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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 06-03-14, 05:55 PM   #1
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Do you meet people on the street?

Since cars are so enclosed and bicycles so exposed, you'd think cyclists would meet lots of people.

Myself, I haven't actually met a great number of people on my rides, but I do get to say hello to quite a few, often running into them in another context. On top of that, I have several good friends I've met right on the street, at a light or on a trail.

For some reason, winter seems to be a great time to yack.

What about you?
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Old 06-03-14, 07:08 PM   #2
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A lady and I pass each other on the street at almost the same spot everyday; on my way home from work.
We say something funny to each other as we're passing - everyday. I'm not sure when it started, but there it is.
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Old 06-03-14, 07:13 PM   #3
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I met my touring partner at a campsite. On the road, you never meet anyone who rides at a compatible pace unless they are going the other way. Also, cyclists tend to be hyper-independent.
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Old 06-03-14, 07:33 PM   #4
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A lady and I pass each other on the street at almost the same spot everyday; on my way home from work.
We say something funny to each other as we're passing - everyday. I'm not sure when it started, but there it is.
#Angelis ! Hang on! You haven't finished this story. I'm getting a distinct vibe.

We'd really like to hear more
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Old 06-03-14, 07:41 PM   #5
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..... cyclists tend to be hyper-independent.
I think there might be a little something to that. I don't know a single cyclist that doesn't really enjoy a couple hours of by themselves alone with the bicycle. I am not saying we cyclist are loners. I don't think most of are... I'd even say most of us are pretty friendly. But independent... OK with and by ourselves... yeah that sounds right.

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Old 06-03-14, 11:11 PM   #6
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I'm not a real outgoing person, but people in the Midwest are so friendly that it's easy to strike up conversations. Sometimes I talk with people in cars when stopped at red lights. I don't know why, but a number of times teenagers have challenged me to bike races. (Surprisingly, I sometimes win!) I think impromptu conversations are even more common on the bus than while walking or cycling.
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Old 06-03-14, 11:12 PM   #7
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For some reason, winter seems to be a great time to yack.
Isn't it summer where you are?
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Old 06-04-14, 04:19 AM   #8
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Yes! This is one of my favorite parts of cycling, especially with my son. I know the people who live on our route to his school. We've been invited to bon fires, we pet the dogs on the way. There's a guy I see at the train station every day who didn't know how to fix his bike, so last weekend he and I met up and I adjusted his brake calipers and derailleurs. It turns out some of the neighbors work at a BBQ place right next door and now we get free samples.

I have a much richer experience of my community and the people who live in the vicinity of my apartment complex because we aren't insulated from them when we travel. I guess the path we take to his school and then my work every day are a path instead of a hurdle, and the people along the way are likewise seen differently.
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Old 06-04-14, 06:46 AM   #9
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Yep, If i see they need help with something I help them out, hopefully they won't be jerks to cyclists when they're driving their cars after that .
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Old 06-04-14, 03:13 PM   #10
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Yes! This is one of my favorite parts of cycling, especially with my son. I know the people who live on our route to his school. We've been invited to bon fires, we pet the dogs on the way. There's a guy I see at the train station every day who didn't know how to fix his bike, so last weekend he and I met up and I adjusted his brake calipers and derailleurs. It turns out some of the neighbors work at a BBQ place right next door and now we get free samples.

I have a much richer experience of my community and the people who live in the vicinity of my apartment complex because we aren't insulated from them when we travel. I guess the path we take to his school and then my work every day are a path instead of a hurdle, and the people along the way are likewise seen differently.
I meet more people when I travel with my young grandson. He is one to pet every dog and talk to every stranger and try out every park bench. When he was real young, he would even sit on the benches with the homeless guys drinking out of paper bags. I would just hold my breath and watch him like a hawk, but nothing bad ever happened. The guys usually got a kick out of talking with him for a few minutes. I'm more outgoing with strangers now because of his example.
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Old 06-04-14, 03:39 PM   #11
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#Angelis ! Hang on! You haven't finished this story. I'm getting a distinct vibe.

We'd really like to hear more
She's in her 50s, and I'm married in my 30s - so, no attraction or anything along those lines. I might have said something random some day to her in passing; and somehow it became a daily routine.

Just good fun with a stranger.
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Old 06-04-14, 03:44 PM   #12
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She's in her 50s, and I'm married in my 30s - so, no attraction or anything along those lines. I might have said something random some day to her in passing; and somehow it became a daily routine.

Just good fun with a stranger.
Well that's your perspective. I'd check your local CL missed connections if I were you!
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Old 06-04-14, 04:12 PM   #13
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She's in her 50s, and I'm married in my 30s - so, no attraction or anything along those lines. I might have said something random some day to her in passing; and somehow it became a daily routine.

Just good fun with a stranger.
I used to pass a fellow rider almost every day on my way to work. He always gave me a "bike power" salute--like a black power salute, but with his fist going in a circle like a bike crank. I never talked with him, but felt like we were brothers.
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Old 06-04-14, 06:53 PM   #14
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She's in her 50s, and I'm married in my 30s - so, no attraction or anything along those lines. I might have said something random some day to her in passing; and somehow it became a daily routine.

Just good fun with a stranger.
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Well that's your perspective. I'd check your local CL missed connections if I were you!
:LOL: Angelis indicated he isn't interested in a relationship. So why would he be checking CL? Geez!

On the other hand, sometimes a series of encounters like that can lead into a good friendship. Or at least some good conversations in another context.

I volunteer at the local bike co-op, so I am always running into people I see on my routes. We talk about commuting or the latest best tires or whatever..

One good thing about riding a bike is that you are more "out there". Last week I was at a local shop and the cashier lady started a conversation (it was a slow day...). Apparently, she and her husband had seen me around the neighborhood. It was a good opportunity for her to ask some bicycle questions...
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Old 06-04-14, 07:12 PM   #15
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Today there was a guy standing on the corner with a sign. He is running for county council. He was just standing there waving at people as they drove by one by one trying to get some face to face recognition. I talked to him a while while waiting for the light to change, not about politics, since I'm not from here and don't vote in local elections. I did mention that I liked the new cycling infrastructure and hope to see more of it. When I left he just went back to waving at people moving around in their little cages, trying to make a connection.
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Old 06-04-14, 07:13 PM   #16
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I meet more people when I travel with my young grandson. He is one to pet every dog and talk to every stranger and try out every park bench. When he was real young, he would even sit on the benches with the homeless guys drinking out of paper bags. I would just hold my breath and watch him like a hawk, but nothing bad ever happened. The guys usually got a kick out of talking with him for a few minutes. I'm more outgoing with strangers now because of his example.
Haha, this is exactly how my son is. I joke that he's never met a stranger.
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Old 06-06-14, 03:36 PM   #17
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Isn't it summer where you are?
Yes. FINALLY.
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Old 06-06-14, 04:37 PM   #18
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Over the years I have met many wonderful people as I ride along. Many times, we started by seeing each other on bikes so often we recognized each other's faces. Eventually, one of us would be stopped and the other would stop and introduce him/herself. I just love the wonderful life stories so many carfree cyclists have. I sometimes feel I should start introducing some of these folks to my sister or my next-door neighbor, both authors, so they can publish some of them.

Of course, this recognition can be context-dependent. One day, I saw Catherine stopped on the roadside out of town. I stopped to help and was surprised that even after numerous chats in town she didn't recognize me. It turns out she had never seen me on a training ride and associated me with a step-thru Schwinn with baskets. We both got a good chuckle as we solved her problem and went our separate ways.
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Old 06-06-14, 07:22 PM   #19
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What about you?
New Orleaneans are good at talking to each other, even strangers. I have not made any lifelong friends while cycling around town but once I had an 18 mile commute each way and got to "know" a dozen or so strangers so well just seeing them every day that I felt compelled to say "Goodbye" when I moved and abandoned that commute route. To this day I still run into some of them at the movies or the mall and we take a minute to catch up. There was an elderly lady who greeted me from her chair on the porch as I went past every morning. Now when I happen past that house I always wonder what happened to her as the house is now abandoned.

So if you say "Good morning" or nod to the same person every day for a year and a half, and still chat randomly now and then, does that count? I think it does.
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Old 06-06-14, 08:32 PM   #20
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... I just love the wonderful life stories so many carfree cyclists have. I sometimes feel I should start introducing some of these folks to my sister or my next-door neighbor, both authors, so they can publish some of them.

Of course, this recognition can be context-dependent. One day, I saw Catherine stopped on the roadside out of town. I stopped to help and was surprised that even after numerous chats in town she didn't recognize me. It turns out she had never seen me on a training ride and associated me with a step-thru Schwinn with baskets. We both got a good chuckle as we solved her problem and went our separate ways.
Yes. There are lots of good stories. I was riding home Wednesday and was passing a fat tire bike. I recognized the gentleman riding and I slowed down to chat. He was peddling over to a local winery to purchase a bottle. Apparently, it was part of some wine buying ride challenge. Somehow I got myself signed up for it.

Sorry... who is Catherine?
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Old 06-06-14, 08:35 PM   #21
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New Orleaneans are good at talking to each other, even strangers. I have not made any lifelong friends while cycling around town but once I had an 18 mile commute each way and got to "know" a dozen or so strangers so well just seeing them every day that I felt compelled to say "Goodbye" when I moved and abandoned that commute route. To this day I still run into some of them at the movies or the mall and we take a minute to catch up. There was an elderly lady who greeted me from her chair on the porch as I went past every morning. Now when I happen past that house I always wonder what happened to her as the house is now abandoned.

So if you say "Good morning" or nod to the same person every day for a year and a half, and still chat randomly now and then, does that count? I think it does.
Well, yes, if you greet these people every workday, I think an occasional chat is a wonderful thing. It's a lot more human than buzzing past each other at 60mph.
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Old 06-06-14, 10:37 PM   #22
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No. There aren't enough people on bicycles here where I live. The only people I encounter are people walking the sidewalk; mostly teenagers ditching school or skinny drug-dealer type guys with muscle shirts and tattoos. Ocassionally I see someone else on a bike but we usually pretend like the other doesn't exist. Weird. No real bike lanes in Corpus Christi(where I am most of the year) so I choose to either ride the edge of the road and get yelled at and honked at by drivers, or ride the side walk and hear "watch it wey" or "watch out vato", followed by a scoff and a tilting of their shaved head back, showing me how tough they are with their barely filling in mustaches. Corpus Christi is a joy to bike in!
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Old 06-08-14, 06:32 AM   #23
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My wife and I meet people when we ride. We see more cyclists than cars where we do most of our riding.
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Old 06-08-14, 09:22 AM   #24
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Lots of short conversations at corners and in parking lots. When I was coming home with groceries yesterday a stranger offered that I'd better get home quick because the showers were coming. I agreed. As it was, I got sprinkled on, but just as I got onto the covered walkway of my apartment, it was a cloudburst.
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Old 06-14-14, 05:56 AM   #25
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Since cars are so enclosed and bicycles so exposed, you'd think cyclists would meet lots of people.

Myself, I haven't actually met a great number of people on my rides, but I do get to say hello to quite a few, often running into them in another context. On top of that, I have several good friends I've met right on the street, at a light or on a trail...

What about you?
Over the years on my commute I have routinely encountered several people, and I like to give them nicknames. I often saw a serious-looking cyclist passing in the opposite direction at about 6 in the morning as I approached my destination, and he was known as “good buddy.” Once at the midway point of our commute, I had stopped, and he did too. We exchanged names and some biographical information, mainly job-related, and even corresponded a bit by E-mail.

There was a driver in a windowless white van often approaching in the opposite direction who would give me a friendly toot. This was during the time of the Washington DC sniper who also drove a windowless van, so that driver became the “stalker.” I eventually met him at a coffee shop I routinely stopped at near my destination. I eventually also met a guy who walked his dog, and learned they were Ed and the Chief.

Two regulars at the coffee shop were an older couple who swam every morning, but I do not recall their names. That coffee shop changed hands, and I haven’t been there for about five years, Nonetheless, just last week the lady swimmer greeted me, and I did not recognize her (my bad), but we did re-connect and I re-learrned their names. Marianne, a morning walker in the opposite direction did not have a nickname but I learned her real name when we met on a commuter train.

Finally, when I encounter a certain morning runner approacing in the opposite direction, I know it’s going to be a good day. One day as I was riding in the opposite of my normal direction I rode along side her and we exchanged real names. However, she is still known to me as the “Fleet Goddess.”
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