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Feeling Like the Go To Guy!

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Feeling Like the Go To Guy!

Old 04-09-17, 10:08 PM
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ClydeTim
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Feeling Like the Go To Guy!

I have a few buds that ride with me, including some women at times. They all know I am very meticulous with my bikes so whenever something happens, I'm called in for the fix. I don't expect women to repair flats so if they ride with me in a small group, I'll be happy to fix a flat for them.

The guys? Fix your own. But really you would be surprised at how many men actually suck at flat repair. I've shown a few guys how to fix a flat efficiently. Later standing back watching them biting my nails. So I show them again. Teach a man to fish and he will eat blah blah blah!

So anyway, some guys it doesn't matter how many times you show them, they lack the mechanical ability I guess. Once I just left one guy alone to do his own repair after showing him several times. After holding up the group for 20 minutes (2 miles into the ride) he broke his valve stem. I had given him tubes in the past so I was not this time. He had to learn his lesson. So at that point, he had a nice walk home as the rest of us headed on our way.

I've done plenty of roadside repairs, adjustments for fellow riders. I also teach them how but some people are so, ICK! Easy things like centering brakes, turning barrel adjusters. Wow!

In the last 2 weeks I have fixed 2 flats for fellow rides, and set up a Garmin for a bud. I swear some people don't get it. I'm the set up computer, Garmin, derailleur, brakes, wheels, guy of the group.

Once, a very experienced double century rider ( California Triple Crown) flatted on a century we were doing with 3 other guys. He got so frustrated trying to fix the flat that he almost broke out in tears. I had to hug the guy then comfort him, then fix his flat the right way then wiped the tears from his face.

Sometimes I am not in the mood but if I leave it to the others, we'll sit there 30 minutes for a 2 minute adjustment. I need to start charging these people but really, I am just too kind!

Are you the "go to guy" or the "please help me!" guy ?
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Old 04-09-17, 10:16 PM
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I'm the "I don't expect you to wait for me" guy
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Old 04-09-17, 10:27 PM
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I'm the go to guy, but I don't have (and never had) many needy friends. In my circle the operating rule was if you left home, it was your responsibility to get back.

Yes, I'll help newbs and folks I see broken down along the way, but my friends don't count on my help, nor do I count on theirs, though, of course, if something untoward happens we're all in this together.

I still remember "the flats ride" where 7 of us all riding tubulars rode past a trap rock quarry in Pennsylvania and had a series of flats. Of course, we didn't all get flats at the same rate, so we came to the pass where someone was out of spares, and others had one to lend. This was a very bad day, and we ended using all the spares between us. So of course, the next flat happened to someone who'd lent his spare.

Now we had a serious moral dilemma --- if you lend your spare then flat yourself, are you entitled to call the loan? A true test of friendship, ultimately settled by each of us walking 1/7th of the way back, in rotation, carrying the damaged bike and passing around good wheels as we went along. BTW - we never settled the question about getting a loaned tire back.
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Old 04-09-17, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
In my circle the operating rule was if you left home, it was your responsibility to get back.
Exactly.

I am though a "you better come equipped or you're outta here" guy. I've had male friends show up without tubes etc thinking they had no worries as I carry 2 extras. Uhhh no! They get the talk real quick, show up prepared or don't show up at all.

Funny but the female aren't that way. You tell them what they need then they get it.
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Old 04-10-17, 12:02 AM
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I have no problem helping friends, even strangers on the road. There are some people the minimal amount of talent for doing their own repairs and that's it. As long as they do the minimal - carrying their own spare tubes, pumps and patches, I have no problems helping them out.

BTW, not all the guys are good at repairs, nor all the girls suck at it. Hell, I've had a woman get pissed at me for fixing a flat and truing a wheel after a broken spoke too slowly and take it into her hands. Of another woman's bicycle. Lol.

As for charging, my rates for friends and group riders are standard: beer at the first hill top from guys and a kind smile from girls (sounds a lot less stupid in Serbian).

Besides, among the friends, most are go-to guys for certain things. Some like programming, some are good lawyers, I'm good at mechanics, house repairs and computer networks. So it makes little sense not letting everyone do what they are good at and love doing. We all usually help each other out.

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Old 04-10-17, 12:39 AM
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Good point, I've helped plenty of strangers in need. Given tubes to those with bad luck. Iffers for payback but don't worry about it. Pay it forward but those who try to take advantage of it are a different story. I had one stranger with a new bike with rear derailleur problems after having turned all the screws in desperation. He asked if I could help him i adjusted it and boy, that's the happiest I have ever seen a guy get ha ha!
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Old 04-10-17, 04:59 AM
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I'm kind of in the middle. Eager to lend a patch or spare, or help someone pump up their tire, and there are a couple of things I can probably take care of, but generally speaking when it comes to fixing something broken, I'm at a loss. Adjusting a derailleur? I've tried, but I guess I don't know the incantation; "abracadabra" doesn't work.
I've gotten back from rides only to realize I'd forgotten my pump or spare & tools kit, but I can't imagine making a habit of it just because I thought others would take care of me.
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Old 04-10-17, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ClydeTim View Post
I have a few buds that ride with me, including some women at times. They all know I am very meticulous with my bikes so whenever something happens, I'm called in for the fix. I don't expect women to repair flats so if they ride with me in a small group, I'll be happy to fix a flat for them.

The guys? Fix your own. But really you would be surprised at how many men actually suck at flat repair. I've shown a few guys how to fix a flat efficiently. Later standing back watching them biting my nails. So I show them again. Teach a man to fish and he will eat blah blah blah!

So anyway, some guys it doesn't matter how many times you show them, they lack the mechanical ability I guess. Once I just left one guy alone to do his own repair after showing him several times. After holding up the group for 20 minutes (2 miles into the ride) he broke his valve stem. I had given him tubes in the past so I was not this time. He had to learn his lesson. So at that point, he had a nice walk home as the rest of us headed on our way.

I've done plenty of roadside repairs, adjustments for fellow riders. I also teach them how but some people are so, ICK! Easy things like centering brakes, turning barrel adjusters. Wow!

In the last 2 weeks I have fixed 2 flats for fellow rides, and set up a Garmin for a bud. I swear some people don't get it. I'm the set up computer, Garmin, derailleur, brakes, wheels, guy of the group.

Once, a very experienced double century rider ( California Triple Crown) flatted on a century we were doing with 3 other guys. He got so frustrated trying to fix the flat that he almost broke out in tears. I had to hug the guy then comfort him, then fix his flat the right way then wiped the tears from his face.

Sometimes I am not in the mood but if I leave it to the others, we'll sit there 30 minutes for a 2 minute adjustment. I need to start charging these people but really, I am just too kind!

Are you the "go to guy" or the "please help me!" guy ?
I'm the "I expect women to be just as good at bicycle mechanics as men," guy. I'm the "I can't believe you wrote what you wrote," guy. I'm the, "You really owe women and all the rest of us an apology," guy.
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Old 04-10-17, 06:55 AM
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If you really want to feel the frustration, start letting people know that you know your way around a computer.
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Old 04-10-17, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I'm the "I expect women to be just as good at bicycle mechanics as men," guy. I'm the "I can't believe you wrote what you wrote," guy. I'm the, "You really owe women and all the rest of us an apology," guy.
Yes and no. I expect women to be as good at anything as men, because they have the same potential IMO, but in real life many women are raised to feel inferior to men in many things. So in my experience while any woman can learn to fix a bike, many of them don't know how to do it like guys are expected to.
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Old 04-10-17, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I'm the "I expect women to be just as good at bicycle mechanics as men," guy. I'm the "I can't believe you wrote what you wrote," guy. I'm the, "You really owe women and all the rest of us an apology," guy.
Samsies. I didn't even make it past that line.
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Old 04-10-17, 07:15 AM
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It doesn't bother me at all to fix someone's bike when I'm out on a ride. I don't ride with groups much, and when I do I don't advertise my mechanical aptitude so I guess I'm spared from the "group mechanic" chores.
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Old 04-10-17, 07:16 AM
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Then there are the exceptions. I met this Italian lass that I used to ride with in college who had wrenching skills that would put most guys' to shame. Her brothers had taught her how to work on bikes!
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Old 04-10-17, 07:18 AM
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Sexist, judgemental, and full of yourself. TRIFECTA!
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Old 04-10-17, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
Yes and no. I expect women to be as good at anything as men, because they have the same potential IMO, but in real life many women are raised to feel inferior to men in many things. So in my experience while any woman can learn to fix a bike, many of them don't know how to do it like guys are expected to.
I just listened to a great Invisibilia episode (NPR podcast) titled Becoming Batman (iirc) that dealt with this subject of how the expectations of others influences ability, though it centered on the blind and the ability to see. Fascinating stuff.
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Old 04-10-17, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ClydeTim View Post
I don't expect women to repair flats so if they ride with me in a small group, I'll be happy to fix a flat for them.
Fail.


With that said, a one time president of our local club couldn't replace a punctured tube to save his life. I did one for him after watching futz around. I did it to get the group ride moving again. Had I simply came across him on the side of the road I would have passed him buy.
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Old 04-10-17, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
If you really want to feel the frustration, start letting people know that you know your way around a computer.
Also true: If you really want to feel the frustration, start letting people know that you know your way around a car.
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Old 04-10-17, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
If you really want to feel the frustration, start letting people know that you know your way around a computer.
I'm that guy, and yeah it can be irritating.

For bikes I try to flash my eye lids at the ladies so they'll fix my flats for me. Never seems to work, might have something to do with me riding by myself...
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Old 04-10-17, 07:58 AM
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I would like to think that any "serious" cyclist would know how to change a tire, and certainly should have the gear (tire irons, tube/patch kit, pump/c02), especially if on a group ride.

That said, I know of one guy who rides super expensive bikes and has no idea how to change a flat and does not even carry repair kit with him on club rides. He relies on the kindness of strangers. Yeah, I sometimes think someone like that deserves a Team Cinzano maneuver, but we have to accept that not everyone follows the rules. If the person were a jerk, I would say just drop them and give them an AMF-YOYO, but if they are nice it could be a teaching point, "let's fix this together so next time you can do it yourself."

ps in case you need translation, AMF YOYO means "Adios Mother eFfer, You're On Your Own."
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Old 04-10-17, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
That said, I know of one guy who rides super expensive bikes and has no idea how to change a flat and does not even carry repair kit with him on club rides. He relies on the kindness of strangers. Yeah, I sometimes think someone like that deserves a Team Cinzano maneuver, but we have to accept that not everyone follows the rules.
I'm not surprised given the area in which you live. For those who think this is rude, I don't live that far from @datlas and ride in the same general areas.
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Old 04-10-17, 09:04 AM
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I usually ride alone, and when I do ride in a group it is a well organized one. All the club members are either: long term members - noobs.

The long term members make the noobs into competent cyclists, or they tend to drift away from the group.

The group is not racing mentality orientated, although they are not slow either and have designated sweeps to make sure everyone makes it home or has a plan to make it home.

But, to each his own...
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Old 04-10-17, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by ClydeTim View Post
I need to start charging these people but really, I am just too kind!
"Too kind" is being too kind. You're an enabler, reinforcing their weak and dependent behavior. You need to adopt a tough love stance. When you HTFU then they'll HTFU . . . and believe it or not, they'll respect you more.
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Old 04-10-17, 09:18 AM
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I'm not asocial, I'm antisocial, so generally it is not in my nature to interact with others. I ride alone 95% of the time, and the only person I've ever helped change a flat is my wife. But on one warm afternoon, as I tooled along the river trail, I spied a couple up ahead, with one bike upside-down beside the trail. They both appeared to just be assessing the situation, no hands were busy doing anything... so against my own nature, I said simply, "You guy alright?" Within a second, slathered in a tone the written word cannot hope to accurately convey, the woman replied, "We've got it."

And at that moment I remembered I avoid people for a reason.
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Old 04-10-17, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I'm the "I expect women to be just as good at bicycle mechanics as men," guy. I'm the "I can't believe you wrote what you wrote," guy. I'm the, "You really owe women and all the rest of us an apology," guy.

In my experience, there are women bicycle mechanics every bit as good as men; and there are women cyclists that are every bit as capable of fixing problems on the road as men, and male cyclists that are grossly incompetent working on a bike.

That said, in my experience, the number of female cyclists that cannot do simple repairs such as fixing a flat, is significantly greater than male cyclists. ( my wife included who rides 5000+ miles a year but would struggle to fix a flat.)

Call this sexist, but I'm pretty certain from years of observation its true, and I'd bet dollars to donuts a well done study would confirm it.

And there are logical reasons its true: 1) Fewer women tend to ride solo than men, so they typically have someone around to fix a problem, 2) women often ride with a male friend or significant other, and thus have men available to fix a flat.

There may be cultural forces at work here, that would be labeled sexist, that explain why fewer female cyclists are good at working on bikes, but that doesn't change the facts.
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Old 04-10-17, 09:22 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Now we had a serious moral dilemma --- if you lend your spare then flat yourself, are you entitled to call the loan? A true test of friendship, ultimately settled by each of us walking 1/7th of the way back, in rotation, carrying the damaged bike and passing around good wheels as we went along. BTW - we never settled the question about getting a loaned tire back.
This is a great question. It's such an unlikely scenario given that most people ride with enough spare gear (tubes, patches, co2, pumps, ect.), but you had the perfect storm on that ride.

I'd say that, if I were riding on someone else's spare tubular and then that person flatted, I'd give them my wheel and call for a ride. I get that you were all prepared and then had the spares exhausted through bad luck, but still. I'd rather be the one to wait for a ride than feel guilty about continuing on while someone else waits.
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