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Old 06-23-10, 12:07 PM   #1
adventurepdx
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You can lead a horse to water...

I work at a hostel. And it's summer so I'm starting to see people roll up with loaded touring bikes. And I love that, since I love touring. And I like helping out folks who are departing for a tour, either by giving tips or routing advice (since Portland is a big city it's not obvious what are the "good" ways of biking out of here). One time I even rode with a couple folks on their way out of town.

Anyways, two dudes stayed here and were departing this morning on their tour. And so I asked them what route they were using to get out of town. The route they were using, while serviceable, wasn't in my opinion the ideal way for where they were going. I let them know I had an alternate route that was easier and more scenic, and if they wanted to know it just stop back by the front desk.

A few minutes later I went back outside and they were in the "30 seconds from pedaling off" mode. I asked again if they wanted to hear the route I had in mind, and one of them looked at me stone-faced and said "no". "Are you sure? It's more scenic and quieter than the one you want to use." "No." "Okay, good travels and good riding."

I admit I was a little frustrated by the reaction. I can understand being bull-headed, picking out a route, and not wanting to be swayed from the decision. (And bull-headed they were: they biked the Pacific Coast south-to-north!) But I guess I was hoping they at least humor me for maybe 2 minutes and listen to my route and why I thought it would be a better route than the one they were taking.

I'm not asking "what should I have done in this situation?" since it seemed obvious they didn't want to listen. I guess I'm asking, "Has this ever happened to you?" Were you in a similar situation where the touring advice you wanted to give wasn't taken well or wasn't wanted? Or was the shoe on the other foot, and you were the person touring who didn't want to hear someone's routing advice (and maybe regretted it later)?
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Old 06-23-10, 12:16 PM   #2
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I may not take your advice but I would like to hear it anyways,it is your town.
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Old 06-23-10, 12:49 PM   #3
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I'd call their reaction strange and rude. But, they did make a memorable impression. You won't soon be forgetting that pair.

Reminds me of an encounter in Florida with another touring cyclist. He refused my attempts to have a short conversation about our adventures, the sort I've had with a number of others I've met on tour. Strange, rude, and memorable.

As for excepting routing advice from strangers, only if the adviser was a cyclist would I be inclined to trust the advice. Did they know you were a cyclist?
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Old 06-23-10, 01:12 PM   #4
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I'd call their reaction strange and rude. But, they did make a memorable impression. You won't soon be forgetting that pair.

Reminds me of an encounter in Florida with another touring cyclist. He refused my attempts to have a short conversation about our adventures, the sort I've had with a number of others I've met on tour. Strange, rude, and memorable.

As for excepting routing advice from strangers, only if the adviser was a cyclist would I be inclined to trust the advice. Did they know you were a cyclist?

Rudeness is subjective. For example, I am a total introvert. I'm completely uninterested in making small-talk with 99.9% of the people I meet. Really. Truly. It's not because I think they look, smell, or act funny. It's not because they're boring. It's because I find social interaction to be a draining, rather than an energizing experience. I find it incredibly rude for people to continue trying to have a conversation with me when I've made it quite clear that I'm not interested. Extroverts often find that impossible to believe, and that they just need to "draw you out". When that happens, THEN I get rude. :-)
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Old 06-23-10, 01:19 PM   #5
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As for excepting routing advice from strangers, only if the adviser was a cyclist would I be inclined to trust the advice. Did they know you were a cyclist?
Yeah. I mentioned that I biked both options. I understand not wanting to hear advice about routing from someone who isn't a cyclist, since a lot of times it can be bad information.
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Old 06-23-10, 01:22 PM   #6
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Sometimes serviceable is ok.

Routing can sometimes be a matter of preference. I do most of my riding alone, but when I've ridden with others I found I had a bit more of preference for direct-straightforward-flat route than they might have for a more beautiful-scenic-quieter route. So while I might listen, I might also still make my own choice based on my preferences and thoughts for the day.

For example, heading from Portland through the Columbia River Gorge there are several alternatives - but on the Oregon side two common ones might be either to take the old US 30 vs. I-84 (in a few spots you'll only be on I-84). There is a pretty sharp contrast between these routes. US 30 is certainly a lot prettier, quieter, goes past some nice waterfalls and is a great historic route - and the interstate is, well, the interstate. Yet, even with that - there are days when I might just choose to ride via I-84... So even if someone told me the cases and reasons why US 30 is just a much better route (and I definitely agree*), I might still choose to ride I-84 that day.

So don't take it personally, if you provided reasonable info and they still made their choice differently.

* I-84/US-30 in the Gorge is a little extreme; but I'll have a different example riding between Fort Collins and Cheyenne where I do have a preference for I-25 over US-85 - and that preference wouldn't always be shared by others.
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Old 06-23-10, 01:29 PM   #7
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Ironically enough, we were talking about going through the Gorge. They were headed for the 205 bridge and then Washington SR 14 eastward. I was suggesting the Oregon side, using the old Columbia River Highway instead.

But they didn't really even want to hear any information about the route. I casually suggested sticking to the Oregon side, and come back if you wanted more info. They didn't. And when I saw them leave and then asked again if they wanted to hear details they flat out said "no".
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Old 06-23-10, 01:37 PM   #8
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Ironically enough, we were talking about going through the Gorge. They were headed for the 205 bridge and then Washington SR 14 eastward. I was suggesting the Oregon side, using the old Columbia River Highway instead.

But they didn't really even want to hear any information about the route. I casually suggested sticking to the Oregon side, and come back if you wanted more info. They didn't. And when I saw them leave and then asked again if they wanted to hear details they flat out said "no".

Perhaps they simply had plans for some specific stops along their chosen route, and simply didn't feel the need to belabor you with the details.
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Old 06-23-10, 01:41 PM   #9
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Perhaps they simply had plans for some specific stops along their chosen route, and simply didn't feel the need to belabor you with the details.
Perhaps, but I got the impression from them that they were more concerned with the destination, not what was along the way.
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Old 06-23-10, 02:26 PM   #10
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adventurepdx,
You were kind enough to offer some local information. They were kind enough to not trouble you, since they had their own reasons for the route they were set on riding.

Yet, you decided to push the issue. That is were I see the initial rudeness.

Then you dish out even more rudness with your OP towards them.
Quote:
(And bull-headed they were: they biked the Pacific Coast south-to-north!)
Your OP reads as if the situation was more about YOU than helping them out.
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I admit I was a little frustrated by the reaction. I can understand being bull-headed, picking out a route, and not wanting to be swayed from the decision. (And bull-headed they were: they biked the Pacific Coast south-to-north!) But I guess I was hoping they at least humor me for maybe 2 minutes and listen to my route and why I thought it would be a better route than the one they were taking.
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Old 06-23-10, 02:49 PM   #11
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CB HI, I can see your point. And I admit: the initial point of the post was to vent a little, blow off some steam, all that. I also admit that I might not have handled it in the best way. But I was indeed interested in helping them out, it wasn't an ego boost or something.

But what I was trying to get to with this discussion wasn't necessarily to dissect what happened and what I did wrong, it was more to see if this scenario has happened to other people, on both sides of the situation.
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Old 06-23-10, 02:55 PM   #12
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I'd call their reaction strange and rude.
Really? I was going to say the same thing about the OP... By the time I set out on tour, I've usually spent weeks or months researching my route. The last thing I want to hear just as I'm about to pedal off is some pushy guy once more offering to tell me about some route I've already indicated I have no interest in riding.

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Reminds me of an encounter in Florida with another touring cyclist. He refused my attempts to have a short conversation about our adventures, the sort I've had with a number of others I've met on tour. Strange, rude, and memorable.
Really? I'm rude if I don't want to waste my time listening to your adventures? That seems like a pretty self-centered view of the world...
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Old 06-23-10, 03:03 PM   #13
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Not in cycling, definitely in climbing. I recall these German guys on top of Royal Arches, a long technical route in Yosemite Valley. It takes some effort to descend, and they proposed to essentially bushwack back to the falls trail, which is miles away. We had a short conversation about it because we all finished at about the same time. I offered to lead them down the standard walk-off (North Dome Gully) but they insisted on sticking to their plan. I have no doubt they spent the night up there.

What I've learned over the years is that sometimes people need to lead their own adventure. Who am I to deprive them of that?
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Old 06-23-10, 03:06 PM   #14
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This kind of sounds like a bikeforums thread where somebody posts a question about a derailer bike and is told that only an internal gearhub will do (or vice versa). Except these guys never even asked any questions.
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Old 06-23-10, 03:15 PM   #15
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I may not take your advice but I would like to hear it anyways,it is your town.
+1k
While touring, I listen to EVERY LOCAL available. Who is going to know the roads better? Granted, now a days people have GPS and all this stuff, but even if you THINK you know what is coming you are usually wrong. There are always things like, construction, floods, road damage, TRAFFIC PATTERNS, and most importantly the efficiency of the route that you should always be aware of while touring.
Even if I don't follow your advice, I will always take it or listen to it at least. Not everybody is social however.
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Old 06-23-10, 03:21 PM   #16
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Really? I was going to say the same thing about the OP... By the time I set out on tour, I've usually spent weeks or months researching my route. The last thing I want to hear just as I'm about to pedal off is some pushy guy once more offering to tell me about some route I've already indicated I have no interest in riding.
The impression I got was they didn't research the route out there. They said, "Yesterday someone told us to take 14." And when I told them that I had an alternate route, they didn't say then, "Oh, I don't want to hear it." They said, "Okay." It wasn't until they were taking off and when I asked them again then they said no.

Asking them a second time about the route may come across to some as rude. But I work in a place where when people check out they often do forget things because they're distracted, in a hurry, etc. I've had it happen before that people did mean to come back to ask me something or I was going to get them some info, but got distracted, and I'll catch those folk as they're taking off, remind them of what they were going to ask, and they're all "Oh yeah! I almost forgot!" So I was erring on the side of caution. And if that makes me rude, so be it.
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Old 06-23-10, 03:55 PM   #17
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+1k
While touring, I listen to EVERY LOCAL available. Who is going to know the roads better? Granted, now a days people have GPS and all this stuff, but even if you THINK you know what is coming you are usually wrong. There are always things like, construction, floods, road damage, TRAFFIC PATTERNS, and most importantly the efficiency of the route that you should always be aware of while touring.
Even if I don't follow your advice, I will always take it or listen to it at least. Not everybody is social however.

The variety of people is what makes the world an interesting place. ;-) From my perspective, I'm not particularly interested in what other people might consider to be a "better" or alternate route, unless I'm operating under a really severe time constraint. Otherwise, road closures, floods, heavy traffic, etc - meh, it's all just part of the adventure, and chances are I'll find something worthwhile along the way. I *like* sitting there for a few minutes watching road graders do their work. ;-) Some cyclists are overly fearful of traffic, others can't imagine why you'd want to go down a route where the only food comes from dive-bars and diners instead of chain restaurants and impose their own prejudices on their routes accordingly, etc.
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Old 06-23-10, 04:04 PM   #18
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The impression I got was they didn't research the route out there. They said, "Yesterday someone told us to take 14." And when I told them that I had an alternate route, they didn't say then, "Oh, I don't want to hear it." They said, "Okay." It wasn't until they were taking off and when I asked them again then they said no.
It seems to be something that you're taking personal offense at... problem is that you're giving conflicting versions of the event. Above, you say that they responded with "Okay". In a prior post you say "I casually suggested sticking to the Oregon side, and come back if you wanted more info. They didn't. "

Anyhow, my take on it is that it's OK if someone offers me advice once. If I don't take them up on their advice or suggestion, then it becomes rude to bring it up again, because then that person has started to act like a mother hen, and I'm perfectly capable of making my own decisions and dealing with the consequences, thank you very much. :-)
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Old 06-23-10, 04:07 PM   #19
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Offering the second time was OK. But when they said no,and you immediately pushed it a third time, it became rude.
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Old 06-23-10, 04:29 PM   #20
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But you can't make him dance the macarena.

You know, I've lived, cycled, and hiked in Wyoming for 25 years.
I regularly tell people that it is risky to tour in May and October.
I warn them that it can be really, really beautiful -
But it can shift over to blizzard conditions in a matter of hours.

I've had people with zero experience in the Intermountain West tell me
that I am exaggerating and trying to tell them what to do.
I have a friend who used to work for search & rescue.
Nearly every fall a hunter freezes to death - no cyclists.
(But the lack pf preparation and awareness is similar)

This past October 9th and 10th we had a low of 6, high of 18, and low of 11.
Then there was snow and a 35 mph wind on top of it.
Wind chill of 20 below - - kinda much for a windbreaker.
But forgive me for saying so.

Same goes for this past May.
Four feet of new snow in the Bighorns.
And, actually, late snow all over the West.
I went snow shoeing on May 16th.

<<<>>>

I have come to the conclusion that some people think they know it all -
Quite often those who have the least experience and knowledge.
I really don't care any more.

More than likely they will not freeze to death.
But if they are exhausted and swerve in front of a semi - -
Well, so be it.

<<<>>>
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Old 06-23-10, 05:26 PM   #21
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adventurepdx: I agree with mulveyr and CB HI. However well-intentioned your advice may have been, you need to learn how to take 'NO' for an answer. You are assuming that they had not researched their route, when, in fact, you do not KNOW this. Even if they had not, they have a right to decline your advice.
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Old 06-23-10, 06:12 PM   #22
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...
<<<>>>

I have come to the conclusion that some people think they know it all -
Quite often those who have the least experience and knowledge.
I really don't care any more.

More than likely they will not freeze to death.
But if they are exhausted and swerve in front of a semi - -
Well, so be it.

<<<>>>
I will bet that family and friends have told you several times just how dangerous any cycling is.

You being the know it all, have ignored their advice.
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Old 06-23-10, 06:21 PM   #23
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In my opinion, there's nothing worse than someone telling you how to have your own adventure. I used to do a lot of rock climbing, and am all too familiar with the enthusiastic, well-intentioned idiots who can't resist shouting instructions from the base of the route, while a climber is trying to figure out the key to a hard move.

You gotta let folk have their own experience.
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Old 06-23-10, 06:25 PM   #24
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This type of thing happens frequently in life, so get used to it. Having said that, the route you suggested is by far better than the one along the Washington side. Maybe they had friends up there however.
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Old 06-23-10, 07:27 PM   #25
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I will bet that family and friends have told you several times just how dangerous any cycling is.

You being the know it all, have ignored their advice.
I'll bet that either you never took a logic course or you failed the one you did take.

There is a rather important difference between friends and family members who attempt to discourage a person from bicycle touring and my warnings about Wyoming weather.

(Hint, hint, hint - - - )

The friends and family members, by and large, have no experience with cycling whatsoever.
I have 25 years of experience with Wyoming weather conditions.

You are one of those people who I would care less about.
So - - be my guest. Come tour in Wyoming in late October.
You prove the point of the original poster.
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