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Co-worker Reactions

Old 06-13-13, 04:06 PM
  #1  
fat_bike_nut
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Co-worker Reactions

Hey everyone,

first I'd like to apologize if this type of thread has been done before. I couldn't find any similar threads with the search function, and I didn't really want to resurrect any zombie threads from years and years ago. With that said, the topic!

I've been commuting by bike to my workplace for about 8 weeks. That's how long I've been employed at this job. Now, if you notice my location, you'll see that it's supposedly a bike-friendly city. People are supposed to be used to seeing cyclists here, right? Well, I've been going through weekly conversations with co-workers and people from other departments in my company that sorta go like this:

Them: "Hey, fat_bike_nut, you ride your bike to work?"
Me: "Yep."
Them: "Every day?"
Me: "Yep."
Them: "Why?"
Me: "Well, it's either this or MUNI. And for me, MUNI is a soul-sucking experience." (I left my car at my Mom's house, so I'm effectively car-free here. For those who don't know, MUNI is the local bus/light-rail/public transportation system for the city of San Francisco.)

The "soul-sucking experience" bit always has them cracking up. Another conversation that occurred when I first started working here (first couple of days) deals with the parking situation here. At my workplace, we only have street parking, no garage parking. If you park on the street where I work, you have to move your car every 2 hours starting at 8:00 A.M. or get a parking ticket. My shift starts way before then, so people only have to move their cars once during the work shift. Still seems inconvenient to me. At least with a bike, I just lock it to a rack located right outside the office door, and forget about it until the end of my shift.

Them: "Let's go move our cars. Hey, fat_bike_nut, aren't you coming with us?"
Me: "I rode my bike to work."
Them (nonplussed): "YOU RODE YOUR BIKE TO WORK???"
Me: "Yep."

I just love people's reactions to my cycling. It's like they think I'm some sort of crazy person for choosing to ride a bicycle to work everyday
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Old 06-13-13, 04:10 PM
  #2  
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I just tell them it's more fun than driving -- it's harder to argue with that.
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Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
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Old 06-13-13, 04:13 PM
  #3  
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I figured that if you were in the City you would treated to some anti-Critical Mass rant.
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Old 06-13-13, 04:20 PM
  #4  
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I ride to work occasionally. It is a 22 mile ride each way and I cross a state line (VA to MD). My co-workers are usually amazed. My Boss is a bike nut and gets a kick out of it. I get to put my bike in my office so they know when I ride to work. I kinda love some of their reactions. "You crossed state lines to ride a bike to work."

Essentially, I have one of the farthest commutes in the office, yet I am the only one willing to bike to work.
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Old 06-13-13, 04:29 PM
  #5  
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I'm a little surprised you get so many reactions like that in SF, but good for you, keep it up, before long you'll have them trained!

I've been bike commuting basically every day this year, and I still get people asking, "so, did you ride to work today?" And I just say, "Yep, every day!"

Also back on those like 4 or 5 days that it was rainy, people were gobsmacked (to use an excellent british word!) that I still rode my bike. I tell them I have the magical power of being waterproof. You can dump water all over me and it won't damage me at all. I don't even bother with fenders or raingear, down here in San Diego it's so few rainy days I just get wet. I have shower, locker, and towel at work, so the only concern is to wrap my work clothes in a plastic bag before I stick them in my (non-waterproof) panniers.

Keep up the good (riding to) work!
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Old 06-13-13, 04:32 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I'm a little surprised you get so many reactions like that in SF
Maybe they're just confused because it isn't a fixed gear and he rides more than a couple of hundred metres...
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Old 06-13-13, 04:35 PM
  #7  
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For me, it's not as big a deal. My employer encourages cycling into work. For a couple of reasons:

* High stress IT job, and the thought is, physical fitness counters stress.
* Parking is expensive downtown, and we're offered free parking. Fewer cars = Fewer parking passes to pay for
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Old 06-13-13, 04:43 PM
  #8  
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I'm proud to say that living in one of the most car-centric areas of the country that there are about 20 regular bike commuters in my office so nobody asks me any strange questions
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Old 06-13-13, 04:50 PM
  #9  
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Bike lanes and now bikeshare in New York City,
I'm not as unique as I was bike commuting 6 years ago.


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Old 06-13-13, 05:01 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by fat_bike_nut View Post
Hey everyone,

first I'd like to apologize if this type of thread has been done before. I couldn't find any similar threads with the search function, and I didn't really want to resurrect any zombie threads from years and years ago. With that said, the topic!

I've been commuting by bike to my workplace for about 8 weeks. That's how long I've been employed at this job. Now, if you notice my location, you'll see that it's supposedly a bike-friendly city. People are supposed to be used to seeing cyclists here, right? Well, I've been going through weekly conversations with co-workers and people from other departments in my company that sorta go like this:

Them: "Hey, fat_bike_nut, you ride your bike to work?"
Me: "Yep."
Them: "Every day?"
Me: "Yep."
Them: "Why?"
Me: "Well, it's either this or MUNI. And for me, MUNI is a soul-sucking experience." (I left my car at my Mom's house, so I'm effectively car-free here. For those who don't know, MUNI is the local bus/light-rail/public transportation system for the city of San Francisco.)

The "soul-sucking experience" bit always has them cracking up. Another conversation that occurred when I first started working here (first couple of days) deals with the parking situation here. At my workplace, we only have street parking, no garage parking. If you park on the street where I work, you have to move your car every 2 hours starting at 8:00 A.M. or get a parking ticket. My shift starts way before then, so people only have to move their cars once during the work shift. Still seems inconvenient to me. At least with a bike, I just lock it to a rack located right outside the office door, and forget about it until the end of my shift.

Them: "Let's go move our cars. Hey, fat_bike_nut, aren't you coming with us?"
Me: "I rode my bike to work."
Them (nonplussed): "YOU RODE YOUR BIKE TO WORK???"
Me: "Yep."

I just love people's reactions to my cycling. It's like they think I'm some sort of crazy person for choosing to ride a bicycle to work everyday
You should go with them when they move their cars... just shift your bike a bit along the way. Go for the laugh. "There, I'm done."
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Old 06-13-13, 05:02 PM
  #11  
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Co-workers--"nice bike, it looks old"
Me-"Yes, It's a 1972 PX-10"
Co-workers--"You ride your bike all the time,even in the crazy winter, why?"
Me--"I love riding my bikes'."
Coworkers--"How many DUI's do you have and when are you getting your license back?"
Me--"I don't have any DUI's, I don't drink. I have a perfect driving record and a valid license."
Co-workers--"You ride your bike on purpose?"
Me--"yes."
Co-workers--"You're crazy."
Me--"perhaps."
Co-workers--"I'm too fat to ride my bike every where, and I am out of shape."
Me--"Indeed."
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Old 06-13-13, 05:05 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by lawnerd View Post
I ride to work occasionally. It is a 22 mile ride each way and I cross a state line (VA to MD). My co-workers are usually amazed. My Boss is a bike nut and gets a kick out of it. I get to put my bike in my office so they know when I ride to work. I kinda love some of their reactions. "You crossed state lines to ride a bike to work."

Essentially, I have one of the farthest commutes in the office, yet I am the only one willing to bike to work.
What's your weekly mileage?
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Old 06-13-13, 05:09 PM
  #13  
caloso
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There are a few bike commuters in this office and the boss even hands out Bike Month Contributor certificates. But I still get this from my non-riding co-workers:

Winter: You didn't ride in this cold did you?
Spring: You didn't ride in this wind did you?
Summer: You didn't ride in this heat did you?
[Fall is actually perfect around here, so no one questions it. ]
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Old 06-13-13, 05:56 PM
  #14  
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I have about a 15 mile ride in. I wear my "regular" roadie clothes -- i.e., tights, bright jersey, etc. So I guess I look a little "weird" when I get to the office and walk over to where the showers are. I might get a few strange looks, but nobody ever really says anything.

I guess by now most people know who the regular-ish bike commuters are.
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Old 06-13-13, 09:05 PM
  #15  
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My fiancee recently started a new job, and recently started bike commuting to work. She works for a large company in their corporate office, and it seems she is the only one to bike commute. They offered to let her park her bike in the executive garage, which has already led to some notice from the higher ups and at least one free lunch. Seems the perception of biking to work in corporate America is pretty good.

Other than tripping over my bike occasionally, none of my coworkers/employees really give a **** that I ride to work outside of being afraid of me because I'll willingly ride a bike through a thunderstorm or blizzard instead of driving.
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Old 06-13-13, 09:49 PM
  #16  
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After 5 years of asking me these sorts of questions, my boss actually started bike commuting just a couple of weeks ago. I'm impressed as he's pushing 60 and it's a decent distance he's covering, around 15 km. He's probably going to wish he'd tried it earlier!
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Old 06-13-13, 09:52 PM
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"i can't believe you ride in the: snow / rain / heat / etc."

"well, i can't stop getting older, but i can stop getting fatter, and 10 miles is a waste of gas."
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Old 06-13-13, 10:19 PM
  #18  
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My co-workers have been very supportive. I'm the only person who has ever commuted by bike at my office (about 40 people). I've received nothing but encouragement. People are amazed I'm actually doing it and no one else has expressed the slightest interest in doing it themselves, but maybe that will eventually change. I've only been doing it for a month.
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Old 06-13-13, 10:36 PM
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I am usually the only person to ride to work at my office and I think people are past thinking about it. I keep my bike in my office so the reaction is more surprise if my bike is not there.

My problem will start next week when we move to a new building which is 5KM closer to my house than the building we are currently in. So going from about 15 Km to 10Km. As I have told my wife and co-workers I really have no excuse to ever drive my car to this premise. The savings in time from the car would be nil and it is hard to justify even starting the car for a 10 KM trip. As a benefitmm the new building has dedicated, secured bike parking in the underground garage.
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Old 06-13-13, 11:36 PM
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I work at a performance bike shop and only 5 out 20 or so employees bike to work. some people are impressed that i ride a 20in folding bike (45lb with stuff) and can ride up to 72 miles in a day with it if needed to.
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Old 06-14-13, 12:53 AM
  #21  
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I live and work in SF also. There are about 35 people in my office and I'm the only one that rides in. Everyone else drives including the two other SF people, one of which lives 1 mi away. They get $300 monthly parking subsidy too but they don't offer IRS $240/year allowance because it would cost too much.

Aside from the people in SF the commutes range from 20 to 110 miles (Clearlake, CA) one way.

Last edited by jsdavis; 06-14-13 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 06-14-13, 02:46 AM
  #22  
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My coworkers reactions? "You rode your bike? Good for you." When it's raining: "You rode your bike today? Be careful on the slick roads and watch for cars." Of course, I'm currently living in Taiwan so the culture is WAY more accepting of it.
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Old 06-14-13, 06:09 AM
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You have to move your cars every 2 hours?? Ta hell? All the more reason to take the BART! I can't wait to ride the BART!
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Old 06-14-13, 06:34 AM
  #24  
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I commute 14 miles per day. My coworkers give me a little grief but when I tell them that I have only bought one tank of gas in the last month they do think that is cool. The only problem I have is some smart ass thinks its funny to turn my head light on and leave it until I discover that it is on. When I find out who is doing it he will be buying me a pack of batteries. By the way I drive a RAM truck with the Hemi and I was buying $80.00 of gas every 10 days so only putting in $30.00 a month is very nice.
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Old 06-14-13, 07:41 AM
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whatever is said ... remember this ... chics dig legs man
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