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What is the etiquette on offering help to a cyclist walking with his bike?

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What is the etiquette on offering help to a cyclist walking with his bike?

Old 01-28-15, 10:46 AM
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El Gato27
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What is the etiquette on offering help to a cyclist walking with his bike?

So yesterday I suffered a blowout about two miles from the house. I don't carry a spare tire, so I decided just to walk home the last two miles, not a big deal. A couple of cyclist passed me w/o offering any assistance. I thought they would at least ask. I have always stopped to offer aid to people in that situation. Normally they have it under control, but I always offer. Even when driving a car. I've even interrupted my rides to help stranded motorists.

Is this typical now? Or am I just an over-sensitive old fart?
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Old 01-28-15, 10:53 AM
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You're doing the right thing. Not everyone does.
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Old 01-28-15, 10:53 AM
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I always slow down and ask if they have everything, especially if it's an attractive woman.

A few months ago I broke a chain and had to walk a mile to a bus stop. I was on Coast Highway in North San Diego County on a weekend so there were a million cyclists and walkers out. So many people asked me if I needed help that it was hard to walk without being stopped by another person.
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Old 01-28-15, 11:12 AM
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I often ask if cyclists with problems need help, but not always. I frequently pass by mountain bikers with flats because I can't help them with my road bike tubes. Sometimes I pass roadies without offering to help because I have to get somewhere by a particular time and don't have time to help someone fix a flat.

Here's my pet peeve: Cyclists who ride without any tools, spare tubes or flat-repair items. Cyclists should always be prepared to fix a flat and it's also a good idea to carry tools needed to fix a broken chain. I always carry a spare tube. If I stop and give someone my tube, what happens to me if I get a flat during the rest of my ride? I also carry a tube repair kit, but it takes much longer to fix a flat than just replacing a tube, and it's not always successful.

I rode in an organized metric century in February one winter, and stopped to help a guy with a flat about the halfway mark. He was carrying no tools or repair items at all, saying he was trying to save weight. Good grief. I gave him my spare tube but worried about flatting myself the rest of the ride. I like to help people but have misgivings about helping people who ought to know better but are just too lazy or whatever to prepare themselves. I was once on a group ride in which one of the cyclists had a bike with 650 wheels. She had a flat 20 miles from the start and had no tubes, and it was a blowout that couldn't be repaired. Nobody could help her, so someone had to ride back to the start, and get their car to rescue her. That is just irresponsible.
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Old 01-28-15, 11:15 AM
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Carry a spare - problem solved.
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Old 01-28-15, 11:19 AM
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I carry a patch kit, tube and pump, but not a spare tire. First blow out ever in 40+ years of riding. I've repaired many flats while riding.
So do most people carry a spare tire?
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Old 01-28-15, 11:27 AM
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I always ask, and offer to help patch - but never offer my tube. They should have thought of that. In my truck, I always offer a ride.
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Old 01-28-15, 11:31 AM
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Ah, I misread your post. Sorry to have sounded crude! I thought you had simply blown a tube. If the tire wasn't tooo far gone, a tire boot may have been able to get you home. A dollar, some folded duct tape, aluminum foil, ect.

On that note, I usually slow down and ask if everything is ok. Most of the time I find people are unwilling to ask for help, even if they have a flat or what not. In your situation, I doubt anyone could have helped you (besides lending a cel phone) anyways; if that makes you feel any better.
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Old 01-28-15, 11:32 AM
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In their possible defense...It seems that you were walking with your bike when they passed. They may have not noticed you had a blown tired. I'm not likely to speak to someone walking with their bike (unless she's cute). However, if their bike is laid down or it looks like they're working on it, I'm more inclined to offer assistance.

As for carrying a spare tire, I do not. I snake bit a tire last year, at the furthest point from home on a 75 mile ride, no less. Anyway, I only changed the tube and it survived the ride home. There is also the dollar bill trick that I've been educated on since then. A tube wrapped with a dollar bill will keep a tube from pushing out of a blown out tire. I now carry a bill in my bag at all times.
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Old 01-28-15, 11:36 AM
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I call out "You OK?" I carry a pump (I have never figured out how to get them to do Schraeder valves, so I limit my offers of tire help to road bikes), tubes (same issue), patches, a few allen keys and not a lot else. Oh, and I always keep a few bills in my wallet. I've used as many as four to limp home with gaping rips in my tire. I should get back into having 8, 9 and 10 box wrenches on me or a small crescent wrench, but there are usually ways to improvise.

As for the rest, chain, cranks, spokes, etc., unless I have reason to suspect those items, I would end up carrying a lot of tools for things that cause me to walk very seldom. (And if I really get stuck, I carry AAA Plus for its bicycle coverage though I haven't used it yet.) Maybe I should get back into carrying my Leatherman, a really good tool but a real jersey pocket eater. My smaller and lighter Gerber is much nicer in my pocket but is only a toy.

Ben
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Old 01-28-15, 11:46 AM
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I always ask if they have everything they need. I have provided tubes, boots and I have patched tubes. I refuse help, because I am prepared, even when I faced a 1 1/2 mile walk after slashing a Pasala TG from bead to bead
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Old 01-28-15, 11:51 AM
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I have never figured out how to get them to do Schraeder valves,
This accessory piece is an adapter that threads onto schrader stems and opens their valve core pin, to let you use a Presta Pump in the situation you describe.

2220 - Silca Pompe

But You Unscrew it from the Schrader stem first . inorder to let the spring around the valve core Pin let close the check valve in the Core .

do otherwise and all the air will escape , as the valve core pin is still holding the check valve open .
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Old 01-28-15, 12:00 PM
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If your tire was blown out, it is very unlikely that other cyclists would have been able to help you. The only cyclists who typically carry spare tires are those with tubeless or sewup wheels. The only times I carry a spare tire is on loaded tours because I want to be as self-sufficient as possible and might not be able to find a suitable replacement tire very easily.

I have badly cut tires during rides on several occasions and was able to get home by booting the tire with a dollar bill. However, some blowouts are so bad that a boot won't work either.

Regardless, if I saw someone walking their bike, I would ask if they needed help on almost every occasion. Often I pass cyclists with their bikes turned upside down, apparently fixing the problem, and I don't always ask if they need help. When I do ask cyclists if they need help, 99% of the time they say they are OK.
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Old 01-28-15, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by El Gato27 View Post
Is this typical now? Or am I just an over-sensitive old fart?
Strava?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bJm1y0o7MHc?wmode=opaque
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Old 01-28-15, 12:38 PM
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I always carry a repair kit and spare tube, but I also always carry my Iphone. If I need help my initial response is to call for help first. If I have to repair on the go, I will, but I prefer to have my wife come and get me and do my repairs at home. Walking in cleats is not fun!
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Old 01-28-15, 12:43 PM
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The Road I live on is a very popular cycling road. I see people riding everyday and lots on weekends. It's even part of the route of a few century rides. I always stop if I see someone who may need help. I usually have the supplies tubes pumps etc. I've changed flats. I've given people rides home. Refilled water bottles. Invited people who on on tours to stay over at my house. And I think if I needed help someone would stop for me.
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Old 01-28-15, 12:53 PM
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Sport cyclists (dressed in lycra) are much more likely to offer to help than commuter cyclists (who are often in a hurry to get to work). You can increase your chances by facing them and waving. People often do not want to bother strangers who aren't making eye contact.
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Old 01-28-15, 12:54 PM
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I will call out and ask if they need anything. I also carry a boot, which I learned to do after having to ride 10 miles on a Clif Bar wrapper. Of course, with a separated bead, you're pretty much walking no matter what.
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Old 01-28-15, 12:54 PM
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I ask, but I guess I have been lucky... so far everyone I have seen on the side of the road were prepared riders and had what they needed.
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Old 01-28-15, 12:57 PM
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The times I have had to stop, it's been for occasional riders on department store bikes who weren't carrying any means of fixing a flat and didn't even know how when provided.
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Old 01-28-15, 01:00 PM
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Maybe when I was younger I would have qualified as cute, but that bike has rusted away. No offers coming to a middle-age, over-weight, grey-haired, badly-dressed man riding a 27 year old Peugeot.


Great Strava video, a bit of truth in that video, sadly. Loved the dog.

Will now start carrying tire boots, did not now of their exsistence till today.

The cyclists would not have been able to help me and I would have thanked them for stopping, it would have been a 50 second conversation.

The point being is the lack of an offer to help, a little disappointed in my fellow cyclist.
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Old 01-28-15, 01:42 PM
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If your in the middle of nowhere ,I'll stop to help....If your in the city and don't wear a skirt,your on your own....It's time to build some character....

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Old 01-28-15, 02:12 PM
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O.K., tire boots and a skirt....

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Old 01-28-15, 02:45 PM
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i always ask, "do you have everything you need" when I see someone off the bike working on it. I always stop for someone walking the bike and ask if I can help. Sometimes it is a beach cruiser or mountain bike and I can't do much for flats. I once stopped for a roadie who was walking with his shoes off and since I had a rack we put it up and I gave him a ride home. home was a couple of miles away and his wife was not answering her phone. Sadly I had a similar situation and ended up walking 3 miles without so much as a look from anyone.
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Old 01-28-15, 02:54 PM
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It is considered good form to ask to ensure the person at the side of the road is not injured, but if you are clearly not injured, many people would be no help whatsoever.

I was riding with my wife last summer and she got a flat. I had a spare and a mini0pump (forgot my CO2 inflater) and got the bike put back together quite quickly. We were in a rural area and the resident of the closest house saw us and asked if we needed to use his compressor. We didn't have a presta adaptor so politely declined.
At about the same time a truck drove by with two big 'Conservative Party of Canada' stickers in the back window. He got about a hundred feet past us then slammed on his brakes and quickly reversed, rolled down his window, and as I waited to get an earful from a rural redneck, I heard 'sorry I almost didn't stop! DO you need any help?'

Anyhoo, if you are in a place where other cyclists frequent (OP said two passed him) then you probably won't have to wait for five of them before you are offered help.
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