first experience with him are still bleeding occasionally, and that he wasn't getting a second shot at me.

    He said "but that was a new member ride" and I repeated what the club president (and bulletin) had told him: "new member", not "new rider". Something that I had specifically asked him about before the start of the ride.

    I also said something along the lines of

    "before I went on my first club ride, I put about 100 miles on the bike. I knew how to shift, which you don't. I knew what kind of gearing to use on what conditions, which you don't. I knew what pace I was capable of on flats, uphills, and downhills, which you don't. I knew how to stop the bike. I knew what to wear in what conditions. Between having ridden it 100 miles and taking it back to the store for a quick tune-up, my bike had been checked out so that I knew it was in good condition before the ride (my rear wheel was actually connected to the frame). You did none of those things -- which shows a certain lack of common sense, not to mention concern for your fellow rider.

    Not to mention a certain amount of disregard for non-riders when you parked in the restaurant's parking lot -- despite all their signs to the contrary -- when you were specifically told to park in the train station parking lot, something that the restaurant is complaining about to the local police, with whom we have to maintain a good relationship. I mean, how hard was it to notice (a) that there were about 100 bikes in the train station parking lot and none where you were parked, or (b) that you had to walk about 1/4 mile with your bike to get to the start, which no one else had to do?"

    You guys on BF can criticize me all you want for not being charitable to the guy or being supportive of a new rider, but my feeling is that someone that stupid and cavalier isn't someone I want to encourage to become either a rider (and give us all a bad name) or become a member of my club.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp173
    You guys on BF can criticize me all you want for not being charitable to the guy or being supportive of a new rider, but my feeling is that someone that stupid and cavalier isn't someone I want to encourage to become either a rider (and give us all a bad name) or become a member of my club.

    I must say I'm a little surprised he returned. Did he do the ride?

    I'm not going to criticize but I am going to say I would have made another choice. I'm one of those who believe everyone is entitled to make their own decisions.
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  3. #3
    The Grampster tlc20010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp173

    I flat-out refused. I told him that he had turned one ride into hell for me, the gashes I have from my first experience with him are still bleeding occasionally, and that he wasn't getting a second shot at me.
    I admire your stance. Most of us would have not stood up to the courage of our convictions and caved in to let the guy ride with us....we are such wimps. But you had the guts to tell the guy to his face. He needed to hear it. Perhaps he (and your club president) learned something from this episode. If you get the chance, why don't you give Mr. Helmet the 50+ URL where he can go lurk and learn without injuring anyone...except maybe his own ego.
    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlc20010
    I admire your stance.
    +1
    Inconsiderate people who are persistently noncompliant should be made aware of their behavior. To tolerate them does everyone a disservice.
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  5. #5
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp173
    He's baaaack. Still wearing that stupid helmet. With a repaired derailleur. And not wearing fleece in 79 degree weather.
    I'm curious as to why you are posting this story here?

    Do you want reactions? Validation?

    Just wonderin . . . .
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  6. #6
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I won't go as far as to say I admire your response, but I sure understand it. The guy is a danger to himself and others in that setting. Does your club have any rides or clinics for beginning riders? Something like that may help him get to the point that he could ride in a group setting without causing such problems.

    I wondered as I read the original thread about his first ride with you whether he might be under professional care for a non-physical ailment.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  7. #7
    Senior Member RoMad's Avatar
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    I wondered as I read the original thread about his first ride with you whether he might be under professional care for a non-physical ailment.[/QUOTE]

    That is about as nice of a way of saying something as I have ever seen.
    I can understand the OP's position after the first ride. I am not saying I agree with it completely, depending on the delivery and audience, but there are already plenty of inconsiderate cyclists on the roads and trails without encouraging more to join.

  8. #8
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    I shall disagree. Perhaps I identify more with Mr. Helmet than I care to admit. Except I just admitted it. So maybe not.

    Was he repentant? Willing to learn? Did he blush with shame when he saw you again?

    I'm weirdly academic and dilitantish (that doesn't look like its spelled correctly. Help me out BD.), so when I bought my bike I also bought about 6 biking books and committed them all to memory. They probably bailed me out of some bad scrapes.

    Still, when I showed up to group rides I felt like a fish out of water and on a bike that he didn't really need. As observant as I've been, I still make noob mistakes on group rides. Perhaps I've been written up on the Young Turk forum and just haven't realized it.

    So I would have given him another chance. And recommended a copy of "Cycling for the Complete Idiot". As nicely as I could.

  9. #9
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp173
    He's baaaack. Still wearing that stupid helmet. With a repaired derailleur. And not wearing fleece in 79 degree weather.

    He showed up at the club's regular Friday night ride, which is a go-at-your-own pace, self-directed ride over a marked route.

    Despite the fact that it is a self-directed ride, I often unofficially lead first-timers. When he showed up, he asked the ride coordinator if there was someone he could ride with since he was unfamiliar with the route. The ride coordinator brought him over to me.

    I flat-out refused. I told him that he had turned one ride into hell for me, the gashes I have from my first experience with him are still bleeding occasionally, and that he wasn't getting a second shot at me.

    He said "but that was a new member ride" and I repeated what the club president (and bulletin) had told him: "new member", not "new rider". Something that I had specifically asked him about before the start of the ride.

    I also said something along the lines of

    "before I went on my first club ride, I put about 100 miles on the bike. I knew how to shift, which you don't. I knew what kind of gearing to use on what conditions, which you don't. I knew what pace I was capable of on flats, uphills, and downhills, which you don't. I knew how to stop the bike. I knew what to wear in what conditions. Between having ridden it 100 miles and taking it back to the store for a quick tune-up, my bike had been checked out so that I knew it was in good condition before the ride (my rear wheel was actually connected to the frame). You did none of those things -- which shows a certain lack of common sense, not to mention concern for your fellow rider.

    Not to mention a certain amount of disregard for non-riders when you parked in the restaurant's parking lot -- despite all their signs to the contrary -- when you were specifically told to park in the train station parking lot, something that the restaurant is complaining about to the local police, with whom we have to maintain a good relationship. I mean, how hard was it to notice (a) that there were about 100 bikes in the train station parking lot and none where you were parked, or (b) that you had to walk about 1/4 mile with your bike to get to the start, which no one else had to do?"

    You guys on BF can criticize me all you want for not being charitable to the guy or being supportive of a new rider, but my feeling is that someone that stupid and cavalier isn't someone I want to encourage to become either a rider (and give us all a bad name) or become a member of my club.
    You left out what happened after you told him all that you told him. Did he ride with someone else, or did he go home, or did he ride alone?
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  10. #10
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    I'm never* going to try a group ride.

  11. #11
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg
    I'm never* going to try a group ride.
    I hope you are joking. This exchange should have no bearing at all on whether you ride with a group or not.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  12. #12
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoMad
    "I wondered as I read the original thread about his first ride with you whether he might be under professional care for a non-physical ailment."
    ***
    That is about as nice of a way of saying something as I have ever seen.
    Growing up and living in the town with what was once the world's largest mental institution gives you a little different perspective on some things.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  13. #13
    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    You left out what happened after you told him all that you told him. Did he ride with someone else, or did he go home, or did he ride alone?
    I'm curious too.

    I'd have given him another chance after the lecture, and if he still didn't catch on (still didn't learn the basics, follow instructions, etc.) then another measure would be in order.

    Some people simply do not care to follow instructions, and then they get mad when it is pointed out to them. Others apologize for their lapse in good judgment. Whichever camp he falls into will say more about him than his lack of knowledge on the bike.
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  14. #14
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    So you've inspired me to go back to read the original "Mr Helmet" post and I'm glad I did. I laughed a lot and learned a little. I was totally unaware that the skewer lever belonged on the left for the front wheel. I've gone out and looked at the fleet and waddaya know, they're all on the left...well almost all of them.
    My '91 Schwinn 354 is on the right My wheel is on backwards! I will turn it around ASAP and I expect to see an immediate increase in my average speed. Thank you very much!

    As for group riding, I did a few MS 150's about ten years ago and although they were very enjoyable, I prefer to ride alone, at my pace, at my leisure on an ever changeable route....well you get the drift.

  15. #15
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    I hope you are joking. This exchange should have no bearing at all on whether you ride with a group or not.
    No, I'm not. I was already nervous about it. I'm a total dweeb. I spent most of my ride today working on how to shift when you're in rolling hills. I never did figure it out right.

    The only thing I came up with is that because I'm not a strong rider yet, I use a wider range of gears than you guys do. I'm trying not to coast any more ( ) but I have to go into the hardest gears going down a hill, and then all the way into my granny gears at the top of the next hill. So in the middle, I'm very clumsy and geeky (because I have a triple).

    I can pretty much go in a straight line, except when there's no edge on the lane, and it drops off bout 6 inches immediately. The road is twisty, so I don't feel comfortable going into the lane more, but that stupid drop off freaks me out and suddenly I can't go in a straight line. It's like the drop-off becomes a bike magnet!

    If I went on a ride when I got fast enough, I'd still be such a nerd that I'd piss people off. I'd be the fat middle-aged ninny on the bike. Just the other day, a group of 20-year olds laughed at my sunglass mirror right to my face! They said, "Oh, look! You've got your little mirror! Hahahaha!"

    Ridicule I can take. If anyone ever got mad* at me I'd be mortified.

  16. #16
    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg
    No, I'm not. I was already nervous about it. I'm a total dweeb. I spent most of my ride today working on how to shift when you're in rolling hills. I never did figure it out right.

    The only thing I came up with is that because I'm not a strong rider yet, I use a wider range of gears than you guys do. I'm trying not to coast any more ( ) but I have to go into the hardest gears going down a hill, and then all the way into my granny gears at the top of the next hill. So in the middle, I'm very clumsy and geeky (because I have a triple).
    Learning how and when to shift has been my biggest obstacle to overcome. I jammed the gears (or something) in a bike I had years ago and stopped riding right then and there. I forced myself through it on this bike, determined to learn. I wanted to avoid hills for the first several weeks because I was scared of having to shift in front and didn't know how to coordinate that with the back. Now, I feel a LOT more confident and can do it with ease, though I don't do it right every time (yesterday I found myself cross-chained ) and I would readily accept suggestions and additional training.

    All this to say, don't give up. Maybe your LBS would be willing to give you a lesson, or a beginner's club would be the way to go. Don't let those obstacles get in your way of having a great time on your bike.

    And, I'm sorry about the mocking from the group of punks. They needed something to help them feel better about themselves.

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  17. #17
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Oh, I do ride a triple, I do ride club rides, I do ride solo, I do ride tandem . .
    Have helped lotsa folks with the intricasies of cycling.
    Some folk take a bit longer on the learning curve than others . . .
    A more friendly one-on-one discurssion is called called for, rather than a public chastising/lecture.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen

    And, I'm sorry about the mocking from the group of punks. They needed something to help them feel better about themselves.

    Jen
    +1 on the mocking. It's common around my neck-o-the woods too.

    As far as riding skills go...I'm personally more concerned about enjoying myself, the skills will follow. Many of my "lessons" were gently learned while riding with one other person if not through simple trial and error on my own.

  19. #19
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    I'm trying to build up my strength and speed so I can ride with someone else... I went 17 miles the other day for the first time, and my average speed is 11, so I'm almost there. I'm taking a bicycle maintainence class next month, so I hope to meet some beginners like me there.

    It's so funny. When I'm on my bike, I feel like such an athlete! I'm graceful, I'm exerting myself, I'm testing myself, I'm just having fun. It's like my own little universe in which I'm doing exactly* what I should be doing and looking damn graceful doing it!

    The reality* of it must be entirely different!

  20. #20
    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg
    I'm trying to build up my strength and speed so I can ride with someone else... I went 17 miles the other day for the first time, and my average speed is 11, so I'm almost there. I'm taking a bicycle maintainence class next month, so I hope to meet some beginners like me there.

    It's so funny. When I'm on my bike, I feel like such an athlete! I'm graceful, I'm exerting myself, I'm testing myself, I'm just having fun. It's like my own little universe in which I'm doing exactly* what I should be doing and looking damn graceful doing it!

    The reality* of it must be entirely different!
    No, the reality is that you are an athlete. You're beyond the point of just getting off the couch and trying to get moving. You are getting out often, working on your strength and endurance, learning all you can, doing better all the time. As a few have pointed out to me here, the vast majority of people would be astonished about riding 17 miles.
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  21. #21
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg
    I'm trying to build up my strength and speed so I can ride with someone else... I went 17 miles the other day for the first time, and my average speed is 11, so I'm almost there. I'm taking a bicycle maintainence class next month, so I hope to meet some beginners like me there.

    It's so funny. When I'm on my bike, I feel like such an athlete! I'm graceful, I'm exerting myself, I'm testing myself, I'm just having fun. It's like my own little universe in which I'm doing exactly* what I should be doing and looking damn graceful doing it!

    The reality* of it must be entirely different!
    Hey, that's how I feel! Like on a bike I'm fast, graceful, attractive and cool, while having fun to boot.

    I just don't think about how I must look to others.

    I rode with a good friend for about 8 mos. before I tried a club ride. I was so scared of pacelines and my own squirreliness that I grabbed wheels and rode pacelines in my first century with people I didn't know, so if I screwed up I'd never have to see them again.

    Many clubs offer beginner's rides -- I'd encourage you to look one up. The ride leader on our club's beg. ride is a great coach; he's escorted people back to the start if they couldn't finish. A couple weeks ago we went out on the tandem (that's a nice recovery ride for us, and we teach newbies how to find the great vortex behind us ) and ended up riding with 3 folks who got dropped from the group. To date it's the slowest ride we've done, and one of the most enjoyable. Not only did we have fun conversation with these folks, we also saw lots of details in the landscape that we miss when we're hammering by at 27 mph.

    My point is, there's a group for you -- keep looking and putting the word out, and it'll find you.
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  22. #22
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    I hope you are joking. This exchange should have no bearing at all on whether you ride with a group or not.
    I am very afraid that the OP has expressed "group attitude" as far as I am concerned. I meet riders almost this bad on the trail a lot on their dollar store bikes. I take some pride in fixing their bikes, trying to educate them in bike manners and giving them a push along the road.

    If the OP is the unofficial leader of new riders then its too late for the club to get a "bad name"

    I just don't understand the point of raking the guy through the mud here. Pet peeves and anicdotes yes but this is just "set fire to the guy and burn him to the ground."
    Last edited by maddmaxx; 07-15-07 at 01:34 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg
    I can pretty much go in a straight line, except when there's no edge on the lane, and it drops off bout 6 inches immediately. The road is twisty, so I don't feel comfortable going into the lane more, but that stupid drop off freaks me out and suddenly I can't go in a straight line. It's like the drop-off becomes a bike magnet!
    For some reason, my bike goes where I look. There is construction around here on about every road out of town. Lots of sharp gravel all over the shoulders. When you look at where you want to go, you will go there. I concentrate on the clear path, not the rocks and it seems my subconscious remembers the rocks while my conscious mind is still picking a path.

    I guess that sounds pretty far out there and kinda suliminal, but it works for me. Try it. the 6" dropoff will disappear.

  24. #24
    ReNewing Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by card
    For some reason, my bike goes where I look.
    I remember a long time ago, a CHP officer giving a "remedial class" (yeah, had a couple of speeding tickets) said the same thing abount driving. He was talking about how people stare at oncoming high-beam headlights, complain they're blinding, then often have head-on crashes. He said the simple solution was to look elsewhere, like at the road in front or the lines to the right. I've always rememberd that and it has helped a lot. Don't focus on where you DON'T want to go.

    But back to jp's story. What was MH's reaction? Did he ride that day?

    I had to look up the original story. OMG! I feel bad for everyone involved...and guilty for chuckling through it.....

  25. #25
    Happy Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp173
    He's baaaack. Still wearing that stupid helmet.

    Cudos on how nice you were. I would have been EXTREMELY more (for lack of a better word) abrupt.

    BTW, what did he do??????

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