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Ride safe!

Old 05-09-13, 07:36 PM
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Ride safe!

Generally, I'm a pretty easy-going human being.

But when a car driver advises me to "Ride safe!", my tongue starts to swell, my fists clench and I feel like my blood pressure is going thru the roof.

To my mind.. even when meant in a "nice" way... it means I am riding an inherently unsafe vehicle and they are not.

No other way to interpret it.

And it just irritates me like nothing else.

Anyone else out there?
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Old 05-09-13, 08:26 PM
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No. I never take it that way if it's stated with a note of concern and respect. You know many of us cyclists are also part time cagers, as well. Therefore, we know how dangerously irresponsible many drivers can behave on the road. I know that I have warned other cyclists about being more mindful of safety while driving, myself. This usually occurs immediately after someone has either abruptly cut me off, or has committed some other type of mindless driving infraction.

I might lean over half pissed off, and say something like, "Hey man, you'd better be careful, you know it's crazy out here!". I know that I wouldn't be saying the same thing to another driver, because drivers aren't nearly as vulnerable as cyclists. Many times I feel that we, as cyclists, are essentially at the mercy of the very whims of drivers. Some drivers act like crazed lunatics with loaded guns!


However, I do kinda get where you're coming from, Gerv...

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Old 05-09-13, 09:01 PM
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There's a part of me that feels like you do. It does depend on the context and who is saying it. There may be a little bit of judgement that goes along with the genuine concern. However I just choose to ignore any judgement that might be present and assume that it's just their way of wishing me well.

I think if we are to be honest with ourselves, a good number of us believe that we are taking on some additional risks by playing on the streets amongst multi-ton vehicles without the benefits of airbags and crumple zones. And there's the fact that we are sometimes just not seen. My brother has a few titanium screws in his pelvis that frankly he wouldn't have had he been driving a car instead of on his bike.

I don't get upset when people tell me to drive safely when the roads are bad or if I'm going on a long road trip, so I'm not going to get upset if somebody tells me to ride carefully.
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Old 05-09-13, 09:40 PM
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I'm not sure, but I think that is meant as encouragement.

I did once have a driver slow down and thank me and my buddy for having such well-lit bikes when riding at dusk, though. (We had two PB superflashes each, so nothing particularly high tech was going on).
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Old 05-09-13, 10:12 PM
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Like people have said, probably depends on who is saying it, I say it to people when we leave at the same time from work just as I would say, drive safe, safe travels, get home safe etc.

That said I think that it is warranted to say similar things to some people not in such a nice way as I see a lot of people doing unsafe things around Chicago. Especially going the wrong way on narrow one way streets, many of which have no or few street lights, and many cyclists don't have bike lights. It makes me uneasy when this happens even when I am on my bike as 2 bikes (one on each side) one going with traffic, the other against, and a car in the middle...not a good position for anyone.

So I am for encouraging good behavior, for everyone.
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Old 05-09-13, 10:15 PM
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I would not think that phrase was meant with any negativity nor would I take it that way. To me it just means the same as when people say "drive safely". Nothing wrong with that.
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Old 05-10-13, 12:50 AM
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Ride safe!

Wow! I always thought "ride safe" was kindof bike-speak for "take care", a well-wishing...

Guess i'll go back to "may the sun shine on your face, and the wind blow at your back!"

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Old 05-10-13, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Generally, I'm a pretty easy-going human being.

But when a car driver advises me to "Ride safe!"...
I take it as an admission that drivers out there are a danger to society. My grandfather said that you should drive as though every other driver is insane. Many things in life irritate me more.
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Old 05-10-13, 08:13 AM
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Do motorists utter this from their cars? Never had that happen.

There is an underlying assumption that cycling is dangerouser (to coin a word) than being in a car. This is wrong, but most people believe it, so they think you're doing something especially dangerous by cycling. Remember their assumption and treat the utterance as the nonsense it is. But it's well intended, so just smile and wave.
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Old 05-10-13, 08:39 AM
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I would just assume the driver is also a cyclist and wishing you a good journey...like God speed.
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Old 05-10-13, 08:50 AM
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Like nails on a chalkboard. Every 4th grader knows that a verb is modified by an adverb, not an adjective.
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Old 05-10-13, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
I would just assume the driver is also a cyclist and wishing you a good journey...like God speed.
We have many drivers here that are also cyclists. I have had drivers with their windows down tell me, have fun, enjoy your ride, stay safe, etc....
Even more likely to get comments when I have one/some of my kids with me, either riding behind on own bike, tag along, etc...
Drivers w/ a cycling perspective will frequently roll down a window to say something to one of my boys.......
We also have the idiot drivers, too, so context here is everything.....
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Old 05-10-13, 11:43 AM
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Ride safe, have a safe ride, have a good ride, good day, good morning, have a good day, have a good evening, have a good weekend, all are pretty much the same thing to me.

So, to the OP, "ride safe"
There are bigger issues to deal with than someone wishing you well.

Of course, it does come down to intent and tone of voice at times.
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Old 05-10-13, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
Wow! I always thought "ride safe" was kindof bike-speak for "take care", a well-wishing...
That's the way friends and loved ones of mine have meant it. My family has always used "drive safe(ly)" as a shorthand for "I love you, take care, hope you arrive safely, etc".

To automatically presume that everyone saying this is part of The Great Conspiracy To Undermine Bicycling By Making It Appear Dangerous is silly.
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Old 05-10-13, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Generally, I'm a pretty easy-going human being.

But when a car driver advises me to "Ride safe!", my tongue starts to swell, my fists clench and I feel like my blood pressure is going thru the roof.

To my mind.. even when meant in a "nice" way... it means I am riding an inherently unsafe vehicle and they are not.

No other way to interpret it.

And it just irritates me like nothing else.

Anyone else out there?
Obviously, your reply should be "Who the @@@@ you think you are talking to?" And punch him in his face for his insolence and disrespect towards you!
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Old 05-10-13, 02:03 PM
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My standard reply to this advice is "the safer you drive, the safer I'll be"
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Old 05-10-13, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Generally, I'm a pretty easy-going human being.

But when a car driver advises me to "Ride safe!", my tongue starts to swell, my fists clench and I feel like my blood pressure is going thru the roof.

To my mind.. even when meant in a "nice" way... it means I am riding an inherently unsafe vehicle and they are not.

No other way to interpret it.

And it just irritates me like nothing else.

Anyone else out there?
You have a choice on how you want to interpret it. You can take it as you have, get all riled up and upset in your head, causing all sorts of bad chemicals to be released from some neurological center that does that stuff, OR, you can take it as that person might have a genuine interest in your well being.

I suppose the difference is, do you want to be angry or not?
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Old 05-10-13, 05:04 PM
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When someone gives you a compliment, are they implying some other flaws or deficiencies?
Is the glass half empty?
I think your taking it the wrong way in most cases.
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Old 05-10-13, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
There is an underlying assumption that cycling is dangerouser (to coin a word) than being in a car. This is wrong, but most people believe it, so they think you're doing something especially dangerous by cycling. Remember their assumption and treat the utterance as the nonsense it is. But it's well intended, so just smile and wave.
Yes exactly. That is the underlying assumption. It usually is (but not always, actually...) with good intentions.

As a society we tend to gloss over car accidents. We are immune to the many thousands of deaths each year... deaths in automobile. Bicycle deaths are much fewer and, percentage wise, it is about as dangerous to ride a bike as to drive a car.

Sometimes when people say "Ride safe!" I respond with " And you drive safe too!" (I say this with good intention... no sarcasm.)

I often get a puzzled look.
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Old 05-10-13, 07:54 PM
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My family tells me, "Be careful." Translation: we want you back home in one piece.
Co-workers tell me, "Be safe", or "Be careful." Translation: you're on a bike, cars are bigger and can crush you.

No one else says anything as well-meaning; I don't count the 'cheering on' from people who wish they were riding, that's different.
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Old 05-10-13, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Obviously, your reply should be "Who the @@@@ you think you are talking to?" And punch him in his face for his insolence and disrespect towards you!
That's sounds like a bad idea... many of them are bigger than me
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Old 05-10-13, 08:16 PM
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I tell people "drive safely", "be safe" or things like that when they're driving cars. Are you sure you're not being a bit over-sensitive?

And really, a bicycle IS less protective to its operator than a car is. It's not that bikes are particularly dangerous...but cars ARE particularly dangerous to cyclists. I got hit by one and was maimed for life...and I was "riding safe"--but that doesn't really stop someone else from swinging into oncoming traffic to make their left turn.
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Old 05-11-13, 07:36 PM
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Strange....I was going to refer to noglider's post about well-meaning nonsense. It was well-put. And you beat me to that quote.

Then I was going to refer to I-Like-To-Bike's answer along the lines of "Who the heck do you think you're talking to you.......etc, etc". But you beat me to that one, too. I'm often not fond of, what I perceive as, ILTBs crankiness. But that was a funny line, I gotta admit.

Anyway, I don't get a whole lot of comments from the autos. When I do my feelings depend on whether they were well-meaning or not. I'll forgive some real stupidity from those who mean well. And to paraphrase spikebike, when some Clyde in his Bonneville sticks his head out the window and barks like a dog at me I don't need to even understand what he's trying to say to know that he's an idiot.

But if well meaning dolts offered stupid advice regularly, then I'd probably get annoyed.
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Old 05-12-13, 03:38 PM
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I never take it badly. I just assume they searched for words to wish me well and that's what they came up with.
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Old 05-12-13, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Generally, I'm a pretty easy-going human being.

But when a car driver advises me to "Ride safe!", my tongue starts to swell, my fists clench and I feel like my blood pressure is going thru the roof.

To my mind.. even when meant in a "nice" way... it means I am riding an inherently unsafe vehicle and they are not.

No other way to interpret it.

And it just irritates me like nothing else.

Anyone else out there?
It's probably a genuine concern: ride safe; don't be hit or run over by one of us drivers. I'd appreciate the advice. A bike on the road with vehicles is so much more vulnerable than a vehicle. What were you expecting? A driver that says "Get off the road!"?
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