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Old 05-13-10, 07:04 AM   #1
Weasel9
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"What do you do when it rains?"

Most of you have experienced it. Out on a long trip, with a thin layer of dust on your bike, gear, and clothes. People see you pedal up on a loaded bike and start asking lots of questions. Often they're the same questions you answered the day before or 10 times the previous week.

I'm curious what the top 5 or top 10 questions you get over and over again on tour are. Mine have been:

-Where did you come from and how far are you going?
-How long have you been on the road?
-Where do you sleep at night?
-What do you do when it rains?
-Where do you plug your cell phone in?
-Why?

I find some of the questions they ask to be really amusing. My favorite to answer is what do I do when it rains: I get wet!

What are your most memorable reoccurring questions?
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Old 05-13-10, 07:47 AM   #2
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More a statement than a question.. "you're crazy, I could never do that"
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Old 05-13-10, 08:04 AM   #3
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From fellow cyclists:

How much weight are you carrying? Dunno, haven't weighed it. Probably too much, ha ha...
How many miles do you go per day? Depends on how fast I go before it gets dark.

From Weebles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weeble

Boy, I wish I could do that....
You must be superman....
Can I take my picture with you?
I'd be riding too, if I wasn't vacationing with the wife....
If I were your wife, I wouldn't let you go for so long....

Yes, and the not so occasional "you must be crazy".

Last edited by Cyclesafe; 05-13-10 at 08:29 AM. Reason: sp
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Old 05-13-10, 08:07 AM   #4
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Aren't you afraid?
Where do you sleep?
Why?
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Old 05-13-10, 08:14 AM   #5
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"Are you doing that for charity?"

Not questions, but...

"I'd like to do that, but I am too old." (This is almost always from someone about 10 years younger than me).

And one of my favorites:
While we were climbing a steep climb up to the Blue Ridge Parkway at Vesuvius a convertible slowed next to us and the driver said, "I don't understand you, but I admire you!"

Edit: Another favorite:
At a diner in Virginia...
Local: "Where are you headed?"
Me: "Yorktown"
Local: "You've got a LONG way to go"
Me: "We started in Oregon"
Local: "Then you're almost there"

Last edited by staehpj1; 05-13-10 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 05-13-10, 09:14 AM   #6
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"Why don't you just drive?"
"Links or patties?"

At times during my X-country+ trip I got tired of answering the same old questions about where from, where to, hoiw long, how many miles, etc., but I tried to be polite each time. But it was hard when I was hot and/or tied and being asked the same questions for the 5th time in one afternoon.
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Old 05-13-10, 09:19 AM   #7
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"How much did that thing cost?"
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Old 05-13-10, 09:38 AM   #8
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or how about their standard rebuttle after you answered their initial question of "where you heading and how far have you gone?" just to let you know that they too have been there and have shared in your pain.....

"Yea, when I was younger my buddy and I used to ride clear over Jonesville and back all the time" Jonesville happens to be less than 6 miles away. You smile and say, "that's neat" and ride away just wishing you only had 12 miles left before you were done for the day
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Old 05-13-10, 11:15 AM   #9
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Oddly, I never minded answering the same questions over and over. What I did find curious was some folks feeling compelled to tell me their life's story. I guess that because I was a stranger who would be moving on as soon as they stopped talking, they felt safe telling me something they felt a compulsion to express. I don't know. Has anyone else ever gotten the life story from a stranger?
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Old 05-13-10, 11:38 AM   #10
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Ugh, the twenty questions. Fun to answer the first 500 times...

Where did you start, how far are you going, why are you doing this, are you riding for a charity, are you really doing this by yourself, aren't you scared, how fast do you go, what do you do when it rains, where do you go to the bathroom, where do you sleep, what do you eat ....

My least favorite:
Are you carrying a gun
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Old 05-13-10, 12:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
My least favorite:
Are you carrying a gun
Yeah, my least favorite, too. I've been surprised how many times I've been asked that, and I've only been asked it in the United States.

One of the funniest questions I was ever asked occurred at Moraine Lake in Banff NP in Alberta, Canada. I was comparing the view in front of my own eyes with a Canadian $20 note, which at that time had some in circulation with an image of the lake on back. A man asked me what I was looking at, so I showed him the money, literally. He was embarrassed because he had no idea that he was looking at the same view as the $20 note, and he was from Alberta!

Another funny question also occurred in Canada, this time on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. I had panniers, camping gear, etc., and was riding in the middle of nowhere. I came upon a local cyclist riding an old bike. He asked me, "are you from around here?" I figure he probably knew everyone within a 20 km radius.

The most unexpected question I ever got was in Laos. I was, once again, in the middle of nowhere on a big climb in the mountains of northern Laos on a hot afternoon. A motorcycle coming down the mountain stopped in front of me and the smart salesman said to me in English, "Ice cream?". After I stopped laughing I took out my wallet.
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Old 05-13-10, 01:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel9 View Post
Most of you have experienced it. Out on a long trip, with a thin layer of dust on your bike, gear, and clothes. People see you pedal up on a loaded bike and start asking lots of questions. Often they're the same questions you answered the day before or 10 times the previous week.

I'm curious what the top 5 or top 10 questions you get over and over again on tour are. Mine have been:

-Where did you come from and how far are you going?
-How long have you been on the road?
-Where do you sleep at night?
-What do you do when it rains?
-Where do you plug your cell phone in?
-Why?

I find some of the questions they ask to be really amusing. My favorite to answer is what do I do when it rains: I get wet!

What are your most memorable reoccurring questions?
The most common question I get is 'Where is xxx?' I get asked this question all the time while on tour. Once a trucker who was looking for a wind turbine project actually turned his truck around so that he could ask me where the construction site was. I can even be walking down the street on a rest day...without a bicycle or bicycle clothes...and some one will ask me 'Where's the...courthouse, post office, alligator farm, etc." I don't think I look like a compass
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Old 05-13-10, 02:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Ugh, the twenty questions. Fun to answer the first 500 times...

My least favorite:
Are you carrying a gun
I was only asked the "do you have a gun" question a few times, the most recent on in Russia where it seemed like someone was offering to sell me one. Somehow the idea of me as an untrained person running around with a gun in country where possibility of language misunderstanding exists wouldn't be the wisest choice.

My riding partners have been tired of the questions a lot earlier than I am. I didn't mind re-answering the same questions at all. Figured they were at least new questions for them and to some extent I was an "ambassador" to someone learning just a little more about cycle tourists they saw along the road. I've also benefited in the past from encountering the same people more than once and so the early friendly question responses helped me later.
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Old 05-13-10, 04:16 PM   #14
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I never get too tired of most questions. On a longish tour I like to talk about where and how far I am going. I have toured a lot less than many here though.

The "are you doing this for charity" one usually kind of annoys me though.
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Old 05-13-10, 04:21 PM   #15
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I just remembered another one I hate...
"How many flat tires do you get"?

I hate it because on the TA it seemed to usually be followed by a flat, especially if I haven't had any for a long time.
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Old 05-13-10, 04:26 PM   #16
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My favorite question, in regards to my panniers: "Why do you have those giant weights on your bike, are you training for something?"
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Old 05-13-10, 04:34 PM   #17
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The most common question I get is 'Where is xxx?'
I got almost this same question on my last tour in Italy. Except the questions was "Can you tell me where we are located"?

Now I don't look Italian at all most folks there guess that I am an American or German so I am not sure how this guy figured I was able to tell him. Maybe he noticed my maps and my GPS? Anyway I was able to tell him and we formed a brief friendship. We rode the rest of the way into town together and even though he did not know the town, he helped me find my host's apartment. His Italian was a LOT better than mine.

I have gotten the "Are you crazy" question and "wow you must be in really good shape"?
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Old 05-13-10, 05:10 PM   #18
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I've had the 'Can you give me directions?' question many times. i wonder if it's because people figure that as tourists, we're probably equipped with a map or a guide book and are more up to speed with what's around us than the locals who don't give it a thought. Just an idea.

Not my most asked question, but one which threw me for a loop was asked in Ostend, Belgium:

"How far do you ride every day?"
"Between 60 and 70 miles"
"Really? Can you still get an erection after that?"
"Uhm, yeah."

I hate being asked "How far have you come?" when it's my first day and I'm only a few miles out from home. I've had people respond with "Oh, is that all?"
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Old 05-13-10, 05:25 PM   #19
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Three memorable and recurring statements:

Stranger, "Aren't you afraid?"
Me, "No."

Stranger, "I wish I could do that."
Me, "You could."

Stranger, "If you come anywhere near [the town I live in], please stay with us!"
Me, "Okay!"
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Old 05-13-10, 05:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I never get too tired of most questions. On a longish tour I like to talk about where and how far I am going. I have toured a lot less than many here though.

The "are you doing this for charity" one usually kind of annoys me though.
I get sick of talking about me - I usually turn it around as fast as I can and ask about them or the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I just remembered another one I hate...
"How many flat tires do you get"?

I hate it because on the TA it seemed to usually be followed by a flat, especially if I haven't had any for a long time.
The first rule of flat tires: never talk about flat tires.

This applies to wind as well.
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Old 05-13-10, 06:11 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
At a diner in Virginia...
Local: "Where are you headed?"
Me: "Yorktown"
Local: "You've got a LONG way to go"
Me: "We started in Oregon"
Local: "Then you're almost there"
I like this one a lot Quick thinking on his/her part!
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Old 05-13-10, 07:11 PM   #22
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Edit: Another favorite:
At a diner in Virginia...
Local: "Where are you headed?"
Me: "Yorktown"
Local: "You've got a LONG way to go"
Me: "We started in Oregon"
Local: "Then you're almost there"
Hahaha! Classic.

We were crossing the Canadian border in Windsor (by Detroit) on our transcontinental trip, and had to have a friend drive us over the bridge(no bikes allowed). The immigration officer was giving us hell because our friend didn't have a passport. The guy was being a prick, belittling us for thinking he could get in without a passport. Being far from our bikes, he didn't know what we were doing. Then he asked where we were going.
"To Niagara falls."
"And how are you getting there?" Said he.
"By bicycle."
He gave a sharp sarcastic laugh. "You're going to ride your bikes to Niagra?"
My riding buddy chimed in: "Well, we rode from San Francisco..."
There was a long pause while he searched our faces for signs of humor. "You rode your bikes from San Francisco?" He asked quietly.

We pointed to our bikes sticking out of our friend's car and told him yes, we rode from California. He tried to recover by asking a few how many miles do you ride per day questions, but his facade was broken, and he finally laughed. I think he realized nothing had stopped us in 2800 miles of riding, and he wasn't about to be the first.
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Old 05-13-10, 07:39 PM   #23
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How do you get on/off that thing?
How old is it? or Is it original?
Can I ride it?
How is it on hills?
How fast can you go?


And then all your normal tour cyclist questions.
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Old 05-13-10, 09:04 PM   #24
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Can I ride it?
Do you ever let them?
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Old 05-13-10, 10:46 PM   #25
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Can I ride it?
Hafta admit, if I met you, I'd probably ask that one too.
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