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Driver asking Biker for directions???

Old 08-25-04, 02:47 PM
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markm109
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Driver asking Biker for directions???

Last Sunday I'm heading home, about 2.5 miles left in my 30 mile ride which is in a metropart - only traffic that has a sticker or paid for the day is allowed in. The park has a 6 mile loop so if you keep going you'll be right where you started - no big deal - signs everywhere for what each picnic / beach area is - I don't know how anyone could get lost.

Anyways, I'm going downhill at about 25mph and a female driver going the other way stops her car and attempts to flag me down for directions I assume. Well, there's no way I can stop in 10 feet going 25 and I'm not stopping and going back up hill, so I just kept going and noticed the third car behind her almost rear end the car in front.

Why do people think they can stop in the middle of the road when they are lost to get directions and block traffic? Did she really expect me to slam on the brakes and give her assistance? I don't think non-bikers really understand how fast some bikes/bikers can go. I've been cut off a few times and I don't think they really know that they don't have the room. Perhaps they think all bikers ride at the speed of a walker.

Maybe it's because I'm a guy and guy's don't ask for directions, but I thought the whole thing pretty funny that she almost caused an accident trying to ask a biker going in the opposite direction. And she just happened to pass the most visibile parking area that is always filled with people because it is closest to the walking path - why didn't she pull in there? I wonder if she tries to flag down other motorists as well.

I'm not trying to slam women drivers - there are plenty of bad men drivers as well - so I don't need the hate mail ladies.

Mark
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Old 08-25-04, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by markm109
I don't think non-bikers really understand how fast some bikes/bikers can go. I've been cut off a few times and I don't think they really know that they don't have the room. Perhaps they think all bikers ride at the speed of a walker.
Mark
depends on the angle. bike riders always look much slower to me when i view them coming towards me and i'm stationary. plus if you were going downhill it probably just looked to her as if you were coasting. and since you probably look like a non-threating person of sound mind, she probably didn't think anything of it.
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Old 08-25-04, 02:54 PM
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Motorists must think that because you're on a bike you must be familiar with the area. I've had cars stop me and ask for directions when I was 30 miles from where I live. I might know the major roads but I sure as hell don't know how to get to such-and-such street or such-and-such park. Maybe the reason people stop cyclists is because they don't have to get you to roll down a window.
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Old 08-25-04, 02:57 PM
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yeah, during a messenger race last year, some well-to-do Arizona couple (LEXUS SUV) asked directions to the Shedd. I sent them to Wrigley Field during a Cubs game.
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Old 08-25-04, 04:07 PM
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Yea but at the time they needed the fans any way they could get them.
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Old 08-25-04, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by markm109
...Maybe it's because I'm a guy and guy's don't ask for directions, but I thought the whole thing pretty funny that she almost caused an accident trying to ask a biker going in the opposite direction. And she just happened to pass the most visibile parking area that is always filled with people because it is closest to the walking path - why didn't she pull in there? I wonder if she tries to flag down other motorists as well.Mark
Did you ever think she MAY HAVE WANTED YER PHONE NUMBER DUDE!
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Old 08-25-04, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Lufty
Did you ever think she MAY HAVE WANTED YER PHONE NUMBER DUDE!
Yeah - you are pretty cute!
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Old 08-25-04, 07:24 PM
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I had a woman stop me once as I was climbing a big hill - you know, the kind where momentum is definitely your friend! Anyway, I guess I'm just a nice guy at heart because I stopped to find out what she wanted (nope, it wasn't my number ). Turns out she had just purchased a brand new Yakima hitch mount for her bike (now I felt better about stopping! ) and was wondering if it was supposed to "wobble so much" as she made turns, etc. I told her it was perfectly normal and not to worry about it and she was very appreciative. I knew she was actually a cyclist too when she said "sorry for stopping you on a hill like that!" I suppose it would've been a great time to ask for her number, but she was married. Oh well...
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Old 08-25-04, 08:17 PM
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Curious about how you know she was looking for directions. She may have been in distress (can't tell by the thread) and needed help of some sort.
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Old 08-25-04, 08:35 PM
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Dude you missed a prime time, chick picking up opportunity. That would be SO worth the effort of biking uphill. Hell it's the only legitimate reason anyways.
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Old 08-25-04, 09:45 PM
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I really don't have a problem assisting people who ask me for directions (and it happens often here during the tourist season), as long as they're reasonably polite about it. Of course, most of them do it in safer locations than what you describe, but if you're really in danger, just keep going and don't stop. I'm sure they'll get the message one way or another.
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Old 08-26-04, 01:01 AM
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I was surprised the other day when a car with the window rolled down pulled up beside me as I biked along, and the lady asked directions. There was no shoulder, and she was kind of pushing me off the road, but I still tried to help her out.
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Old 08-26-04, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by lsits
Motorists must think that because you're on a bike you must be familiar with the area. I've had cars stop me and ask for directions when I was 30 miles from where I live. I might know the major roads but I sure as hell don't know how to get to such-and-such street or such-and-such park.
Also, the routes I know and use as a cyclist probably aren't the best for a motorist. I know I would not ask a driver for directions unless I had no other options. Just a while ago in Commuting one Forum member posted a thread about his commuting routes. He included a map with two routes drawn: one was his car commute, the other his bike commute. Not much in common between the two.

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Old 08-26-04, 02:11 AM
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Yup, I get asked directions by car drivers frequently (fortunately it's when I'm stopped). But I often have to "re-think" it, not just because I would take different roads on a bike, but because there are some things you simply can't do as directly with a car. For example, to get to downtown / Capitol Square from Law Park, you "normally" just take the bike path to Monona Terrace, go up the bike elevator, and you're there. In a car, you have to take a major divided road, and one or more of several one-ways, depending on exactly where you're going. I swear I use a different part of my brain when I'm driving local streets vs. when I'm cycling them. If a car driver asks me directions while I'm driving, I can usually rattle it off directly. But if it's while I'm on my bike, I have to "realign" my thinking. Yet another "dimension" kicks in when you're walking. Because of all the one-ways, and little streets that don't go thru, etc., it's often easier to get around on foot than in a car.
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Old 08-26-04, 06:36 AM
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I don't mind helping other people - I often ask cyclists I see on the side of the road if they need assistance and provide directions if asked. It was just the way this lady attempted to ask that struck me as odd.....

She stops her car in the lane, made no attempt to pull to the side or anything - just stops dead in traffic and there were three cars behind her

I'm going DOWNHILL at over 25mph - I can't exactly slam on the brakes and stop in 6 feet to talk to her

I'm on the opposite side of the road and have no idea what traffic is coming down the hill behind me

We're in a metro-park where there are at hundreds of people and quite a few in the area we were in - it's between the largest beach area and the boat launch area - about 500 yards apart and both very busy - why didn't she pull into one of those and ask for assistance instead of stopping dead in traffic?

I'm sorry but there is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and in my book she did it the wrong way - putting herself and others behind her in danger by stopping unexpectedly in the middle of the road - she almost got rear-ended. And I'm not going to put myself in danger by trying to make an emergency stop going downhill and at such a high speed and take a chance that the car that may be behind me can't stop as quick and I get hit.

I just shook my head as I continued down the hill, thinking what and idiot to almost cause an accident like that. No consideration for others and a complete unawareness of her surroundings. I really think the driving tests should be more comprehensive - it seems any moron can get a license these days.

Mark
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Old 08-26-04, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by markm109
No consideration for others and a complete unawareness of her surroundings. I really think the driving tests should be more comprehensive - it seems any moron can get a license these days.
Unfortunately, I think that describes many motorists these days - if not the majority. I have a relative who is so proud when she looks something up on her PDA while chatting on the phone while eating something, etc. - all while driving! She tried it once while I was in the car with her and I let her have it. I'm sure she still does it though. I only hope I'm not on the road when she is!
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Old 08-26-04, 07:12 AM
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we had a couple ask us for directions to the tollway...we gave her directions without breaking our stride....they just rolled down the passenger window and we showed them.
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