Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

What do you say when ...

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

What do you say when ...

Old 04-24-19, 01:04 PM
  #51  
RubeRad
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,563

Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Moto Fantom29 ProSL hardtail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 56 Times in 43 Posts
Well, is that really traveling? That's like saying we travel 24,000 miles every day because the earth spins around (not to mention how many miles along its orbit around the sun it goes (not to mention motion of our solar system due to expansion of the universe))
RubeRad is offline  
Old 04-24-19, 01:36 PM
  #52  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,634
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1320 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 45 Times in 29 Posts
Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Well, is that really traveling? That's like saying we travel 24,000 miles every day because the earth spins around (not to mention how many miles along its orbit around the sun it goes (not to mention motion of our solar system due to expansion of the universe))
Sure. That is the distance the ISS has traveled from a fixed point on Earth where it started. The same way all travel is measured.
alan s is offline  
Old 04-24-19, 02:14 PM
  #53  
Phamilton
Gone
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Ft Wayne, IN
Posts: 1,026
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 354 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 12 Posts
I have sometimes responded something like "I appreciate your concern. When you're out driving, try not to kill people riding bikes and encourage others to also try not to kill people riding bikes".

But quite frankly, it comes across to me as "I'm concerned about your personal salvation ..."

IMO opinion it's a sort vomited response when a person encounters another person living life in a way they simply can't understand. Their mouth was going to open by force of habit anyway and that was what the un-exercised brain managed to do with the words before it did.

I agree that there's really not much to bike commuting, and it takes about a year to get the hang of it. After that, it's like lather, rinse, repeat.

I regret ever having felt like I knew anything about bike commuting prior to getting rid of my car and doing it every day. A single bike commute in a year worth of driving is an honorable mention, for sure, but until you commit to riding every day regardless of weather, traffic, and what your body is doing - well, it's just to say that it's an entirely different experience. It changes you, profoundly. Add distance on top of that - plan to not relate well to the rest of the driving world at all. Including most of those who also sometimes ride bikes.
Phamilton is offline  
Old 04-24-19, 02:27 PM
  #54  
Skipjacks
Senior Member
 
Skipjacks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Mid Atlantic / USA
Posts: 1,952

Bikes: 2017 Specialized Crosstrail / 2013 Trek Crossrip Elite

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 941 Post(s)
Liked 152 Times in 98 Posts
Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Well, is that really traveling? That's like saying we travel 24,000 miles every day because the earth spins around (not to mention how many miles along its orbit around the sun it goes (not to mention motion of our solar system due to expansion of the universe))
Earth is super dangerous.

93% of every human being in history has died on Earth! No joke!

On average, 6,316 people die every hour on Earth. At a rotational speed of 1,000 mph (at the equator) that is a death rate of 6.32 people per mile!

This planet is a death trap that needs to slow down!

It's safer to ride a bike in traffic on Earth than to simply stand still on it!

Tell that to the next busy body co-worker who says biking is too dangerous. Mention that you notice they are standing still....ask them what type of flowers they want at the funeral.

(I love statistics. You can prove literally anything with them.)

Data sources...(showing I can back this nonsense up!)

Death rates
https://www.quora.com/How-many-peopl...rage-worldwide

Earth speed
https://astrosociety.org/edu/publica...1/howfast.html
Skipjacks is offline  
Likes For Skipjacks:
Old 04-24-19, 02:27 PM
  #55  
Skipjacks
Senior Member
 
Skipjacks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Mid Atlantic / USA
Posts: 1,952

Bikes: 2017 Specialized Crosstrail / 2013 Trek Crossrip Elite

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 941 Post(s)
Liked 152 Times in 98 Posts
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Start saving your shekels. A flight to the ISS may be in your future. It has traveled 2.6 billion miles without a single death. Those are actual miles, not some phony “passenger miles.”
I'm convinced the ISS driver is lost and too proud to stop and ask for directions.

Darn thing is just going in circles.
Skipjacks is offline  
Old 04-24-19, 02:36 PM
  #56  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,634
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1320 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 45 Times in 29 Posts
Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
I'm convinced the ISS driver is lost and too proud to stop and ask for directions.

Darn thing is just going in circles.
Guarantee it’s a guy driving.
alan s is offline  
Old 04-24-19, 02:51 PM
  #57  
Skipjacks
Senior Member
 
Skipjacks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Mid Atlantic / USA
Posts: 1,952

Bikes: 2017 Specialized Crosstrail / 2013 Trek Crossrip Elite

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 941 Post(s)
Liked 152 Times in 98 Posts
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Guarantee it’s a guy driving.
Hey...he's going to ask for directions as soon as he needs gas. No need to make an extra stop!

Problem is that darn thing is powered by lateral free fall. And gravity gets REALLY good millage.

Anyway he may be lost. But he's making great time!
Skipjacks is offline  
Old 04-24-19, 03:26 PM
  #58  
Jim from Boston
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6,718
Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 630 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 29 Posts
What do you say when...
Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
How do you respond to people who tell you, "I'm worried about you out there on a bike with all those crazy drivers and drunks?".

My adult son, starting to get more into commuting, asked me this weekend...

My first thought was you don't have to say anything - it's none of their business and they don't know anything about it if it was. But maybe a young guy, 21, can't get by with that as easily and needs to respond to that (passive aggressive commentary).

I settled on just shrug and say "works for me", and leave it at that unless they get obnoxious, although a snarky comeback is tempting.

How do you respond?
Since I was hit from behind with six weeks hospitalization three months off work, I’m a poster boy for those concerns, I have posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...Personally, I find any discussions about cycling with motorists futile, especially those exchanged while en route, often with hostility.

When off the bike, e.g. at work they are usually pleasant, but vacuous, for example when I’m called a saint. When they complain, it’s often about cyclists riding two or more abreast, no lights, ninjas, etc…valid complaints IMO.

The most antagonistic remarks though that I try to assuage are taunts about what it would do to the driver if they hit me, most often spoken on the Winter when streets are icy or narrowed by snowbanks.

I learned my response from a long-ago thread, “When does Hardcore become Stupid?”
Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
Hardcore becomes stupid when it becomes dangerous...

In each case, it's not just the weather that makes it hardcore or stupid, it's the degree of preparation and knowledge used in dealing with the weather.
and
Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
I just say "It's not as dangerous as it looks from the outside".
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...Of course I contend with their fears using many of those talking points as mentioned above.

One soft argument I read on Bikeforums is that cycling in traffic really does look dangerous to car drivers ensconced in their vehicles. Personally I feel pretty safe, well-lit, with unlimited vision with mirrors, and pretty nimble on my bike.

Nonetheless, I’m totally attentive to the cars around me, and I have a number of safety aphorisms in my mind to keep me alert (e.g., “Like a weapon, consider every stopped car loaded, with an occupant ready to exit (from either side).”).

Once though, I was standing on a busy intersection (Massachusetts and Commonwealth Aves) one Saturday night watching some happy-go-lucky student-type cyclists on Hubway Bike Share bikes, no helmets, riding along and laughing in traffic, and I thought to myself that really does look dangerous.
Finally however, I have posted on several threads, even as a cycling advocate:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Frankly, I have posted that I would not be inclined to encourage, unless by example (nor discourage) someone to cycle-commute, but if they so chose, I would freely and gladly give any advice...

Public exhortations to cycle-commute, or utility cycle are well and good with no individual responsibility for bad outcomes, but I would not want the recriminations of a personal endorsement if something bad happened...

FWW, I’m not advocatin’ against, just sayin’
Jim from Boston is offline  
Old 04-24-19, 05:04 PM
  #59  
Riveting
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 478

Bikes: '13 Trek Madone 2.3, '13 Diamondback Hybrid Commuter, '17 Spec Roubaix Di2, '17 Spec Camber 29'er

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 16 Posts
I always say that a texting/drunk driver could easily cross the center line of a 40mph road (80 mph combined) and kill them, yet they continue to drive. Why?
Riveting is offline  
Old 04-24-19, 05:11 PM
  #60  
RubeRad
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,563

Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Moto Fantom29 ProSL hardtail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 56 Times in 43 Posts
I find that counter never works, because they just say (rightly) 'I've got a better protection in a big heavy car with airbags than you do on a bike'
RubeRad is offline  
Old 04-24-19, 05:31 PM
  #61  
Skaughtto
Commuter
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: California
Posts: 18

Bikes: Trek 8000, Domane 2.0, CrossRip LTD

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My response has been "the world is a safer place without me behind the wheel of a car" and "I feel a lot better mentally and physically as a result of riding a bicycle daily."

I've been doing it for two or three years and have lost like 30 lbs. Enough people are impressed by the weight loss and health benefits that I can argue they're in more danger as a result of going from sitting in a car, to sitting at a desk, to sitting in a car, to sitting on a couch every day.

Being free of the aggravation of sitting in traffic, responding to the price of gas and dealing with car maintenance has lowered my stress level a lot too.
Skaughtto is offline  
Old 04-25-19, 03:06 PM
  #62  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 37,091

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 420 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5388 Post(s)
Liked 91 Times in 70 Posts
I like a lot of the responses here. One of my techniques for discussions like this is to start with finding common ground. So if someone says it's dangerous out there, I say, "Yes, I know. Some people are just crazy. To ride a bike out there, you really have to know what you're doing." Bam, I've just implied that I know what I'm doing. If someone wants to hear what expertise I have and how I acquired it, I'm happy to discuss that. The fact is that skill has a huge bearing on how safe you are on a bike. It matters more than whether you wear a helmet, and that's why I'm not a helmet advocate. I wear a helmet, and a helmet once saved my life, but I don't talk about it, because I'm on the skill bandwagon instead. And please, let's not discuss the merits of helmets.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is online now  
Likes For noglider:
Old 04-29-19, 05:51 PM
  #63  
Cycle Tourist
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 226
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
"I encounter fewer drivers acting crazy on a bike then when I drive. They generally feel less threatened."
Cycle Tourist is offline  
Old 04-29-19, 10:24 PM
  #64  
wipekitty
vespertine member
 
wipekitty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: from sea to shining sea!
Posts: 2,105

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 567 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 50 Posts
Oh yes - I used to get this all the time, especially when I was a younger woman, and especially when I attempted to bike commute in professional clothes (rather than looking like the hot mess of bike gear and social deviance that I go for now.)

Co-workers, family, concerned community members - you name it, everyone thought I was going to get hit by cars and die, get mugged after dark and die, or get too hot/cold (and of course die.).

My usual responses focus on things like my experience riding lots of roads in lots of places, route planning, safety features of my bicycle and gear, and bringing up the fact that people die in cars as well (and the bike might be safer, since there's more room to move.)

My favorite, if I'm feeling snarky, is the hardman response: "Oh, yeah, I've been hit a few times. Two were just a bump and didn't even knock me off the bike. The only bad one was back in '08 when I got smacked by a minivan. I broke a few ribs and couldn't sit for two weeks, but I made it to work on time, even worked part of the day before going to Urgent Care!" The reactions are priceless, and I usually do not get schooled on safety again
wipekitty is offline  
Old 04-30-19, 07:26 AM
  #65  
base2 
Senior Member
 
base2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 968

Bikes: N+1

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 509 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 65 Times in 45 Posts
Well, If I'm feeling curt, I usually just say: "Well, car drivers don't want to hit me either."

If they feel inclined to push the issue, then I usually respond with information overload. I extoll the virtues of speed limits, coming to a complete stop at stop signs, obeying all the traffic laws, how the brain/eyes do scanning & fill in the blanks...You are a good driver aren't you?

Then there's the bit about how as fast as cars are, they really aren't any faster from point A to point B for most trips. Partly because of traffic controls, but mostly because of other cars.

Then there's the bit about the danger to everybody else, (the reason for licensing standards, afterall.) & the $500/month obligation just to keep a car around just doesn't make a lot of sense financially, to me. I do have a car, but it's a dozen years old & paid for. "How's that extra shift at work working out for ya?"

I never need to find a parking spot & I can ride all the way to the time clock at work. Trip time is the same no matter which method I choose.

My health really isn't part of the discussion. I really don't think that is a factor in my bike riding. So, I don't bring it up. But the Mr. Metabolic Syndrome at work still gives me a look of disgust, so I must be doing something right.

Usually when I'm done, they are sorry they've asked.

Last edited by base2; 04-30-19 at 07:31 AM.
base2 is offline  
Old 04-30-19, 07:41 AM
  #66  
chas58
Senior Member
 
chas58's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3,553

Bikes: too many of all kinds

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 704 Post(s)
Liked 34 Times in 28 Posts
I just smile, nod, and say “will do”.

I’ve been bike commuting since 1975, so I’m aware – and awareness is key. Its something not everyone has (I cringe when I hear of people dying of the right hook). That said – everything changed about 15 years ago when cell phones got popular. Suddenly it is as if 10% of the drivers are drunk drivers. I tell my kids that they have to ride like people in cars are trying to kill you – as there is not much difference between someone on a cell phone not paying attention an someone who is trying to hit you. The results are too often the same.

So, I avoid routes with traffic as much as possible (unless I’m riding the same speed as traffic), and I always use a helmet mounted rear view mirror.


And oddly, Cars treat me more like a human when I’m wearing street clothes and no helmet, vs wearing lycra and a helmet. Something about the traditional bike outfit removes our humanity.
chas58 is offline  
Old 04-30-19, 07:50 AM
  #67  
acidfast7
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Posts: 8,570

Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid / 2013 Mango FGSS

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1053 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 24 Posts
Originally Posted by chas58 View Post


And oddly, Cars treat me more like a human when I’m wearing street clothes and no helmet, vs wearing lycra and a helmet. Something about the traditional bike outfit removes our humanity.
I agree.

Also, riding styles may differ between me commuting in my Birkenstocks and a lycra-clad race commuter boi with drop-bars.
acidfast7 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Keith777
Fitting Your Bike
0
09-18-17 12:04 PM
Nachoman
Road Cycling
12
07-30-16 01:50 AM
LlamaBikes
Bicycle Mechanics
12
03-17-15 04:29 PM
Ratherbesailing
Classic and Vintage Bicycles: Whats it Worth? Appraisals.
15
07-20-13 10:13 AM
tergal
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
17
03-21-13 05:55 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.