Night touring in South Carolina this time of year... Saw one.
This whole week we have had record breaking temps of well over 100 degrees in South Carolina. Well, an interesting sight I saw along US 1 in between Batesburg and Aiken, a bicycle hauling a kids trailer with about 5 red blinkies behind it around 11PM. I know it had to be a tourer dodging the heat of the day. I knew this wasn't a local. I was really tempted to turn around in my car, pull over ahead of him (or her) and talk to the rider. But I didn't.
The reason was I didn't want to scare him or her by doing this around 11PM at night on a real long stretch of road with little lighting and little traffic. If this been during the day, I certainly would have tried to make contact. Mind you, there is nothing open in this stretch between Batesburg until I-20 which is 20 miles.
Would you have done the same thing or would you have turned around to talk to him or her and ask them if they needed anything that late at night? If I were riding at night, I would be a bit leery of people pulling over. Just curious if I did the right thing.
Raleigh Technium, Giant something or other, Panasonic Pro-Touring, Schwinn Varsity.
For all you know, it could've been an axe-murderer who was toting his various axes around in a Burley trailer for convenience?? But probably not. Maybe I would've rolled down the passenger's side window and given them a (hopefully non-creepy) smile and a wave, and ask if they needed any help (says me from my nice and comfy computer chair, in a brightly lit home). But I don't think I'd actually double back and stop, as that would look much scarier (to me as a cyclist) than someone who's just passing by. Another thing to consider is that I live in Minnesota, and the people here have a certain reputation as being "Minnesota Nice," and I have no idea how the general public usually interact with cyclists in South Carolina. Don't spend too long agonizing over it.
It has been hot as (I won't say) I live outside Columbia and hit the road most every Friday afternoon and roll back in on Sunday afternoon. Last weekend I got picked up early on Sunday... too hot. I'm just glad my air mattress can double as a raft. Lots of lakes and rivers in SC. Headed up to Kings mountain and back this weekend!
Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
I'vew had a number of people pull over day and night to talk to me. Even my wife has scared me when doing it. I prefer that they pull off several hundred yards ahead of me, get out, shut the door, stand behind their vehicle where they will not block me if I choose to go by, wave gently, and greet me nicely. If you want to talk to a biker try it that way.
If they're in apparent need of assistance (looking at map, pawing through tool bag, waving frantically, etc.) then I'll stop. Otherwise, they might be enjoying the solitude and peace and quiet, so why bother them?
And yes, I would be wary of someone who accosted me with an offer of "help" when I wasn't in any apparent difficulty. I'm sure a woman would feel the same way, only to a greater extent.