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Old 12-20-11, 08:18 AM   #1
RonH
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Relatives

We had our extended family Christmas get together at a local restaurant last night. One of the first questions I was asked by one of the husbands was, "Still riding your bike?"
Every time we have a family gathering someone in the group will ask that question.
I guess they just don't understand our passion for riding. Maybe they think cycling is just a passing interest, even though I've been riding since 1999.

Anyone else have looney relatives like this?
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Old 12-20-11, 08:24 AM   #2
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I get good support from all of mine.
Gift cards from bike sites, donations for charity rides.

They ask me what I need to keep riding.
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Old 12-20-11, 08:32 AM   #3
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Next year ride to the restaurant. No questions asked
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Old 12-20-11, 08:37 AM   #4
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The conversation that stands out to me occurred after my brother-in-law and I had ridden from Sebago Lake in Maine to my house in Mansfield, CT. It was a ride of 250 mi. in 2 1/2 days. We were having dinner and one of our sisters-in-law said she was really impressed with what we had done. She commented that it took extraordinary people to accomplish such a feat. My brother-in-law Bob said, "That's not true. You could do it too, Lydia, but first you have to get on the bike."
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Old 12-20-11, 08:41 AM   #5
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All of my close relatives know that I am still active in cycling and the questions they ask are more like "where have you ridden lately" and "what was your last charity ride?"
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Old 12-20-11, 08:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH View Post
We had our extended family Christmas get together at a local restaurant last night. One of the first questions I was asked by one of the husbands was, "Still riding your bike?"
Every time we have a family gathering someone in the group will ask that question.
I guess they just don't understand our passion for riding. Maybe they think cycling is just a passing interest, even though I've been riding since 1999.

Anyone else have looney relatives like this?
If you were a woodworker, they'd ask a similar question about your woodworking. Sounds like you're the looney relative.
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Old 12-20-11, 09:20 AM   #7
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Never had any relatives question it as odd. The closest was my mother in law recently. I had ridden, ending my ride at the MIL's house for dinner. I mentioned that I was hoping in the coming year to get back to doing the kind of rides I did when I was 25. The MIL said "But you're NOT 25 anymore" as if to suggest it is unrealistic to think I can regain that fitness. I wasn't doing anything spectacular at 25. A handful of metric centuries and usually some 35-50 mile club rides on weekends. (Did 40 this past Saturday, BTW)
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Old 12-20-11, 09:22 AM   #8
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My relatives are so used to me being addicted to cycling that the only thing they seem to ask is: "How many double centuries did you ride this year?"

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Old 12-20-11, 10:29 AM   #9
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If you were a woodworker, they'd ask a similar question about your woodworking.
+1 People you don't see on a regular basis may have no idea what you are up to. I still have relatives I see infrequently ask if I'm still with the same employer (the one I've been with for 30+ years). I don't take it as them making assumptions about my ability (or inability) to hold a job.
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Old 12-20-11, 10:49 AM   #10
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This time of year (it is Dec in WI after all) I get plenty of people asking me if I'm still riding. Recent end of year appts even had my dentist and physician asking. If people know you ride I don't have any problem with them asking.
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Old 12-20-11, 11:02 AM   #11
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If you were a woodworker, they'd ask a similar question about your woodworking. Sounds like you're the looney relative.
This strikes me as correct. Asking about someone else's hobbies and interests is often considered proper etiquette. I have a cousin who play hocky, and when I see him, I ask him about hockey.
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Old 12-20-11, 12:23 PM   #12
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I had a similar gathering of my mother's family last weekend. Some of the relatives I don't see often asked about my riding. I was happy to answer. Glad to have them make a connection to something I am interested in as an ice breaker to get a conversation started. Many of them are well aware of my cycling as they see my Facebook updates.

One uncle at that gathering was the one who inspired me to get back into cycling 20 some years ago. In the early 80s, as a HS history and geography teacher, he led students on week long cycling trips from Chattanooga to Savannah, retracing Sherman's March To the Sea. He asked if I'd been riding much, told me about the ride he took this year with one of his grandsons from Chattanooga to Atlanta and suggested we should try to ride some together next year as he prepares for his first cross-country tour.
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Old 12-20-11, 12:34 PM   #13
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If you were a woodworker, they'd ask a similar question about your woodworking. Sounds like you're the looney relative.
This.

When I get the question, I say that cycling is a big part of my life and who I am... that usually drives home the idea that it's not just some quirky thing I do occasionally.
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Old 12-20-11, 12:53 PM   #14
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I had a similar gathering of my mother's family last weekend. Some of the relatives I don't see often asked about my riding. I was happy to answer. Glad to have them make a connection to something I am interested in as an ice breaker to get a conversation started. Many of them are well aware of my cycling as they see my Facebook updates.

One uncle at that gathering was the one who inspired me to get back into cycling 20 some years ago. In the early 80s, as a HS history and geography teacher, he led students on week long cycling trips from Chattanooga to Savannah, retracing Sherman's March To the Sea. He asked if I'd been riding much, told me about the ride he took this year with one of his grandsons from Chattanooga to Atlanta and suggested we should try to ride some together next year as he prepares for his first cross-country tour.
I'm envious of you having relatives that want to ride with you. Mine are very supportive and encouraging but none have offered to join me. I've only been riding for 3 years but I've grown accustom to people who don't ride not understanding. The best comment was from the friend who said "but you're not wearing those clothes, are you?"
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Old 12-20-11, 01:02 PM   #15
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I don't have much to talk about with the inlaws, so at least that kills some awkward silence for a few minutes.
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Old 12-20-11, 01:06 PM   #16
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I'll be upset when they STOP asking. It will mean:

a.) they are not interested enough in me to bother asking, or
b.) I don't look healthy enough to consider the possibility of me still riding.
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Old 12-20-11, 01:08 PM   #17
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My sister-in-law's husband saw me once in my biking gear, shorts, leg-warmers, jersey--he calls them my stretchy pants...my sister-in-law says I look like I'm wearing an X-men costume.

They all think I'm nuts riding in weather below 60F. When I state I started a morning the other day when it was 30, they say it's confirmed, I'm crazy. But, they all admit how fit and healthy I look now--though some think I'm a underweight at present.
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Old 12-20-11, 01:36 PM   #18
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My family had a huge family reunion (@80 people) in Mission Bay Park in San Diego several years ago and I decided to ride down from Claremont (@140 miles). I gave my brother my street clothes the night before and left home at 5:00AM (to arrive around 2:00PM). I had a great ride, but when I arrived I found that my street clothes never made it into my brothers car, so I wore my lycra and SPDs for the entire day. I must have had 40 people ask me if I rode my bike down from Claremont (), and at least a dozen wanted to bring their bikes up to have them serviced or upgraded. At least a dozen also stopped by throughout the day and into the night to make sure I wasn't going to ride home, or offer me a ride. (The party went on until after 11:00PM and many of them fully expected me to have planned to...)

Most everyone in my extended family knows that I have been mostly carfree for the past 30 years, and I think they have just come to accept that this is who I am. They kind of forget from time to time, but they mostly seem to light up when they realize that I am still riding. In fact, after moving to Indy, most of the e-mails and Christmas cards that I get inquire about how I am dealing with the snow.

I think for most people that it takes them a while to get it to soak in, but they eventually accept that you are not going to change, and for some you actually serve as an inspiration, and you know that you have been fully accepted when you show up in street clothes and people ask if you bike is broken....

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Old 12-20-11, 03:15 PM   #19
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My last family gathering I did get into some cycling conversations but nothing specific until my nephew took me to his garage and I thought it was to show me a new car or something. Turns our he wanted to show me his new, to him vintage to me, Schwinn three speed. It looked to be something from the 60s or early 70s and he was planning on restoring it.
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Old 12-20-11, 03:50 PM   #20
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I would be tempted to kiss the feet of the OPs family.

My relatives tend to ask stuff like, "Hey, what do you think about Obamacare?" (I don't do politics and I sure would rather talk about cycling). It kind of ticks me off.

Anyway, be kind to your relatives. You never know, some day you might need them as crew-members for your shot at RAAM.
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Old 12-20-11, 04:01 PM   #21
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You can choose your friends but relatives?????

We will have the in-laws down to us on new years day and I will be asked this question by several of them--Except it is more of a statement of wonder. How can anyone enjoy riding a bike- How can anyone enjoy riding a bike up the hills in my area and how do you do it at your age.

They just do not understand cycling and why I spend so much time and money on it. Same as I can't understand why my brother in law keep Koi Carp. They don't do anything except die after a few years. They cost a fortune to maintain and the cost of his latest one would have bought me a Pinarelo Dogma.

Every one to their own hobby but I do wish they would come down in the summer and just try a gentle ride out in the country with me. They probably would still not understand cycling but they would not ask the question "Are you still riding" next time I see them. They won't even mention cycling in case I take them out for another ride.
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Old 12-20-11, 05:51 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH View Post
We had our extended family Christmas get together at a local restaurant last night. One of the first questions I was asked by one of the husbands was, "Still riding your bike?"
Every time we have a family gathering someone in the group will ask that question.
I guess they just don't understand our passion for riding. Maybe they think cycling is just a passing interest, even though I've been riding since 1999.

Anyone else have looney relatives like this?
Unfortunately, yes. There is a temptation to answer "Yes, I am. Are you still sitting in front of the boob tube, watching that odd game, what is it again, football?"
But, better judgement prevails.

All things are relative.
All relatives are things.
My relatives took all my things.
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Old 12-20-11, 06:54 PM   #23
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Relatives. How about co-workers. I commute to work, but not every day. On rainy days (not that many in SoCal) somebody will always ask if I rode my bike, as if to say, ha ha, you didn't ride today. But, so what.
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Old 12-20-11, 07:33 PM   #24
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At least there with you at Christmas. We have a large family but most of them are to far away. Enjoy the time with them, thats all that counts.
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Old 12-20-11, 07:43 PM   #25
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If you were a woodworker, they'd ask a similar question about your woodworking. Sounds like you're the looney relative.
The OP is not questioning about whether his relatives should ask him about cycling. It's that they are asking if he is STILL doing it.
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