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Old 05-25-08, 07:17 PM   #1
ken cummings
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How would you solve this disturbance?

Our club had a problem yesterday. A group of cyclists with AIDS as a focus arrived at the ride start and did not sign the requested non-club-member waivers. The ride leader is expected to tell such people that as the roads are open we can not prevent them from riding near us but they are not "with" us. A lady in their group announced she had Aids (no problem with that) and had her helmet decorated with inflated condoms. A bit odd but this is California. At the coffee shop break she is said to have discussed her medical condition and said negative things about out club in a carrying voice clearly, to me, meant to be heard by non-cyclists withing earshot. The club has a long established policy of not getting involved in non-cycling activities. Club members and others who want the club to support various political and social issues that do not involve cycling are encouraged to follow their own and separate paths.
What now? Especially what if they show up again? I suggested that on rides with such a problem that club members quietly split from problem groups and go a different way. Even if we have to split into several different groups if they try to follow us. That, and try to find out who these people are and why they picked us.

Ideas will be passed on to our club forum.
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Old 05-25-08, 07:22 PM   #2
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The American thing to do is to sue for slander.

The best thing to do, IMO, is to ignore it for now. Honestly nobody cares except for the parties involved (no offense), and nobody is going to listen to a lady with condoms in her hair.

If they keep harassing you, call the police.
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Old 05-25-08, 07:49 PM   #3
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Arrest them for harassment.
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Old 05-25-08, 08:13 PM   #4
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I would say to continue with your current policies.

If people pay attention to someone with inflated condoms on her helmet about a bicycle club, then perhaps the person listening isn't someone you want showing up either...

So, I see no issue.

Seriously, the only potential action I would take would be to talk to the person in question and find out why she feels compelled to bad mouth the club. Is it because she is being asked to sign a waiver, or just because she has an attitude. If the waiver, ask what specifically in the waiver offends her.

I do really understand your concern, but from the perspective of what is best for your club, and cycling, use it as a learning experience, because trying to confront it defensively may do nothing but solidify the resistance.

Good luck, however you decide to deal with it.
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Old 05-25-08, 08:44 PM   #5
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Ignore her and she'll go away, or throw a frame pump into her front wheel.
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Old 05-25-08, 09:13 PM   #6
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The only people I know who brag about having AIDS are teachers.
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Old 05-25-08, 09:15 PM   #7
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There's not a good solution to dealing with irrational people.

Is anyone in your organization familiar with this person? If not, then it sounds like she's just a random fruitcake, and I doubt any amount of talking is going to change anything.

Would it be possible to organize the ride in such a way that this person simply didn't know when and where it would be?

How large is the town where this actually took place? If it's not a huge metropolis, a visit with your local law enforcement might be of assistance in dealing with her. If she's too much of a nutcase, they probably know her already. If the problem continues, a restraining order might be another option.

While you may be powerless to do anything in a public restaurant, the restaurant is not and could ask her to leave. If you anticipate this happening again, you might consider discussing the situation with the establishment beforehand.

Just some thoughts. Good luck with the situation.
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Old 05-25-08, 11:48 PM   #8
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Drop em'
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Old 05-26-08, 02:24 AM   #9
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Does your club control the parking area at the start of the ride, such as starting from an LBS or other private property? If so, then if they won't sign the waivers they're not riding with you, and the parking is reserved for club riders.

If they won't leave and persist in harassing the club, call the cops.
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Old 05-26-08, 02:24 AM   #10
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How about organizing a ride to your local red cross blood bank donation center, make a donation, enjoy your post-ride/post-donation free coffee and bikkies in the comfort of the red cross lounge - free of the condom lady (aids = no chance of blood donation ).
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Old 05-26-08, 03:07 AM   #11
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Check with an attorney -- they can at least make sure she doesn't continue to defame your group's reputation. The private start line and parking is also a good idea, so you can filter those types out.
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Old 05-26-08, 03:35 AM   #12
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Drop em'
+1
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Old 05-26-08, 04:17 AM   #13
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Old 05-26-08, 05:01 AM   #14
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My opinion, again my opinion. An organization will go further and have more doors opened for them if they are active in their community, not community activists.

I think its right that your club stays neutral on non bike related activities, and I would explain to anyone with any agenda thats not bike related that you are not trying to be insensitive to their situation, however, your club policy will not allow political venue whether it be the politics of Aids, Government, Genetic Engineering, Pesticide use, etc, etc, Its okay for members to ride in events like that but not as a club organized function.
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Old 05-26-08, 05:02 AM   #15
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Your may well be in the process of being set up for a discrimination case. Just warnin' ya. Get the club to obtain some professional legal advice.
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Old 05-26-08, 07:14 AM   #16
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what does your non-club member waiver say? Is it some sort of insurance thing? Does it provide YOUR club insurance coverage to non-members on your ride? If so, I would suggest that you get your membership to agree to read the entire thing OUT LOUD for the benefit of this anti-signing group if they show up again.

Where do you post your rides? Some sort of open forum? You might come up with some sort of closed notifcation system if this problem persists... if you go this route, though, you should be sure to expalin your intended action openly so that you do not end up with a discrimination case.
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Old 05-26-08, 08:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Drop em'
That's what I was thinking too. How hard could it be to drop some lady with inflated condoms on her helmet?
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Old 05-26-08, 08:33 AM   #18
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O
What now? Especially what if they show up again?
Call the FBI, and say some of these folks were talking in Arabic, bragging about their vacations to Pakistan and asking about obtaining the building plans for the local post office.
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Old 05-26-08, 09:45 AM   #19
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The best thing to do, IMO, is to ignore it for now. Honestly nobody cares except for the parties involved (no offense), and nobody is going to listen to a lady with condoms in her hair.
That's what I think too.

A person who is wearing inflated condoms in her hair is obviously working real, real hard to get attention. Pretty much anything that you do will reward her. Don't give her any attention and she'll look for it somewhere else.
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Old 05-26-08, 10:15 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
How about organizing a ride to your local red cross blood bank donation center, make a donation, enjoy your post-ride/post-donation free coffee and bikkies in the comfort of the red cross lounge - free of the condom lady (aids = no chance of blood donation ).
Having once given blood after a long ride, suggest that this plan be implemented with caution. Unless you enjoy fainting. If you enjoy fainting, this is a good plan.
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Old 05-26-08, 10:57 AM   #21
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Having once given blood after a long ride, suggest that this plan be implemented with caution. Unless you enjoy fainting. If you enjoy fainting, this is a good plan.

Keep your helmets on and provide us with real life testing

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Old 05-26-08, 11:21 AM   #22
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Drop em'
+10

just drop them
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Old 05-26-08, 01:31 PM   #23
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Our club had a problem yesterday. A group of cyclists with AIDS as a focus arrived at the ride start and did not sign the requested non-club-member waivers. The ride leader is expected to tell such people that as the roads are open we can not prevent them from riding near us but they are not "with" us. A lady in their group announced she had Aids (no problem with that) and had her helmet decorated with inflated condoms. A bit odd but this is California. At the coffee shop break she is said to have discussed her medical condition and said negative things about out club in a carrying voice clearly, to me, meant to be heard by non-cyclists withing earshot. The club has a long established policy of not getting involved in non-cycling activities. Club members and others who want the club to support various political and social issues that do not involve cycling are encouraged to follow their own and separate paths.
What now? Especially what if they show up again? I suggested that on rides with such a problem that club members quietly split from problem groups and go a different way. Even if we have to split into several different groups if they try to follow us. That, and try to find out who these people are and why they picked us.

Ideas will be passed on to our club forum.
I lead rides now and then for a Seattle club, but thankfully haven't run across this sort of thing yet.

The waivers are important for the club to have, and my guess is that club rules require you to have them. If you have people who show up who won't sign the waiver, then you can ask them to not join the ride. If they won't leave, then I think you need to cancel the ride. You may be able to have a standing club rule that says that you leave and then come back 30 minutes later if it happens again.
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Old 05-26-08, 02:02 PM   #24
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I lead rides now and then for a Seattle club, but thankfully haven't run across this sort of thing yet.

The waivers are important for the club to have, and my guess is that club rules require you to have them. If you have people who show up who won't sign the waiver, then you can ask them to not join the ride. If they won't leave, then I think you need to cancel the ride. You may be able to have a standing club rule that says that you leave and then come back 30 minutes later if it happens again.
This is a sensible plan.
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Old 05-26-08, 02:23 PM   #25
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The waivers are important for the club to have, and my guess is that club rules require you to have them. If you have people who show up who won't sign the waiver, then you can ask them to not join the ride. If they won't leave, then I think you need to cancel the ride. You may be able to have a standing club rule that says that you leave and then come back 30 minutes later if it happens again.
"Cancel the ride." Have you ever seen that work in real life?

I'm thinking that once everybody gets to the start and goes through all of their pre-ride rituals cancelling the ride isn't going to happen.
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