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Meeting fellow commuters on the ride

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Meeting fellow commuters on the ride

Old 03-20-07, 09:36 AM
  #1  
rykoala
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Meeting fellow commuters on the ride

Last year I met another commuter. He is a roadie named Rene, and the dude is wickedly fast. He's very cool though and slows down and chats for a couple of minutes before he rockets off. I only run into him every few months. Last time I saw him, he asked me if I'd met Barney, a fellow commuter who's been commuting for a very long time.

Yesterday, I saw a bike ahead of me. The dude was NOT slow. I caught up to him at a stop light and lo and behold, its Barney. We chatted at a couple of stoplights before parting ways. He has been commuting for 20 years and rides what looks like an older Trek mountain bike with slicks. He does 17-18mph consistently which is pretty good in my book!

Now what prompted this post is the chain of events starting last night when I swapped rear wheels (back to my fixed gear wheel from my single speed wheel) and fixed a flat in the front and adjusted my rear u-brake (Ugh, hate it). I was up very late doing that, probably 2am. I need to get to bed earlier!

So this morning, I overslept by a long shot. I took my truck to work. On the way, who do I see? Rene. And a couple of minutes later? Barney. And here I am in my truck. Ugh. I don't share the same route as them anyway, but I wish I could have said hi.

So, do you have regulars that you know and say hi to every time? I think the comraderie is nice.
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Old 03-20-07, 09:46 AM
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The last guy I talked to was last year. He had a stokemonkey on an extracycle. That thing is fast.

Other than that, I see plenty of commuters out, but most of them are not going the same way, or if they are, I don't feel like slowing down.
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Old 03-20-07, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rykoala
He has been commuting for 20 years and rides what looks like an older Trek mountain bike with slicks. He does 17-18mph consistently which is pretty good in my book!
+1 on that. I recently added a computer to my commuter and now I can see just how slow I am going . Stupid computer

I wish I saw other commuters. I hear of other guys that do in the LBS, but I never see them. Although I commute at strange hours.
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Old 03-20-07, 09:51 AM
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My schedule is never consistent, so I rarely see the same commuters twice. Plus, there are so many bike commuters here--the sense of comraderie is probably not the same as where you are. However, when it is brutally cold out, there seems to be more comraderie.

At the few stoplights on my route I try to chat a bit.
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Old 03-20-07, 09:52 AM
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Actually, I feel almost as isolated on my bike as I imagine I would in a car. I can SEE cyclists off in the distance or on the sidewalk--most of these utility cyclists/commuters of some sort, but I'm the only one with a helmet and almost the only one with a rack and formal cargo carrying capacity (panniers, trunk bags, baskets). They ride everything from department store bikes to nice road bikes, but I rarely see any of them with a water bottle, much less other stuff. On the occasions when we pass they always seem to ignore me.

Of course, this is just the perspective of an isolated cycling enthusiast based almost entirely on repeated instances of a few seconds of visual observation, and I am in no way saying you have to have stuff to be "proper", but I wonder if my own stuff is putting them off. This is my third week of commuting five or six days a week in my city.
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Old 03-20-07, 10:00 AM
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I don't mind being alone on my ride. It's my me time. I have a few regulars I nod too, and a couple folks who do the same route I wind up at a light with every once in a while.

There's a lady I always see going the opposite way on a good utility bike. I've been giving a polite for a few years but it's never returned. I picture her working at a library or science lab or something. Very introverted. Is it weird to want to discretly follow her to work just to satisfy my own curiousity? Yes. I shouldn't have asked.
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Old 03-20-07, 10:01 AM
  #7  
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I'm on waving terms with around a dozen commuters I see somewhat regularly, and there's a couple of folk that I'll chat with for a bit as we go along. It's one of the pluses of bike commuting for me.
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Old 03-20-07, 10:02 AM
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No. No other commuters in Boston.

I kid. I see plenty and try to be friendly. If I leave work right at 5, there is one woman I regularly pass on my climb home (haven't seen her since it got snowy, though). I feel a little bad that I'm spinning my road bike up the hill at about 12-14 MPH and she's grinding her MTB with a milk crate up at about half that. She's also got a decent sized American flag sticking out of the milk crate. I'm also cheating because I would guess she has 15-20 years on me.

We always smile and say hi.
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Old 03-20-07, 10:30 AM
  #9  
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I run into other commuters on occasion, but never any regulars that share my route whom I talk to. There was a guy who I'd see once a week or so last september. He was faster than I, and would just zip on by without saying a word. He shared my bus route, too, but he almost always got the bus ahead of the one I was shooting for.
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Old 03-20-07, 10:47 AM
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I run into queerpunk from BF every once in a while. We usually end up grabbing a lane for ourselves and chatting on the way to work. Other times I'll see a dude on a mtb w/ ape hangers (I guess he likes the big bmx feel?) w/ a bmx helmet. He's more interested in dusting me whenever I pass him so I've never talked to him.
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Old 03-20-07, 10:52 AM
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My experience is similar to Prime Directive's. I see a lot of people folks riding bikes to their jobs, but I rarely have a chance to strike up conversations because they are usually riding on the wrong side of the street. I have had a handful of chats with other commuters, while stopped at intersections, but because few cyclists here stop for signals or signs, encounters of this kind are rare.
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Old 03-20-07, 11:54 AM
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I've talked to a guy on a 'bent a few times and I see a couple of regulars going the opposite way. I saw a guy going the other way in the exact same place every day for a week (at slightly different times even), but haven't seen him since. I ran into one of the guys that works an LBS on my route home. I chatted with him at a light and dropped him like a bad habit. There's also a lady I see walking her dog about three times a week and she always smiles and waves as if she is amazed to see me each time.
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Old 03-20-07, 12:03 PM
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I've seen one (1) - count 'em- one other guy on my route this whole winter. He was coming the other way over a huge climb. All I could see was his bike light until he flew by me on his decent. That hill humbles you. Maybe that's why he never passed me again - wuss.
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Old 03-20-07, 12:06 PM
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I've talked to three in about 8 months. Once each, and two of them were riding together. One was riding a bent with a helmet on (remember seeing her before I started bike commuting) and her friend on a mtb with no helmet.

The last was a few weeks ago at a light he'd just missed. Turns out we share the same route for about 500yds. He looked much faster(?) than me, and has been doing it much longer. I'd never seen him before, and not since.

I wave to EVERYONE on two wheels if I can, and almost always get one back. Kind of an anonymous comraderie, I guess.
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Old 03-20-07, 12:21 PM
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Im the slowest guy on my commute. Girls in schwinn cruisers and sandals blow by me. =(

Originally Posted by cooperwx
I wave to EVERYONE on two wheels if I can, and almost always get one back. Kind of an anonymous comraderie, I guess.
never seen anyone wave here, unless you know them.. On my commute youd wave like 1000 times =p
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Old 03-20-07, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by lima_bean
... On my commute youd wave like 1000 times =p
In that case, my arm would prolly get tired

I see about 5-7 cyclists a week...
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Old 03-20-07, 01:19 PM
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I usually end up riding a lot faster if I see someone I recognise on my commute - trying to keep up. I do exchange nods/waves with a number of commuters who go the other way on the MUP. I usually recognise bikes/lights rather than people
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Old 03-20-07, 01:33 PM
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I see tons of rec cyclists and roadies, but very few commuters, other than the guys from my LBS who usually ride in, but at different times than I do. In the winter I don't see much of anyone, unless we get a bright, sunny, fairly warm day.
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Old 03-20-07, 01:42 PM
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I see lots of students and a few commuters but I haven't talked to any. I wave sometimes or nod.
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Old 03-20-07, 02:30 PM
  #20  
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Rarely am I going the same speed and direction as anyone I see. Morning ride is pitch-black, evening ride, I'm usually a little breathless, since it's mostly up a shallow grade and usually into a headwind. I only ever see bikes going the other way, with very rare exceptions - there's a local racer kid who rides in Texas Christian University kit who passed me once, and an old guy on a Litespeed, who told me I get around pretty good on that "hybrid" (Fisher Supercal 29er ), but they're anomalies.

Occasionally I'll see another bike on the train and chat a bit with the rider, though.
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Old 03-20-07, 03:05 PM
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I run into people in the gym or locking up at the racks occasionally. One guy followed me into DC after work one day (I didn't live there at that time) and helped me out when I got compeltely lost. (he followed me because I had an extra frame on my backpack and he was curious). I've seen him a few more times locking up, but not really much more than that.

There's one lady that I usually pass on an x-mart bike going the other way on the sidewalk, and when I'm running late, an older lady with grey hair and no helmet going the other way on a very old 10- or 12- speed.
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Old 03-20-07, 06:27 PM
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There are way too many cyclists and moped/scooter riders on my commute (hundreds to thousands daily), and I've never noticed whether I see the same people at all. The only conversation I've had was with a moped rider in gloves and a tuque who couldn't believe I wasn't wearing either (though I had my helmet on).
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Old 03-20-07, 07:37 PM
  #23  
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will put on a firesuit before completing this opinion-
my feeling is that this is a matter of bike culture-
not sure if it is good or bad.
BF posts are constantly full of references to being dropped by someone or
dusting someone or pumping out 400 watts.
the pack mentality- lead, follow or get out of the way. my feeling this comes
from the toy aspect of cycling, commuting is more about the tool aspect of cycling.
so the next time you are at a stop light with another cyclist, instead of dusting him/her
at the light change- continue the conversation by biking with that person (if the person
wants to be engaged). this process may evolve into a stronger commuting community ?
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Old 03-20-07, 07:47 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by martianone
will put on a firesuit before completing this opinion-
my feeling is that this is a matter of bike culture-
not sure if it is good or bad.
BF posts are constantly full of references to being dropped by someone or
dusting someone or pumping out 400 watts.
the pack mentality- lead, follow or get out of the way. my feeling this comes
from the toy aspect of cycling, commuting is more about the tool aspect of cycling.
so the next time you are at a stop light with another cyclist, instead of dusting him/her
at the light change- continue the conversation by biking with that person (if the person
wants to be engaged). this process may evolve into a stronger commuting community ?
If we stopped at a light, I would not acknowledge you. When the light was about to change, I would give you THE LOOK, snear, then totally drop you.

Kidding. I agree with you completely. A great thing about the bike is that we're more connected to our surroundings and people around us. Once I'm out of Boston proper, I too try to wave or in someway acknowledge anyone not in a car, and, sometimes, even with people in cars.

(newbojeff waves to martianone)
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Old 03-20-07, 08:05 PM
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I have one particular commuter that I see if I'm running about 15 minutes late... he's tried to kill me on at least two occasions. (Once running a stop sign within six inches to my right and yesterday he passes me on the left in the left turn lane after I stopped and then cuts right in front of me running the stop sign just as I'm going. )
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