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Old 06-12-08, 06:11 PM   #1
J.Lockdown
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Rude to ask someone if they need help?

Today I was riding on my normal route, and ahead I could see a guy walking his bike on the path next to the road I was on. It was a slight hill but nothing to large, I was doing about 20mph up it without much problem so it was nothing crazy.

So as I am getting closer I start to look at his bike to see if anything seemed wrong (flat tire, broken part, if his leg was missing ha) but nothing seemed wrong. So as I go by I ask if everything was ok just to make sure he did not need help with something or he needed for me to call someone for him.

Anyway he said No but it seemed in somewhat of a rude way. He gave the me imprison I was being an ass for asking when I was just trying to help. I guess the guy was just tired and decided to walk his bike and though I might have been making fun of him? when I definitely was not.

So have you ever had something like this happen? Were u offer someone help but they give u a rude response?
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Old 06-12-08, 06:29 PM   #2
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Well make sure you're not asking it in a condescending way... try to say it in your head before opening your mouth. If it's all okay, maybe the guy isn't exactly sociable.
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Old 06-12-08, 06:34 PM   #3
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Yup I got rude remarks before , But it ain't goin' to stop me from asking the next time I think some one needs help. I have to do what I think is right. If I can make a difference and don't ,It bothers me. If I ask and get a smart @$$ remark at least I offered. If I am able to help and they ask how much they owe me? I tell them to pass it on to the next person that they see they can help
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Old 06-12-08, 07:03 PM   #4
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You will always get all kinds of replies in anything, that's reality and life, it's their problem if they can't recognize a kind gesture. I will always ask if someone needs help, especially because it may be me one day needing the help.

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Old 06-12-08, 07:08 PM   #5
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More likely he was disgusted with himself, his bike or his situation and you caught the tude in his response.
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Old 06-12-08, 07:11 PM   #6
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I always ask, and usually get a "No thanks, I'm fine."

Still, I usually get the answer with a vibe of, "geez, this guy asked me, too..."

What I think is happening is that everybody who's riding by is asking the same thing, and the rider, in the middle of changing the flat, is just getting tired of being interrupted.

The times when I get the hairy eyeball (usually if they're also on the phone) are very rare. There's also only been one time where a cyclist has needed help, and after emptying a CO2 into her tire, we decided that it was a genuine flat, and she only had to walk less than a block back home anyway.

But, for now, that's my guess -- that the rider dealing with a breakdown is tired of answering offers of help. Of course, that's probably because there are so many other cyclists where I usually ride, too.
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Old 06-12-08, 08:39 PM   #7
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I always appreciate cyclists asking. It makes me more confident about going out for long rides on my own, 'knowing' that if I have a problem, that another cyclist will offer assistance. I hope you don't stop asking!
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Old 06-12-08, 08:49 PM   #8
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I had 4 people stop and see if I needed help when I got a flat on Monday, even though I was clearly in the process of changing my tube out. I smiled, said no and thanks for asking. I always slow and ask if I see a rider on the side of the road walking a lot of times in my car, as I always have my rack on it. It's come in handy a couple of times as I gave some riders a ride that did not carry any tubes or repair kit and got a flat. Once guy was about 15 miles from home an he forgot his phone, so he was grateful.
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Old 06-12-08, 09:10 PM   #9
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J Lockdown don't brood on this another moment. Its like that time you were 8 and your dad was out working on the car/lawn mower and couldn't get it to work. Innocently you ask him if you can give a helping hand. Your vocabularly was expanded that day young man.
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Old 06-12-08, 09:10 PM   #10
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I saw a woman sitting down next to her bike in the middle of nowhere a couple weeks ago. I stopped, asked if she was ok..... and it turns out she was pissing. I probably came off as a perv but I'll still ask people if they're ok. I expect the same when I break down.
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Old 06-12-08, 09:12 PM   #11
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you people are awful damn delicate ya know.
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Old 06-12-08, 09:22 PM   #12
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I'm always happy to say "No, thanks!" when I'm fixing a flat or sitting down and calling my husband to let him know when I'll be home.

It reminds me that the one time I ride for too long and bonk, someone will be there to ask if I need help so I can bum a granola bar or something.
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Old 06-12-08, 09:42 PM   #13
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If any bicyclist is having some mechanical trouble in town, I'll ask just once if they need anything, but if the bicyclist is in the middle of BFE and says no to me on the first go round, I will ask twice, and then move on if they say no a second time.
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Old 06-12-08, 09:45 PM   #14
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For some reason, I get a better response if I ask whether they have everything they need.
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Old 06-12-08, 09:59 PM   #15
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For some reason, I get a better response if I ask whether they have everything they need.
I like this inquiry better than my usual. I usually ask if everything is OK - gives the recipient the opportunity to respond positively if they are in control of the situation. Asking if someone "needs help" gives them the impression you do not think they have their s**t together.
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Old 06-12-08, 10:10 PM   #16
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I ask folks alot on my commute if they're OK. At least 3-4x a week. Usually they're fine, but last week I fixed a guy's chain with his own multitool after another cyclist had given up on it. Today, 2 college age kids were helping their friend limp up a hill, with 2 bikes and a skateboard strewn behind them- asked if I could help or make a phone call, but they were all laughing sheepishly and said a friend was picking him up. I figure what goes around comes around.
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Old 06-12-08, 11:00 PM   #17
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I had a flat on a popular bike trail the other day, and I think six or eight people asked if I needed help. I had another flat while riding on the road, and 10,000 cars zipped by without asking. So yeah, keep on asking!

I was on a charity ride a while back, saw a roadie standing with his bike beside the road with a disgusted look. I asked him if he needed anything. "I need Sag", said in sort of a rude way. Who knows...had he been a bit more cooperative, he might have been back on the road 20 minutes sooner.
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Old 06-13-08, 12:17 AM   #18
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Some ppl are very independent, even overly so.

So watch their body language. If they seem hurt, looking dazed then by all mean ask, but if the guy is just walking with his bike, and not flagging u down, may wanna respect his privacy.
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Old 06-13-08, 12:19 AM   #19
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I usually ask if everything is OK - gives the recipient the opportunity to respond positively if they are in control of the situation.
If u ask me that, I may unload u with "No I am not OK, I just got fired, my gf left me...."

I like the "Got everything u need."
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Old 06-13-08, 07:01 AM   #20
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For some reason, I get a better response if I ask whether they have everything they need.
Exactly what I was going to say. It's easier for people to be seen as having used their spare tube already, or broken a tire lever, something of that nature, than to be seen as not being able to replace a tube.
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Old 06-13-08, 07:05 AM   #21
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More likely he was disgusted with himself, his bike or his situation and you caught the tude in his response.
+1

I usually ask folks if they need help, and I can only remember one person ever being rude, and that was a young woman with a broken chain and clearly no clue (or tools) how to fix it.
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Old 06-13-08, 07:47 AM   #22
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More likely he was disgusted with himself, his bike or his situation and you caught the tude in his response.
This would be my guess as well.
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Old 06-13-08, 08:25 AM   #23
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I ask the guy in a very polite way. I will never stop asking if someone needs help because theirs always that chance that someone dose need help. A couple weeks ago when I was trying a new route, someone stopped and asked if I need help when I was standing on the side of the road. I was looking at the directions for the route but it was nice to see someone wanted to help if something was wrong.

It also seemed like the guy was pissed off at himself due to his stance and the response I got back. He seemed to be extremely tired from the small hill, my guess is he did not shift down gears and wore himself out trying to stay in the same gear as the flats. But it still seemed something might be wrong and his rear tire looked a little low on air.

Anyway it was interesting to get that reaction. I would understand if someone asked him in a rude voice but I was very nice and calm. I guess he just was having a bad day.
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Old 06-13-08, 11:31 AM   #24
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When I decide to offer help I stop well outside their comfort zone, dismount, then ask. A fair number of people have said they refused help because they did not want to bother me or slow my ride. I give ladies even more space. If ladies turn me down I say, "well, my wife would want to know that I tried to help." Appearing to be married makes me seem safer. I am by the way. About half the time they say they are near home but thanks. Last season I was passing a small cluster of stopped cyclists. The adult in the group said, "Oh, theres' Ken Cummings, he'll have the tools." Oddly I did. it was a local High School cycling team and the Advisor knew me.
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Old 06-13-08, 11:32 AM   #25
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Doing the right this is right whether or not the recipient is appreciative of the effort. Keep asking and offereing to help.

Last year while at a red light, I saw two high school age girls struggling with a bike that had of all things a closed umbrella wedged between the wheel and the brake pad.

I stopped to see if they needed help and they kind of said no, but I just reached over and grabbed the bike, showed them how to release the brake tension and removed the umbrella.
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