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"You gotta be kiddin' me"

Old 08-22-14, 03:05 PM
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"You gotta be kiddin' me"

No big deal, just relating a story from a recent ride:

I was in the middle of an 80-mile ride on a route that I take several times a summer. I stopped at a convenience store to fill the water bottles and grab a snack. I was carrying my helmet and wearing a plain red club-cut LG jersey with black trekking shorts (similar to MTB shorts) and casual sport shoe looking MTB shoes. I picked up a liter of water and a cereal bar and stepped into line at the counter. The guy in front of me turned around, looked me up and down, and with a snort of derision said "You gotta be kiddin me". Now, I'm a 50-year-old, about 230-pound, male so I'm used to the occasional rude comment, but what got me is that this guy was much heavier than I with a gut spilling out from under a size too small t-shirt and over the waist band of some seriously stressed out sweat pants. He was buying a box of sweet rolls and a large bottle of Mt. Dew. He tossed his money on the counter as if he was in a hurry and told the cashier to keep the change. He turned back to me with a dirty look, shook his head and walked out the door giving me one last glance through the glass.

While I've got a thick hide (no pun intended) and don't usually let things bother me, I wasn't sure if I was offended, felt sorry for him, or felt trepidation that this guy was going to run my backside over a few miles down the road. I didn't recognize him and hadn't had any recent bad encounters on the road, so I can't think of any personal grudge he might have against me, and from the way he looked me over, I can only assume he had a problem with the way I was dressed or with cyclists in general.

95+% of my interaction with other people while out riding is positive, but this fella kind of weirded me out. I kept looking over my shoulder until I got to the main highway. We hear lots of stories of intentional harassment, open rudeness, even assault and battery of cyclists, but does anyone else have stories of bizarre or creepy encounters?

Last edited by GravelMN; 08-22-14 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 08-22-14, 03:37 PM
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I've heard and experienced worse numerous times in similar situations throughout my decade of being 50 and 220plus. It takes all kinds, both the guy you described and "us".

I'd probably have looked at the clerk, said "I'll be right back", followed the doofus outside, shaken my head at his ride (probably a "BubbaGump pick-em-up truck and easy-rider ***** rack") and said, "You gotta be kidding me." But that's just me.
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Old 08-22-14, 03:58 PM
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In a mildly related interaction at the grocer store the other day a very large woman was in front of me. She was buying a few hot deli sandwiches with with a few packages of the potato wedges. The items were very carelessly strewn on the conveyor and I wanted to make room for my items and the woman behind me. So I pushed the sandwiches closer together and closer to the till.

To which I heard a wheezy mumble of, "Thanks for touching my dinner." In a very passive aggressive, pissed off, disgusted and condescending way. I ignored it, but thought really? They are wrapped, probably in foil, then brown paper. The belt is far dirtier than me, the cashier handles cash. I just let her wheeze and waddle away.

Her reaction went well with the cranky woman who one day berated me for my son grabbing her orange on the belt. That was a very rational (sarcasm) conversation.

People are odd in checkout lines; cranky, judgmental, tired and irrational.
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Old 08-22-14, 04:42 PM
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She might have been irritable due to a drop in blood sugar.
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Old 08-22-14, 11:32 PM
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I don't think it's uncommon for snarky comments in checkout lines. I've come across a few in my travels. A polite but firm, "Excuse me?" usually shuts them up. As for the OP, by your description of the man, I'd have to just assume he was extremely jealous of you.
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Old 08-23-14, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by GravelMN

does anyone else have stories of bizarre or creepy encounters?
Lumbering up a steep climb, I once had someone reach out of a car window and pinch my buns.
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Old 08-23-14, 09:05 AM
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Maybe he was commenting on your 'kit' and assumed you're delusional in thinking you're like the pro-racer wannabe who peadaled through a red light that he had to avoid while driving to the store. I'm kinda confused by most folks who wear cycling specific clothing, and I assume its for no other reason than they've been roped in by the marketing machine of cycle clothing manufacturers that they have to wear it for comfort, aerodynamics, and maximum efficiency. Seriously, how 'aero' can you get if you're carrying a little extra baggage around the mid-section, if you're over 50 y.o. , and who are you racing against on city streets? I can see where it works for professional riders, but most folks I know are weekend warriors who really could do without all of it. Personally I like loose-fitting cycle shorts, but use platform pedals and a t-shirt (and a helmet!) while riding. OTOH, it looks pretty crazy for "Mr. Tablemuscle" to be buying an armload of sugary snacks when he's carrying the results of his past easting habits around his waist.

Last edited by CbadRider; 08-28-14 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Removed unnecessary comment.
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Old 08-23-14, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by RR3
Lumbering up a steep climb, I once had someone reach out of a car window and pinch my buns.
That my friend is hilarious, creep and at the same time exceptionally skilled.
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Old 08-23-14, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RR3
Lumbering up a steep climb, I once had someone reach out of a car window and pinch my buns.
It is, sadly, not uncommon for women to be assulted in this way while cycling. For some reason men - usually, but not always, young men - think it hilarious to slap women cyclists' backsides as they drive by. Quite apart from the fact that this is an assault, it's also highly dangerous, the shock could easily cause the rider to lose control of their bike.

OP, I think you encountered one of those people who submerge their own sense of inadequacy by criticising others. Subconsciously, the fact that you have the get-up-and-go to do something about your own health and fitness is a rebuke to his idleness, and he reacts aggressively.

However, to answer your question. A few years ago I was touring through the Peak District in northern England. I paused to look at a map. A voice behind me said "Are you going to the cemetery?" I jumped, and turned round to find a very tall man (taller than me, I'm 6'3") in full leathers wearing a motorcycle helmet with the visor down, standing behind me. His bike was parked a few yards down the road. "No", I replied. "Oh", he said, "I thought you might be because that's where he's buried, you know ... The boy who was murdered."

I muttered my excuses and rode off. Very very odd. I'm not of a nervous disposition, but I confess I looked over my shoulder a few times in the next ten miles or so.
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Old 08-23-14, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by skidder
I assume its for no other reason than they've been roped in by the marketing machine of cycle clothing manufacturers that they have to wear it for comfort, aerodynamics, and maximum efficiency.

Personally I like loose-fitting cycle shorts, but use platform pedals and a t-shirt (and a helmet!) while riding.
It's not for aerodynamics, it's for comfort & convenience. Most people out there aren't wearing skin suits. Jerseys are actually quite convenient because of back pockets! Where else am I going to stash my phone/wallet/keys/food and be able to easily access them when needed? And synthetics definitely wick sweat away better than cotton, don't get wet & soggy. Synthetic T-shirt would be OK, but I'd still use a jersey just to have pockets!

Nothing silly or marketing machine about cycle clothing. Maybe silly to wear one plastered with logos for a pro team you are not racing for and for sponsors who aren't actually giving you anything. But plain/club jerseys to me are practical and functional.

Last edited by stephtu; 08-23-14 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 08-23-14, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by skidder
I'm kinda confused by most folks who wear cycling specific clothing, and I assume its for no other reason than they've been roped in by the marketing machine of cycle clothing manufacturers that they have to wear it for comfort, aerodynamics, and maximum efficiency. Seriously, how 'aero' can you get if you're carrying a little extra baggage around the mid-section, if you're over 50 y.o. , and who are you racing against on city streets? I can see where it works for professional riders, but most folks I know are weekend warriors who really could do without all of it.
Aero has nothing to do with it and efficiency and comfort has everything to do with it. I'm not racing anybody and there are no sponsor names anywhere on my stuff. I recently went on vacation and rented a bike while there and wore gym shorts & t-shirts to ride that thing roughly 20 miles a day. Frankly, it sucked.

Do whatever it is you need to do and try not to be so judgmental about the rest of us.
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Old 08-23-14, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
OP, I think you encountered one of those people who submerge their own sense of inadequacy by criticising others. Subconsciously, the fact that you have the get-up-and-go to do something about your own health and fitness is a rebuke to his idleness, and he reacts aggressively.
I was going to reply with basically this. You threatened him in some way down deep that caused him to feel justified in lashing out.

I've never had this kind of reaction in a store or while biking, but I do get it at work. It used to bother me greatly, until a friend (also on a quest to get fit) pointed out that I have done what they cannot; had the determination to make myself better. And therefore they need to find ways to dismiss me in order to justify their own poor choices in life.
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Old 08-23-14, 02:05 PM
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I have little tolerance for people like that and would have made a return comment containing f@tazz and mind your own business.
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Old 08-23-14, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder
Maybe he was commenting on your 'kit' and assumed you're delusional in thinking you're like the pro-racer wannabe who peadaled through a red light that he had to avoid while driving to the store. I'm kinda confused by most folks who wear cycling specific clothing, and I assume its for no other reason than they've been roped in by the marketing machine of cycle clothing manufacturers that they have to wear it for comfort, aerodynamics, and maximum efficiency. Seriously, how 'aero' can you get if you're carrying a little extra baggage around the mid-section, if you're over 50 y.o. , and who are you racing against on city streets? I can see where it works for professional riders, but most folks I know are weekend warriors who really could do without all of it. Personally I like loose-fitting cycle shorts, but use platform pedals and a t-shirt (and a helmet!) while riding. OTOH, it looks pretty crazy for "Mr. Tablemuscle" to be buying an armload of sugary snacks when he's carrying the results of his past easting habits around his waist.

Wow! I didn't know this forum was patrolled by the fashion Police.
Fat- shaming and hyper- criticism of someone's satorial choices all in one post.
And broad hints on how to do it properly!
Thank you. I'm taking notes.

Last edited by CbadRider; 08-28-14 at 04:05 PM. Reason: Edited quoted post
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Old 08-23-14, 06:45 PM
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There are some very strange people in this world, and quite a few of them we will never discern what goes on inside their heads.

right now my sizes change every few weeks (smaller each time)....but once they settle I will buy some bib cycling shorts and some jerseys :-) despite being 50 years old then (49 now)
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Old 08-23-14, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by GravelMN
........ The guy in front of me turned around, looked me up and down, and with a snort of derision said "You gotta be kiddin me".
Now, I'm a 50-year-old, about 230-pound, male so ...........
Maybe he was a hair dresser and really didn't like your hair style/cut. And... if you knew it was the haircut and not the tights.... would you have cared? Maybe... he didn't think you smelled as fresh as you had thought you did (and maybe he actually smelled himself and only thought it was you).

I can be really self conscience about sweat/salt rings.... the white ones that can collect on my helmet straps and/or do-rag. I guess we all have a desire to put a best-foot forward. Do you really think he remembered you by the time he got where he was going?
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Old 08-23-14, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyril
Wow! I didn't know this forum was patrolled by the fashion Police.
Fat- shaming and hyper- criticism of someone's satorial choices all in one post.
And broad hints on how to do it properly!
Thank you. I'm taking notes.
Sorry that you, and TrojanHorse, took my post that way. I read the OP and thought he/she wasn't looking at both sides of the situation. Living in Southern California, where the term "image is everything" applies, I get a constant stream of derogatory remarks on what I'm wearing while out bicycling on the roads; I simple tell folks it works for me and ask them what they find wrong with it. And since I don't look like someone on a bike when I'm off my bicycle, I here all the comment people make when a group of kitted-up bicyclists walk into a shop - 'Lance' wanna-be's, their encounters with bicyclists running red lights and stop signs, pack of riders blocking a street/highway, etc. And yep, I see TrojanHorse lives in Southern California, too. And yes, I have a bit of a 'gut', too

MAybe a better way the OP could have handled it is to ask the gent "uh . . is something wrong?" and see what his reaction would have been. That would have put the burden of a detailed response on Mr. Tablemuscle.

Last edited by skidder; 08-23-14 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 08-23-14, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder
I assume you have a bit of a gut, too? Maybe he was commenting on your 'kit' and assumed you're delusional in thinking you're like the pro-racer wannabe who peadaled through a red light that he had to avoid while driving to the store. I'm kinda confused by most folks who wear cycling specific clothing, and I assume its for no other reason than they've been roped in by the marketing machine of cycle clothing manufacturers that they have to wear it for comfort, aerodynamics, and maximum efficiency. Seriously, how 'aero' can you get if you're carrying a little extra baggage around the mid-section, if you're over 50 y.o. , and who are you racing against on city streets? I can see where it works for professional riders, but most folks I know are weekend warriors who really could do without all of it. Personally I like loose-fitting cycle shorts, but use platform pedals and a t-shirt (and a helmet!) while riding. OTOH, it looks pretty crazy for "Mr. Tablemuscle" to be buying an armload of sugary snacks when he's carrying the results of his past easting habits around his waist.
I wasn't riding in spandex kit or trying to look pro-racer by any means. When out riding I very intentionally try not to stand out. A plain club-cut jersey is comfortably loose fitting and resembles a sports t-shirt except for the back pockets, which I don't carry bulky items in. With the "invisible" 1/4 zipper pulled up, you can't tell it from a sports t-shirt from the front. The trekking shorts are also loose fitting with pockets, basically cargo shorts made of a quick drying fabric. I wear thin-chamois liner type cycling shorts underneath that don't not show in any way. The MTB shoes I wear look like any other lace-up low-top athletic shoe and have a walkable sole with a recessed cleat. Until you turn the shoe over, you'd never know it was a cycling shoe. I was definitely in casual comfort touring/recreation mode, not roadie gear. I've never raced a bicycle in my life and never pretended to.

Yep, still got a gut, not near as much as I used to, but it's still there. I don't worry about aero except to avoid excessively baggy clothes. I often wear t-shirts when riding, but I like the jersey so I can keep my cell phone and keys out of my pants pockets. Not knocking the guy for his weight, just saying he was in no position to be looking down on how anyone else looked or was dressed.
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Old 08-23-14, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter
Maybe he was a hair dresser and really didn't like your hair style/cut. And... if you knew it was the haircut and not the tights.... would you have cared? Maybe... he didn't think you smelled as fresh as you had thought you did (and maybe he actually smelled himself and only thought it was you).

I can be really self conscience about sweat/salt rings.... the white ones that can collect on my helmet straps and/or do-rag. I guess we all have a desire to put a best-foot forward. Do you really think he remembered you by the time he got where he was going?
I hear ya and usually don't give a rip about a snide comment or some wise guy. As already mentioned, no tights, but even if I was in spandex, don't particularly care if someone doesn't like the way it looks. If I'm sweaty I try to avoid getting too close to anyone and I wasn't all that close to this guy.

What made this encounter stand out was the disgusted, even angry expression on his face and the repeated glares as he was leaving. The cashier watched him as he left and then turned back to me with a WTH look. I can't remember having met or even seen him before, was 40 miles from home on quiet rural roads with no incidents with other vehicles for quite a long time. Did he remember me after he left the store? I hope not because the way he acted there, I'm not sure what would have happened with him behind the wheel on a country road with no witnesses.
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Old 08-24-14, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by GravelMN
..... Did he remember me after he left the store? I hope not because the way he acted there, I'm not sure what would have happened with him behind the wheel on a country road with no witnesses.
As the old saying goes: "Wherever you go, there you are." It takes a total nut case, or raging looney to deliberately run over another human... witnesses on not. Since I am not sleeping with anyone's wife... (or otherwise ruining their life) I don't worry so much about deliberate acts of violence by even menacing looking strangers.

Your encounter may have just been a comical ruse. It sort of sounds like rural humor. Glad your OK ether way.
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Old 08-24-14, 07:47 PM
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Thanks Dave

The idea that he might run me over was pretty much hyperbole for humorous effect. Should have thrown in an emoticon. I'd be more worried about having a beer can thrown at me or a swerve to try to get me to take the ditch. I've rarely encountered any actual violence or credible threat of violence, cycling or otherwise. This guy's behavior was odd enough to raise my situational awareness for a while but if I had honestly believed I was in any danger, I'd have called someone for a ride.
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Old 08-25-14, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by GravelMN
I wasn't riding in spandex kit or trying to look pro-racer by any means. When out riding I very intentionally try not to stand out. A plain club-cut jersey is comfortably loose fitting and resembles a sports t-shirt except for the back pockets, which I don't carry bulky items in. With the "invisible" 1/4 zipper pulled up, you can't tell it from a sports t-shirt from the front. The trekking shorts are also loose fitting with pockets, basically cargo shorts made of a quick drying fabric. I wear thin-chamois liner type cycling shorts underneath that don't not show in any way. The MTB shoes I wear look like any other lace-up low-top athletic shoe and have a walkable sole with a recessed cleat. Until you turn the shoe over, you'd never know it was a cycling shoe. I was definitely in casual comfort touring/recreation mode, not roadie gear. I've never raced a bicycle in my life and never pretended to.

Yep, still got a gut, not near as much as I used to, but it's still there. I don't worry about aero except to avoid excessively baggy clothes. I often wear t-shirts when riding, but I like the jersey so I can keep my cell phone and keys out of my pants pockets. Not knocking the guy for his weight, just saying he was in no position to be looking down on how anyone else looked or was dressed.
That is mostly the style of jersey I wear, and I wish more brands offered that style. I only switched to cycling jerseys from plain technical T Shirts last year, and it was mostly because of function, not style. Though it is much cheaper to buy technical T Shirts on sale at Target for $10 or $12, it is nice to have a zip front for hot weather, and back pockets for cell phone, keys, and wallet.
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Old 08-25-14, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2
I only switched to cycling jerseys from plain technical T Shirts last year, and it was mostly because of function, not style. Though it is much cheaper to buy technical T Shirts on sale at Target for $10 or $12, it is nice to have a zip front for hot weather, and back pockets for cell phone, keys, and wallet.
Are you sure you aren't a racer wannabe?


(this is not directed at you but clearly you have discovered that cycling apparel is purpose built and does not represent a secret desire to be a pro tour racer)
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Old 08-25-14, 11:10 AM
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My last ride had a heat index of 105F. If a pink tutu will shave 2 deg off that I will wear one of those. The bibs eliminate the pulling up the shorts in back.

At 5'9 330 and 50 yr old I hear comments all the time. Funny thing is not one person over 40 and so far no bike riders have said a negative word. I usually respond by sticking my belly out and saying she's due in November, but I can slow down if you want to ride with us or Yeah it says fatties fit fine right here and for 2,000 miles they have been right.
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Old 08-25-14, 11:39 AM
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"Weird. I'm surprised you don't like the look. Your wife LOVED it......"
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