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Old 08-22-07, 06:23 AM   #1
Jet Travis
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The Windbag Factor

Dear Abby,

I'm not sure why, but lately on group rides I seem to have the unique ability to attract people who like to talk. And talk. And talk. I'm very much a social animal and a reasonably good listener, but after awhile it can get, well, just plain tedious.

Go fast and these gasbags hang with you. Go slow and they say, "I think I need a little recovery time." Stop to take a pee, and, yep, they need to stop to take a pee, too.

I guess I could give them a Greta Garbo look and say, "I vant to be alone." But I'd really rather find a more graceful escape.

Any answers?

Sign me, "All Ears All the Time"
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Old 08-22-07, 06:35 AM   #2
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Go VERY fast? If everyone is busy sucking air, there is none left over to waste on chit-chat.
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Old 08-22-07, 07:13 AM   #3
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Try this?

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Old 08-22-07, 07:13 AM   #4
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I get more irritated in group rides when riders ahead of me in the line get into conversations and allow gaps to form or create a slinky effect behind them. Normally we get the chatting done in the first 5 miles or so while people are warming up or during waits on lights. During the ride you should be focused on the ride otherwise you may cause an accident. Why not use that as your excuse, 'I need to pay attention to the riders around me and your distracting me' ?
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Old 08-22-07, 07:22 AM   #5
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Could it be that someone put a sign on your back? Or, maybe your just the kind of friendly face that others feel comfortable with. Why, I remember when I was in high school, or was it right after? Anyway, there was this guy with a great 70 Firebird, red I think, with black leather seats, who had the most friendly face. It didn't matter where he went, people would come up to him and just start talking. In fact, one time we were at May's Drive-In getting their super shrimp basket and cold root beer, or was it birch beer? In any event, the four of us, Manny, More, Jack, and I counted the people who came up to talk to him. And would you believe it was well over 12 people... in less than half an hour. Boy, I haven't thought about that drive-in for a long time. It used to be THE place to hang out and be seen. One of the owner's daughters was in my class. I wonder what ever happened to her. She was a pretty good kid. Oh, yeah, they also used to make a great pulled pork sandwich. OK, back to your problem. Maybe there's something else going on. Have you asked any of the other folks you ride with what they think? Of course, I'd only ask the one's I could trust to be honest yet discreet. You don't want to become the topic of the next four or five rides. But then again if you did they probably wouldn't be talking to you. My point is that it could be that they have some insight. Oh, yeah that reminds me of the time my wife asked me what I thought about going to her mother's for the holidays. I asked her if this is what she really wanted to know, or if she just wanted to know if I was willing to go. I mean, if I told her what I was actually thinking, it would not have been a good thing. So, I took a deep breath and said, what do you really want to know? I'm a firm believer in never asking for feedback unless you want it. And, I think that holds true for giving feedback as well. Once, I believe it was my first job after my first son was born. Man, was he a cute kid, but in no way was I prepared to be a father yet. I wonder if anyone is until after they become one? Anyhow, what were we talking about?

You could try the same strategy on them. Talk their ears off.

Last edited by BSLeVan; 08-22-07 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 08-22-07, 08:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jet Travis View Post
Go fast and these gasbags hang with you. Go slow and they say, "I think I need a little recovery time." Stop to take a pee, and, yep, they need to stop to take a pee, too.
Pee on his foot?
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Old 08-22-07, 08:31 AM   #7
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Get a white bike.

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Old 08-22-07, 08:39 AM   #8
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Tell them it's been nice chatting but you need to catch up with a friend and ride away
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Old 08-22-07, 08:49 AM   #9
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Try being direct and say something like- you'll have to excuse me, but I'm really not in a talkative mood today. Hopefully, they will get the message.
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Old 08-22-07, 08:54 AM   #10
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Obviously, you're picking the wrong rides in your club. Get with the Spartans.
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Old 08-22-07, 08:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
Pee on his foot?
Thanks, all, for the thoughtful responses. I think I'll start with this one.
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Old 08-22-07, 09:23 AM   #12
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Take a handful of metal tacks along with you and sprinkle the road as needed.
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Old 08-22-07, 09:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticwanos View Post
Go VERY fast? If everyone is busy sucking air, there is none left over to waste on chit-chat.
+12
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Old 08-22-07, 10:20 AM   #14
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Chew tobacco. Spit often.
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Old 08-22-07, 11:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticwanos View Post
Go VERY fast? If everyone is busy sucking air, there is none left over to waste on chit-chat.
My very fast is me sucking air and everyone else still able to talk.

Some people attract the geeks- so just respond with "Have you visited the Gay bar In the High Street- Haven't seen you down there" If the response is that he tries to kiss you- Find that energy to lose him. And I believe you will.
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Old 08-22-07, 11:30 AM   #16
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So I don't mind chit-chat to some degree. I don't generally prefer focusing on somebody's wheel all day. If I get stuck in a group doing paceline at higher speeds I eventually look for a straggler and hang back to socialize with them. I have viewed our annual WI trip as like a 9 day rolling party where you mingle all around the group conversing with whomever is next to you. And then sometimes I feel like grabbing on to a pace line and burning leg all afternoon.
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Old 08-22-07, 11:52 AM   #17
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put the hammer to the anvil,
conversation stops quickly when everyone's heart is in their mouth
do it often enough and you'll develop a rep which will work like BO or a string of garlic...

Last edited by cyclezen; 08-22-07 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 08-22-07, 12:43 PM   #18
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Dear "Ears",
Assuming you have proper position on the offending windbag, launching an errant snot rocket followed by a feeble "Oops, sorry..." should also do the trick nicely!

Last edited by Old School; 08-22-07 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 08-22-07, 04:16 PM   #19
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I'm amazed at the mean things folks suggest. I'd just tell the talker that I really needed some alone time. People don't generally try to be rude. Being truthful isn't a shameful thing.
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Old 08-22-07, 05:40 PM   #20
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Dear All:

Have you tried frightening Mr. Windbag away by chewing on an alka seltzer, getting foamy at the mouth and giving him a demented grin, then demanding he tell you more? You may safely assume the normal rules of decorum have been suspended whilst on a group ride with an annoying windbag, and abnormal behavior on your part is permissible, though you should still avoid the truly bizarre.

Sincerely,

Abigail Van Buren
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Old 08-22-07, 07:16 PM   #21
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Do what I do, always ride alone...
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Old 08-22-07, 07:30 PM   #22
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Don't wash your jersey anymore this season and stay upwind of them so that every breath for words gets them a good lung full of whiffy jersey, soon you'll be able to travel in your own little green cloud of silence and you'll ride that much faster as you try to out pace your own fetid aroma.

I know, I know, but no thanks are necessary just pay it forward
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Old 08-22-07, 07:57 PM   #23
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A well aimed snot rocket should do the trick...
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Old 08-22-07, 08:00 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guybierhaus View Post
Chew tobacco. Spit often.
+1. I engage in this nasty habit once in a while during a ride, but I've never had to resort to this tactic during a group ride. We do our chit-chat during the first two or three miles or at stops. I usually warn people that I'm about to have a chew.
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Old 08-23-07, 07:17 PM   #25
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I feel your pain... I run for a local running club, there are couple people that just yak on and on. Even yelling "SHUT UP AND RUN!" has no effect. Not sure that anything suggested above would work. Runners are uncouth, smelly people. Sweat and pee would not deter many. Our singlets stink to high heaven. We are masters of the Farmer's Blow. The most intimate details of your latest injury is met with genuine interest. The Talkers even yak away during 400 meter interval training, to the uninitiated, this is way above the "conversational" effort recommended in Runner's World magazine. We're talking Republic of Anaerobia here.

The one and only thing that I've found to be even moderately effective in these extreme cases is to fight fire with fire: you have to actually be able to talk more than they do, they will eventually get bored with listening to someone other than themselves and move on to someone else's ear. This is easier said than done when in extreme oxygen debt.
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