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How Do You Deal?

Old 10-05-05, 02:12 PM
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New2Cycling
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How Do You Deal?

When I tell people I bike to work, they tell me about all of the dangers of cycling and the road. There are times I don't even want to say anything, because I don't feel like hearing about all the dangers. What are things you say to coworkers? Thanks.
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Old 10-05-05, 02:16 PM
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Tell them its safer than eating fast food and living a sedentary lifestyle.
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Old 10-05-05, 02:19 PM
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I tend to only care what a select few people think.
I would laugh in their face and walk away. Or at least laugh at their midsection and then walk away.
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Old 10-05-05, 02:26 PM
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Here's a couple you can use according to the person:
--It's safer to ride on the road than to walk across intersections or across the street.
--It's much safer than riding a scooter or motorcycle.
--It's even safer than driving a pickup truck, even a monster pick up truck.
--It's safer than riding on multipurpose pathways
--It's so much safer than not exercising 3 times a week and going for bypass surgery

Have fun, and don't sweat it. Goal is not to convince. Goal is to plant seeds of doubt. The fact that the person is raising the question, means they are intrigued. Some of these will eventually grow to embrace cycling. They are not really raising objections. They are looking for reasons they can give to venture out of safe space and try cycling again.
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Old 10-05-05, 02:28 PM
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The typical response I get is astonishment at the fact that I bike 12.5 miles, not concern for my safety. But, I usually just respond with some non-chalant answer, something that let's them know, "I've heard it before." Convincing doesn't work, but seeing me alive, day after day, might make a dent. If someone really wants to know, I explain the statistics (most injuries on bikes involve no other bikes or vehicles; most deaths occur to unlit bikes at night; etc.) and how biking on the street makes me visible and safer, that only if there is interest, not judgment.
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Old 10-05-05, 02:32 PM
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"I don't worry about it, and you needn't, either"
or
"No sweat... my policy is all paid up."
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Old 10-05-05, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by New2Cycling
When I tell people I bike to work, they tell me about all of the dangers of cycling and the road. There are times I don't even want to say anything, because I don't feel like hearing about all the dangers. What are things you say to coworkers? Thanks.
my phrase for a while has been "are you kidding? it's great out, i'd be crazy NOT to ride".

i think i'll say this through the winter as well.

or a better dismissive is "sounds good", "OK" "sounds great", "you bet", or "how 'bout those Broncos". these are my standard workplace elevator responses when i go to my job every day to play office.
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Old 10-05-05, 02:56 PM
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"How can you stand driving every day?
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Old 10-05-05, 02:59 PM
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A bland "Thank you for your concern" works well.
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Old 10-05-05, 02:59 PM
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I say: It's not as bad as it looks. A road always looks harder to ride from a car than on a bike.
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Old 10-05-05, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by New2Cycling
When I tell people I bike to work, they tell me about all of the dangers of cycling and the road. There are times I don't even want to say anything, because I don't feel like hearing about all the dangers. What are things you say to coworkers? Thanks.

I have the same problem when people find out I ride motorcycles. I'm usually treated to the "they knew someone who was killed, maimed, rendered brain dead" in a motorcycle crash story. While it amazes me that these same people know far more people who have been injured by car crashes and it never crosses their mind to tell driving horror stories I realize that they are well meaning. They mean no harm. If someone really irritates me I might come back with, "yeah, it's dangerous but last week I burned the roof of my mouth on a slice of hot pizza, and I'm having pizza again for lunch today. I just love living in the fast lane"
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Old 10-05-05, 03:00 PM
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Say something like...

Since the dangers of cycling usually involve inattentive drivers, pay attention and don't kill me. Thanks.
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Old 10-05-05, 03:08 PM
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Hasnt come up. Everybody is too busy telling me how good i look since i've lost 45+ lbs since May. Im gonna hear it about the motorcycle im sure.
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Old 10-05-05, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rjkresse
Say something like...

Since the dangers of cycling usually involve inattentive drivers, pay attention and don't kill me. Thanks.
I respond similarly when told how unsafe it is to bike on the roads like I do. I also use "I'm not going to melt" when questioned about riding in the rain.
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Old 10-05-05, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by FatguyRacer
Hasnt come up. Everybody is too busy telling me how good i look since i've lost 45+ lbs since May. Im gonna hear it about the motorcycle im sure.
congratulations man that's awesome!

I dont mind the concerns for safety, etc.. I just nod and say yeah, ok, it's really not that bad. What really bothers me is people who almost seem to pity me "oh do you need a ride home? Are you going to be ok?" uhh.. no thanks, and yeah.. I'm fine. wtf people, I'm just riding a bike!
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Old 10-05-05, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by joejack951
I also use "I'm not going to melt" when questioned about riding in the rain.
Or... the acid rain is good for my skin. It's like a chemical peel. So I get a workout and a facelift. Can't get that in a car.
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Old 10-05-05, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by nitroRoo
wtf people, I'm just riding a bike!
Nuh-uh. What you're REALLY doing is saying, "I'm not a part of your value/status system, where Car = Status." The logical response is pity.
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Old 10-05-05, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nitroRoo
What really bothers me is people who almost seem to pity me "oh do you need a ride home? Are you going to be ok?" uhh.. no thanks, and yeah.. I'm fine.
Noooooo ! What you do is agree with them, say its terrible and dangerous. But that your bike wont fit in their car on the way home. And if they could give you 20 bucks to get a cab with bike rack. Most will walk away and stop ever bothering you.

If they do give you 20 bucks, take it, thanking them profusely, then ride home. If they ask for the money back, just blink and say "what money". Soon they too will stop pestering you.
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Old 10-05-05, 08:55 PM
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Your managers are just concerned about productivity. Damn if he get's hit, I'll have to train another". A friend of mine, predicted with all sincerity that another mutual friend, would soon be injured, because she was a bicycle messenger. "Mark my words" Sadly, that guy is now a gork from having a heart attack and being w/o air for too long. The woman is still making deliveries and no injuries. The prediction was made 2 years ago and the guy is only 46. Trouble is that doing nothing is much more likely to kill you. Less than a thousand people are killed on their bikes a year, and only some of those entail cars. People are more than 3x more likely to be killed by a gun, then on a bike.

Number of deaths for leading causes of death

Heart Disease: 696,947
Cancer: 557,271
Stroke: 162,672
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,816
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 106,742
Diabetes: 73,249
Influenza/Pneumonia: 65,681
Alzheimer's disease: 58,866
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 40,974
Septicemia: 33,865
--
Accidents involve bicycling, <1000.

Last edited by slagjumper; 10-05-05 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 10-05-05, 09:14 PM
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Point out that by exposure-hour (time is the usual measuring rod for a commute), your twice as likely to die in an automobile as on a bicycle.

Seems like you're making the smart move to me.
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Old 10-05-05, 09:29 PM
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I very flippantly, cheerfully, and manically agree with them.

"Oh yes, indeed I'm insane. I get terribly sweaty; I bet I smell awful right now. And certainly I am going to get creamed by a bus; if I'm lucky, I might even get hit on my way home tonight. Oh, and all those scary men out there--betcha I get sexually harrassed, at least and maybe even mugged before the week's out. Dogs? Oh yep, I had a Rottweiler clamped to my left buttock half the way in this morning. Cold? You betcha--I had to break off the snotsicles before I came in the front door. Inconvenient? Sure. I had to get up half an hour before I went to bed to get to work. Am I crazy? What do you think?"
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Old 10-05-05, 09:35 PM
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Most comments I get are positive. I tell them that I am hardly every "not seen" any danger is usually intentional from drivers who are annoyed by my being on the road.

On a similar note, I've met three other cyclists, (two commuting, one working out), who all, somewhat accusingly, questioned my commuting on a certain road. They all said things equivalent to, "Isn't there a lot of traffic on Jupiter?"

I would expect this type of question from non-cyclists but was taken aback by it coming from other riders. The odd thing is that we were on roads just as busy if not busier when the inquiries came up. Go figure.
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Old 10-05-05, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by As You Like It
I very flippantly, cheerfully, and manically agree with them.

"Oh yes, indeed I'm insane. I get terribly sweaty; I bet I smell awful right now. And certainly I am going to get creamed by a bus; if I'm lucky, I might even get hit on my way home tonight. Oh, and all those scary men out there--betcha I get sexually harrassed, at least and maybe even mugged before the week's out. Dogs? Oh yep, I had a Rottweiler clamped to my left buttock half the way in this morning. Cold? You betcha--I had to break off the snotsicles before I came in the front door. Inconvenient? Sure. I had to get up half an hour before I went to bed to get to work. Am I crazy? What do you think?"

LOL. i picture you following them manically as they try to retreat, chasing them down stairwells and into the parking lot still listing all the various terrible things they haven't thought of, until they break into a run to get away. i've never tried it, but that could be fun.

hasn't happened to me with cycling, but this summer i started to think i'd lose it if one more person told me one more time about how throwing sidearm is not a good thing and my kid should stop. if they really had that incurable-egotist look in their eyes and it was clear nothing was going to cheat them of the satisfaction of Conferring Knowledge on me, i took to just closing my eyes carefully and standing like that while i waited for them to run down, then opening them once we had a real silence and saying very slowly and carefully, 'i know that.' i cannot tolerate people who are so busy listening to their own voice that they can't be bothered to check on the person they're using for the excuse to exercise it.
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Old 10-06-05, 05:24 AM
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I say it's safer than rotting behind a desk all day without exercizing.
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Old 10-06-05, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by slagjumper
Number of deaths for leading causes of death

Heart Disease: 696,947
Cancer: 557,271
Stroke: 162,672
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,816
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 106,742
Diabetes: 73,249
Influenza/Pneumonia: 65,681
Alzheimer's disease: 58,866
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 40,974
Septicemia: 33,865
--
Accidents involve bicycling, <1000.
Not that I don't agree with you, but these statistics, like most, are misleading at best. Many of those people dying from these diseases are simply dying of old age. The disease is listed as the cause of death, but how many 92 year olds are killed on bicycles every year?

A more accurate statistic would take into consideration the ages of the bicyclists, and compare that to the people dying from disease of similar ages.

But I agree with you in spirit. It's far better to enjoy the life you have and do the things you want while managing risk than it is to slowly dry up and crumble into dust.

Az
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