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  1. #1
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Ethics class now in session - can cyclists take fruit?

    Was out for a ride and ran into something that I thought you folks would likely have opinions on.

    Was on a fairly popular suburban commuting route, riding about 3/4 block behind a guy on a vintage steel road bike with a milk crate strapped on the rear rack. Suddenly he pulls off the road and into the yard of a house. As I pass, I notice that he's picking apples from a tree. This particular tree is *loaded* with apples; it may be the most productive apple tree I'd ever seen -- apples are everywhere on the ground, in the tree, on the driveway, etc.

    When I look back he's still there, and I just keep going. About 10 blocks later he passes me, smiles at me and says hi. I see a bunch of apples in his milk crate.

    Some Important Moral Questions I've been pondering:

    1. Is it ok for cyclists to stop and take fruit from a tree in someone's yard?

    2. I life fruit, too. Was I a fool for not stopping to grab my own share?

    3. Should I have tried to stop him? (He was young and vigorous; I am old and spindly, but I have enough strength to dial 911 on my phone).

    4. I was riding a *much* nicer bike then he was. Was it polite for him to have passed me so easily, especially since he was wearing jeans, tennis shoes, and carrying a milk crate full of apples?
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 09-02-10 at 02:07 PM.

  2. #2
    enthusiast JamieElenbaas's Avatar
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    Perhaps he had prior permission. Probably not worth the worry on your part. Maybe you should ask for permission too and enjoy some apples with a clear conscience and a pure heart.

  3. #3
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Theft is taking something that does not belong to you.

    Get permissioon first, as it's usually pretty to get with apples.......

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  4. #4
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Point 4: Indicates you need to buy a vintage bike
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  5. #5
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Don't worry about getting passed, in his cycling style, he probably does a lot of speed intervals.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  6. #6
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Given this statement: apples are everywhere on the ground, in the tree, on the driveway, etc.

    I wouldn't have said anything, moved along thinking of pie.

    It's his call on picking the fruit, I have other things to worry about, he may know the owner for all I know.

    Yeah BB, you should have had an apple too...yummmmmm!
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I see all kinds of moral questions here.

    1. A Buddhist would say: "Take only that which is freely offered." I'm not a very good Buddhist. In your case, I might have taken one apple to eat at the time but I wouldn't take any extras.

    2. What is your responsibility regarding the other rider? MYOB? Ask if he had permission? Verbally chastise him? Call the cops? I'd probably MYOB but I'm not saying that's the perfect answer.

    3. Did you happen to be wearing a matching jersey and shorts? If that's the case, we are sure to get a post from the other guy saying how he "smoked" some kitted out dude even though he was burdened with a milk crate full of stolen apples.

  8. #8
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    If you ask and get permission, it's fine.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  9. #9
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Perhaps he was riding so fast because the owner of the tree chased him off with a shotgun.

    People with orchards get very pissed when someone helps themselves to fruit.
    People with messy trees in their yard are usually more than happy for you to take all you want.

  10. #10
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    Having gone to an ag school, and therefore ridden in lots of farm country, I was told early on that fruit on the ground is OK. Don't pick off the trees..

  11. #11
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    After all these years we still have not learned a thing from Adam and Eve.
    Ride your Ride!!

  12. #12
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    No on all counts.
    Craig in Indy

  13. #13
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Remember what happened to Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man when they took apples without asking?

  14. #14
    Banned.
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    1. No
    2. No
    3. No
    4. No

    There are places in the Imperial valley where you could get shot, arrested and /or tossed in jail for just such an act. It doesn't matter if you are cycling or driving a truck without permission the person is a thief.

    If the person had permission no problem. If not there is no difference from him going onto the property and taking a nice set of wheels off of a bike parked on the porch.

  15. #15
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    I teach professional ethics in a graduate program for people earning a Masters of Human Service. In the social service world the first rule of ethics is "DO NO HARM". So my counter question to you is, was any harm done?
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
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  16. #16
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    I teach professional ethics in a graduate program for people earning a Masters of Human Service. In the social service world the first rule of ethics is "DO NO HARM". So my counter question to you is, was any harm done?
    Professional ethics doesn't take right and wrong into consideration................................ what a crock! Which is why the business world (including politics) is so screwed up ------ "it's Ok if it's expected to be crooked - sheeesh!"

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  17. #17
    Ironwoman Velo Gator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    I teach professional ethics in a graduate program for people earning a Masters of Human Service. In the social service world the first rule of ethics is "DO NO HARM". So my counter question to you is, was any harm done?
    Yes, if the apple owner needed each apple to sell or sustain himself.

  18. #18
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I have a hazel nut tree that is on the border of me and my neighbour. I planted the tree and currently the branches are overladen with nuts. Far too many for me to pick- or eat so I will be happy for my neighbour to pick any nuts that are ripe for picking.

    They would be ready in about a months time but we won't get any- The squirrels get them.

    But apples- round here you have to be selective in what you take from the gardens. They are put out in boxes in the drive for anyone to take. Seems everyone has so many apples that they just collect the windfalls for everyone to take. I wait a while till the Cox's Orange Pippins get put out---The only apple worth eating. The rest are only good for cider.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  19. #19
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ijen0311 View Post
    Yes, if the apple owner needed each apple to sell or sustain himself.
    That doesn't matter - they all BELONG to the owner - not anyone else!

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  20. #20
    Ironwoman Velo Gator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    That doesn't matter - they all BELONG to the owner - not anyone else!
    I agree. I was only answering the question about specific harm.

  21. #21
    NYC nycphotography's Avatar
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    Answer: Knock on the door and ask permission... as "You saw someone else loading up a milk crate, but you wouldn't to take any without asking."

    Be prepared to describe the other guy in detail, if asked. ;-)
    5 out of 5 people think the other 4 are idiots. - me
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  22. #22
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    You forgot the most important detail:

    What kind of apples were they?

    If they were the kind you can make into a pie, and he was a bicycle rider, it is obvious he was going on a "pie ride." Pie rides are always OK.

    OTOH, perhaps previously there was a sign there - to the effect - "Please take all the apples you want." - or he had previously asked the owner who had stated the same thing.

    You simply do not have enough info.

  23. #23
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    I would be guilty - if I saw the abundance of apples, especially on the ground, I might pick one to try... that said, taking a box full without permission seems very wrong (more wrong than eating just one).

    Whats really wrong is being passed by a dork on an old bikestealing apples. What's the matter with you!!!!???
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  24. #24
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ijen0311 View Post
    Yes, if the apple owner needed each apple to sell or sustain himself.

    Hey, Junior! OFF THE LAWN!

  25. #25
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Waste not.

    Want not.

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