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What do your neighbors really think?

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What do your neighbors really think?

Old 02-26-13, 07:28 AM
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NOS88
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What do your neighbors really think?

This morning I left early. So, my commute started before daylight (unusual in late Feb. for me). My neighbor John works construction. So, he's almost leaving his house around 5:30 a.m. I'm pushing off down my driveway when he opens his front door and see me. He waves and then shakes his head while smiling. John's about 25 years younger than me and a strong, fit person. Yet, on more than one occassion he's asked why I ride year round. I've told him, it's because I get cranky when I don't. He just smiles and shakes his head. It makes me wonder what he really thinks and what the other neighbors think since they often do the same... smile, wave, and shake their heads.

Edit: Oops. Sorry about the title. It should read, "What do your neighbors really think?"

Update: I had a chance to speak with John later in the day. I told him he was shaking his head when he waved in the moring. He laughed and said, "I was thinking, wow. I'm not the only one up this early." I said, that I thought maybe it was about my commuting by bicycle. He laughed once again and said, "No, when we moved in Brett & Lauren (another set of neighbors) told us that you were a biker. At first I thought that meant you had motorcycles. But it was clear after the first few weeks they meant bicycles."
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Old 02-26-13, 07:48 AM
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Some of mine have thought I was a bit wacky for years.

The usual question I get from casual acquaintances is "you still riding your bike?" It's usually a bit derisive. This, despite the fact that I also do triathlon. Keep in mind, I live in a small CnTX town of 8,000 or so. Folks really like to ask this in cold weather, as if you can't ski or do snow sports in cold weather.

Then, as a Board member of the local Chamber of Commerce, I started up a yearly ride that, the first year, drew 125 people, 80 out-of-towners. This year it will probably bring 600-800 people to town, some for two days of riding, and now I'm not so wacky. In fact, I constantly get offers to help.
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Old 02-26-13, 08:25 AM
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I don't commute but when they see me leave then arrive home 6 or 8 hours later they give me that (are you crazy or stupid?) head shake.

I had one say once "You are either committed or should be!" That tells me what he is really thinking.
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Old 02-26-13, 08:32 AM
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I really wouldnt worry about what your neighbors or other people think. Most of them dont anyway!!!
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Old 02-26-13, 08:44 AM
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I don't care what they think, as long as they stay off my lawn...j/k! Most of mine think it's great that I ride, but so far I haven't been able to convince anyone to join me.
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Old 02-26-13, 09:15 AM
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I'll suit-up and ride in the not so cold SoCal rain. That gets the heads nodding as if to say nut-case.

Beer gutted neighbor, cigarette in one hand, beer in the other, as I'm leaving, "be careful out there." Say what!(i'm thinking) Poor guy is about 52 w/one foot in the grave.
His Sister is having chemo & still smokes! Nunya business, so leave it along John.

The 1/2 mile ride home from grocery shopping is when it really happens. I look like a tramp.
Gallon of 1% milk on each bar end and the rack with 10# of potatoes + 1/2 dozen bags draped over it.
The 80# bike.
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Old 02-26-13, 09:28 AM
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I don't think my neighbors have ever noticed. Oh, wait, one kid from across the street walked over to give us a flier for the charity ride his church was doing.

So, okay, maybe some have noticed. But none have ever said anything, even when they see me leave for work in the 5:30AM darkness, occasional rain or whatever.

They probably just think we're "Bicycle People"and leave us alone . . . mostly harmless.

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Old 02-26-13, 09:32 AM
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My neighbor thinks I'm nuts for riding 35 miles a day. He primarily works from home but has to go to his office twice a week and complains about the 28 mile, one way drive. He can't comprehend me riding a bike further than his drive to the office. When I tell him of my 50 and 60 mile rides he just shakes his head. I really enjoy talking to him about my rides because I look at my 66 year old, 145 lb. body that doesn't take medications and then look at his 55 year old, overweight body with severe dunlop at the waistline, who takes medications and say, "That's why I do it!"
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Old 02-26-13, 09:39 AM
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I'm not sure a construction worker is a fair choice for this comparison. They work long days and get pleanty of exercise while hauling heavy equipment around. I wouldn't feel bad if my construction worker neighbor (roofing) shook his head. The retail sales clerk on the other side of him however is another case. Him I try to convince that a "ride" isn't mowing the lawn on Sunday.

I don't commute, but since I'm retired, most of my neighbors are used to seeing me on the road(s). Most of them feel it's good that an old geezer can still get around like that. The rest wonder how come I look 15 years younger than I am.
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Old 02-26-13, 10:01 AM
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Our neighbors think it's great. It's my family that think I'm nuts.

Well, not my wife and kids. My mother and siblings do.

I had a crash in 2008 (blown tire) in which I broke my clavicle in two places, broke several ribs, got a minor punctured lung, and some nasty road rash, some of it scraping down to the bone.

Spent a couple of days in the hospital (I think they were concerned about the pneumothorax), and when I got home, my sister looked at my slinged and bandaged self and quipped:

"Maybe this will finally knock some sense into him."

Which got nodding recognition from my other siblings. My wife laughed:

"If you really believe that, you don't know him very well."
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Old 02-26-13, 10:03 AM
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I don't know what they think, but I've never seen any of my (adult) neighbors on a bicycle.
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Old 02-26-13, 10:04 AM
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They think of me with awe and envy.

At least, that's what I think they think.
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Old 02-26-13, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by pursuance View Post
I'll suit-up and ride in the not so cold SoCal rain. That gets the heads nodding as if to say nut-case.
.
Some of those same people probably go snow skiing and think nothing of it.
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Old 02-26-13, 10:19 AM
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For the most part, they've been pretty supportive. We've got a handful of roadies in the neighborhood dozens of cruiser type bikers. When I first started using clipless pedals I fell right in front of my garage and the neighbors rushed over thinking I had had a heart attack. But when they realized I was actually tying my feet to the pedals they walked away shaking their heads
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Old 02-26-13, 10:27 AM
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Our neighbors saw us riding and last summer started riding a little bit themselves. Don't know if they'll pick it up again this year.
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Old 02-26-13, 10:45 AM
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Most of my neighbors are active in some sort of outdoor activity. A couple are cyclists. I usually get the nod for being the oddball because of my past touring exploits. My last tour I rode through two days of hurricane related weather to complete a tour turning down numerous offers of rescue.
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Old 02-26-13, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I really wouldnt worry about what your neighbors or other people think. Most of them dont anyway!!!
That's not been my experience at all.
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Old 02-26-13, 10:59 AM
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The only comment I've ever gotten was "Wow, your light is really bright!"
I have a MagicShine that is indeed pretty darn bright for a bike light, and I commute year around.

At the college I'm often asked when it rains or is cold "Did you ride today?"
I think they like it when I say "yes." They are both proud and amazed.
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Old 02-26-13, 11:09 AM
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No need to explain the bike riding to the neighbors, just driving a smart car explains it ALL
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Old 02-26-13, 12:33 PM
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Most of my neighbours thought I was mad. Took a while but I made the offer to one of them to come and join us on a Sunday. He ran in the other direction as there was no way he was going out with nutters like us as we were too fit but I set a bike up for him in the shed and told him to take it out anytime on his own. Took 2 years before he took up the offer and 18 months later--I don't ride with him as he is too fit. Another neighbour wanted to get into cycling and I loaned him a bike. He is a gym fanatic and his 3rd ride was a 65 miler with hills. He said it killed him but looked at his computer and no wonder he was tired. 3hrs for a metric is good in anyones eyes. He has his own bike now but only rides in the summer when he is not playing Rugby or Football or running for the local athletics club.

The other neighbours still think I am mad but I now have friends.
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Old 02-26-13, 01:23 PM
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I haven't gotten any negative comments or looks from my neighbors...

But I have to admit to being intimidated a little: When it's cold and flurrying a little it may be fine to ride -- but I think: "My neighbors will KNOW I'm crazy!" -- and so I talk myself out of it.

What a Whimp!
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Old 02-26-13, 01:30 PM
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I only have 2 immediate sets of neighbors.. the place next door is my parents (my father is a rec rider), and on the other side is my brother in law and sisters place (BIL used to MTB race and is a serious road rider) sooooooooo I get nothing but support.
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Old 02-26-13, 01:37 PM
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My neighbors think, "If his damn dog poops on my lawn one more time I'm going to put the turd in his mailbox."

Regarding cycling, I ride a bent, so I'm not going to be nominated for the Average Joe of the Year award.

They do note that sometimes I'm gone for hours and come back really tired. I think they just feel sorry for me, to be honest.
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Old 02-26-13, 02:00 PM
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Train station is only 2.5 miles away for me --so I can be brave and do heavy snow and super cold. Some of my neighbors are starting to ride (or thinking about it). Cool.
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Old 02-26-13, 02:07 PM
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Living in apartments you have too many neighbors too close to get into everyone else's business so I don't get much feedback. I'm not sure I want to know what they think about it in private... A few years ago a kid asked me if I was a bum (I told him I didn't have to drive to work every day because I was computer smart, and I think he bought it) but most of them give me a cheery Hey Mr Bill. It all reflects their parents' attitudes at home so I imagine the opinions run the whole gamut.
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