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Passing someone with a flat

Old 09-12-07, 11:28 AM
  #1  
coolbrew
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Passing someone with a flat

The other day, while driving in my car, I passed a rider who was changing a flat. He seemed to have everything under control and looked like he knew what he was doing. Even though he looked ok, I felt like I should pull over and see if he needed any help. I didn't, but felt I should have. Should I have? What is proper thing to do if I'm riding by in a car? If I was on a bike, I would have stopped. What does everyone think?
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Old 09-12-07, 11:38 AM
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I was on my way to a ride and was running late. I stopped anyway and was able to offer my floor pump at just the exact moment he was getting ready to put air in the tire.

If I had not had my bicycling stuff, about the only thing I could have offered is moral support or a ride if he could not have gotten it fixed.
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Old 09-12-07, 11:55 AM
  #3  
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I only ask people if I'm on my bike... which I normally am anyways. I carry lots of tools with me because I break stuff all the time. And so far, 100% of the people I've asked have denied help. I guess it's good karma anyways though.
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Old 09-12-07, 12:23 PM
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It depends.

If it looks like everything is under control, I'll just keep driving. If I can, I'll ask if everything is OK.

If everyone is standing around looking like they are hoping something will happen, I'll pull over and try to help.
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Old 09-12-07, 12:31 PM
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I don't stop while in my car, unless they look like they need help (by waving me down, or they have that look of dispair), as I'd stop for anyone with a mechanical, car or bike.

If I'm on my bike, I always ask if they are o.k., as I'm going past. If they say"o.k." I don't stop. So far, believe it or not, no one has every said they needed help.
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Old 09-12-07, 02:35 PM
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if it looks like they know what they're doing, sometimes i'll just ask anyways...you never know. I have problems seeing closeup without my glasses and so fixing flats is kind of hard for me...and the new wheels with the deeper rims are hard too. SO i'm happy if someone offers...
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Old 09-12-07, 04:53 PM
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Depends on the area, too. If it is a remote or rural area then I ask if they are OK.

I was changing a flat a couple of weeks ago on a country road and someone stopped to ask if I needed help. Even though I didn't, it was good to have the opportunity to say "No, thanks." It was good to have someone in a car treat me with respect for a change.
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Old 09-12-07, 05:18 PM
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I always stop. You never know when it'll be you on the shoulder fixing a tire and having something go wrong.
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Old 09-12-07, 05:38 PM
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On my bike, I always ask, "Do you have what you need?" In my car with my bike gear, I stop and ask if they want to use my floor pump to make sure they have adequate pressure (& maybe conserve cartridges--this happened just last weekend). In my car without bike gear when it's raining, I may stop and ask a rider if he/she needs a ride home or somewhere out of the rain. Karma.
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Old 09-12-07, 05:46 PM
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I would definitely stop my car and offer help only if the cyclist was a nice looking chick. Otherwise, I'd keep going. While on my bike I asking everyone if they're ok.

Last edited by roadfix; 09-12-07 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 09-12-07, 06:36 PM
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The man thing is to deny any need for help. Am I mostly correct here? If you're on your bike, then you can assess his progress by stopping and observing. Some small talk without asking if he needs help is good. But if he's got the bike upside down, then you already know the situation.
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Old 09-12-07, 06:43 PM
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On the bike I always ask "Do you have everything that you need?"

Gosh, it must be 10 years since I've passed a cyclist with a flat tire while in my car (other than doing tech support on a big ride). I not only lent my floor pump but actually pumped up the tire for the rider.

On the other end: I once flatted on a heavily traveled section of Missouri's Katy Trail. Now I'm a bike mechanic, I have everything that I need and I am fully competant to handle my own flat tires. In the 5 or 10 minutes or so that it took to fix the flat I got so many offers to help that it was almost aggrivating.

In the interest of full disclosure I'm male, was 50 something at the time, balding and, I suppose, not particularly attractive to anybody but my wife. I guess that midwest folks just like being helpful.
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Old 09-12-07, 07:19 PM
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I stop to ask if I'm in a position to do so. Once I took a short ride on a vintage bike with tubulars. It turned into a longer ride and suddenly I found myself 10 miles outta town when the rear tire blew. I wasn't carrying a spare tire and I'd have been screwed if a guy in a pickup truck hadn't come along and asked if I needed help. I don't even know if he was a cyclist but he let me put my bike in the back and gave me a ride. There are many nice people out there so I feel I should return the favor.
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Old 09-12-07, 07:24 PM
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I always stop, but then again, I don't drive. If I am in a car with someone and I see someone in trouble I will ask the driver to stop and render assistance if need be.

Cheers,

Brian
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Old 09-12-07, 07:34 PM
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I'll stop on the bike, but not in the car, unless I see that they don't have a way of fixing the problem (pushing/carrying the bike) then I'll offer a lift or use of my tools.

Surprisingly I have run into a LOT of people who would prefer to push a bike a ways then to accept help.

Ken.
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Old 09-12-07, 08:28 PM
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I ran into this exact situation two weeks ago. They were about half way between Farmington and Albuquerque, which is a long ways from anywhere. Two girls, and they didn't look helpless, but I stopped anyway. No tools or tubes, but I had the receiver rack on at the time. They didn't want a lift, and it really looked like they had it under control. Still, I'm glad I stopped.
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Old 09-12-07, 08:58 PM
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If I see a guy who has an expensive bike and an array of tools in an urban environment, there is no way I'd stop. If I was 30 miles from no where in New Mexico, or in the middle of somewhere dangerous like Pontiac, I'd stop regardless.
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Old 09-12-07, 09:07 PM
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Michigander, what if it's a person with an expensive bike, an array of tools, in an urban environment, and he/she is wearing his/her G.O.A. riding jersey?
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Old 09-12-07, 09:10 PM
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This arrogant roadie (see lovely roadie bashing threads in the commuting forum for sarcasm reference) stops or at least slows down and asks virtually everyone if they either have everything they need or are okay when they have a flat irregardless bike type.
The exceptions are cyclists that have me concerned for my own safety or when I am exceptionally late and there are plenty of cyclists about.
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Old 09-12-07, 09:35 PM
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I stop for everybody when I'm riding, or at least ask "You OK?" as I pass.
In the car, I'd stop if I had tools (which I usually don't) or if they seemed to be having trouble.
There are so many new riders around here that a lot of people have no idea how to fix a flat, or even realize that they might have one. I have mixed emotions about that--I don't mind helping, but DAMN, dude, take some responsibility for yourself.
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Old 09-12-07, 10:15 PM
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Ten years of asking if they need help, and only one person said yes.
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Old 09-12-07, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by coolbrew View Post
The other day, while driving in my car, I passed a rider who was changing a flat. He seemed to have everything under control and looked like he knew what he was doing. Even though he looked ok, I felt like I should pull over and see if he needed any help. I didn't, but felt I should have. Should I have? What is proper thing to do if I'm riding by in a car? If I was on a bike, I would have stopped. What does everyone think?
On the bike, I always ask if they have what they need. Generally, it's yes, though I did absolutely make the day of a guy who forgot his pump and was looking at a 10 mile walk back to civilization.
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Old 09-13-07, 11:29 AM
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I thinks it's the nice thing to do to offer help (if you are able to, ie: you have a pump or something). Some people are shy and can use help but don't ask. You can just politely ask 'you ok? need help?' and that's it.

About 6 wks ago I took a spill on my bike and cut open my forehead. Someone called the EMS and I was standing there applying pressure to my forehead while waiting with my cycling buddy and about 10 cars must have stopped and offered help.
I must admit that I got awfully tired of telling people that I was alright and actually moved to a spot where I was less noticeable to passersby.
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Old 09-14-07, 09:28 PM
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I always stop. Most cyclists are fine and decline help but I'm in a college town and lots of times student's haven't thought to throw a tube or patch kit in their backpack. When I first started cycling I read a letter in Bicycling Magazine about how the writer always carried a patch kit in their glove compartment. I started doing it and more often than not the stranded cyclist insists on doing the repair themself and are very grateful for the use of the patch kit. I've even thrown bikes on my rack (always in my trunk) and driven students home.
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Old 09-15-07, 04:57 PM
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I won't stop unless it looks like they're having trouble or the weather is extreme. You can get into trouble fast if it's rainy cold, or blazing hot. I stopped once to help a guy who was in a long triathlon ... it was 90 degrees, his second flat, and he still had 40 miles to ride. He appreciated the assistance.
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