Directions from pedestrians

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Andy Gee, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. Andy Gee

    Andy Gee Guest

    I'm constantly amazed by the directions I get from pedestrians when I'm on
    a bike. My "lost" period started out well -- a gentleman gave me very
    colorful but accurate turn-by-turns (for _one_ street - it needed it) with
    advice on what the idiot drivers would do, and where, and how to react.
    But then I started heading home. I had been exploring the wilds of New
    Jersey and my plan was to catch the PATH train home. Yahoo, of course, had
    screwed something up and had the PATH station in Hoboken right on top of
    something called the Bergen light rail. Incidentally, I'm pleased that
    this light rail station, 9th & Congress, has become an essential part of a
    gravity loop. It's a vertical rise of about 200 feet, with a large
    elevator taking non-train passengers, including cyclists, up and down. So
    anyway, that's where I was directed when I asked where the PATH stop was.
    So when I got there, I asked someone at the actual light rail station how
    to get to the PATH, and he said to take the light rail two stops. Then I
    said, but where is it? And he said, oh, it's all the way on the other side
    of Hoboken. He clearly didn't think the distance was bikable, and I didn't
    tell him how far I'd already come. The temperature had dropped about 20
    degrees (I found out later) rapidly and I wasn't thinking clearly, and I
    was almost going to buy a ticket and wait on the freezing platform when I
    realized that Hoboken is only _one_ square mile. No two points in the city
    could be more than 1.4 miles apart. I'm now going to write 1,000 times
    "have a good map at all times."

    --ag
     
    Tags:


  2. Andy Gee wrote:
    > I'm constantly amazed by the directions I get from pedestrians when I'm on
    > a bike. My "lost" period started out well -- a gentleman gave me very
    > colorful but accurate turn-by-turns (for _one_ street - it needed it) with
    > advice on what the idiot drivers would do, and where, and how to react.


    One of the pleasant surprises during our first bike tour of Britain
    (many years ago) was the interest the Brits took in our adventure, and
    the care they took with directions. It seemed common for them to give
    us detailed directions, then summarize with a brief repetition: "So,
    again, that's left at the first light, two blocks on, right at the
    chemist and look for it on your left." One middle aged woman even
    walked a block out of her way to be able to point out the tricky
    beginning part.

    I like the summary review a lot, and I try to remember to do that for
    others.

    - Frank Krygowski
     
  3. If you're lost, first choice by far: stop a cop. They are consistently
    well informed.

    "Andy Gee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'm constantly amazed by the directions I get from pedestrians when I'm on
    > a bike. My "lost" period started out well -- a gentleman gave me very
    > colorful but accurate turn-by-turns (for _one_ street - it needed it) with
    > advice on what the idiot drivers would do, and where, and how to react.
    > But then I started heading home. I had been exploring the wilds of New
    > Jersey and my plan was to catch the PATH train home. Yahoo, of course,
    > had
    > screwed something up and had the PATH station in Hoboken right on top of
    > something called the Bergen light rail. Incidentally, I'm pleased that
    > this light rail station, 9th & Congress, has become an essential part of a
    > gravity loop. It's a vertical rise of about 200 feet, with a large
    > elevator taking non-train passengers, including cyclists, up and down. So
    > anyway, that's where I was directed when I asked where the PATH stop was.
    > So when I got there, I asked someone at the actual light rail station how
    > to get to the PATH, and he said to take the light rail two stops. Then I
    > said, but where is it? And he said, oh, it's all the way on the other
    > side
    > of Hoboken. He clearly didn't think the distance was bikable, and I
    > didn't
    > tell him how far I'd already come. The temperature had dropped about 20
    > degrees (I found out later) rapidly and I wasn't thinking clearly, and I
    > was almost going to buy a ticket and wait on the freezing platform when I
    > realized that Hoboken is only _one_ square mile. No two points in the
    > city
    > could be more than 1.4 miles apart. I'm now going to write 1,000 times
    > "have a good map at all times."
    >
    > --ag
     
  4. Paul Hobson

    Paul Hobson Guest

    Ron Wallenfang wrote:
    > If you're lost, first choice by far: stop a cop. They are consistently
    > well informed.
    >


    Taxi drivers too.


    --
    Paul M. Hobson
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    ..:change the f to ph to reply:.
     
  5. On Tue, 17 Jan 2006 23:10:27 -0500 in rec.bicycles.misc, Paul
    Hobson <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Ron Wallenfang wrote:
    > > If you're lost, first choice by far: stop a cop. They are consistently
    > > well informed.
    > >

    >
    > Taxi drivers too.
    >

    and postal persons, also. in rural france, they sometimes were
    on bikes!
     
  6. Veloise

    Veloise Guest

    My rule of thumb: the more peds you ask, the closer they'll get to
    accuracy.

    Ask "where's the bus station?" and someone will get you started. Ask
    the next available person and you'll get either verification or fact.
    And so forth.

    Oh yes, copious thanks, even

    HAND

    --Karen D.
     
  7. mark

    mark Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote
    > One of the pleasant surprises during our first bike tour of Britain
    > (many years ago) was the interest the Brits took in our adventure, and
    > the care they took with directions. It seemed common for them to give
    > us detailed directions, then summarize with a brief repetition: "So,
    > again, that's left at the first light, two blocks on, right at the
    > chemist and look for it on your left." One middle aged woman even
    > walked a block out of her way to be able to point out the tricky
    > beginning part.
    >
    > I like the summary review a lot, and I try to remember to do that for
    > others.
    >
    > - Frank Krygowski
    >


    On my visits to the UK people have always been extremely gracious about
    giving directions to lost tourists, to the point of walking up to me and
    offering when I looked even more lost than usual. It's a very pleasant
    custom.
    --
    mark
     
  8. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    Not necessarily the case in NYC -- matter of fact, I can't remember the
    last time a cop gave me directions in the City. They're often on loan
    from other precincts, etc. Very odd, but there you have it.

    And no, postmen and women are hardly better.

    I've come to rely on myself and my maps -- my luck, in other words! --
    so I probably didn't give "statistics" a chance for an NYPD cop to give
    me directions, but, oh well, I'm glad they were honest in not knowing
    instead of attempting to help and send me off wrong.



    Ron Wallenfang wrote:
    > If you're lost, first choice by far: stop a cop. They are consistently
    > well informed.
     
  9. NYC XYZ

    NYC XYZ Guest

    Dennis P. Harris wrote:
    > On Tue, 17 Jan 2006 23:10:27 -0500 in rec.bicycles.misc, Paul
    > Hobson <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Ron Wallenfang wrote:
    > > > If you're lost, first choice by far: stop a cop. They are consistently
    > > > well informed.
    > > >

    > >
    > > Taxi drivers too.
    > >

    > and postal persons, also. in rural france, they sometimes were
    > on bikes!



    Not in NYC! Taxi drivers almost never speak English (oh, you know what
    I mean) and letter-carriers are 50/50.
     
  10. POHB

    POHB Guest

    Speaking as a Brit...

    <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > One of the pleasant surprises during our first bike tour of Britain
    > (many years ago) was the interest the Brits took in our adventure, and
    > the care they took with directions. It seemed common for them to give
    > us detailed directions, then summarize with a brief repetition: "So,
    > again, that's left at the first light, two blocks on,


    nah, we don't talk about "blocks", unless the folks you spoke to had been
    watching too much US TV, coz our towns are generally not laid out in a grid

    > right at the chemist and look for it on your left."


    Traditionally we navigate by pubs. Right at the King's Arms, Left at the
    Old Bull etc.
     
  11. AustinMN

    AustinMN Guest

    NYC XYZ wrote:
    > Not necessarily the case in NYC -- matter of fact, I can't remember the
    > last time a cop gave me directions in the City. They're often on loan
    > from other precincts, etc. Very odd, but there you have it.
    >
    > And no, postmen and women are hardly better.
    >
    > I've come to rely on myself and my maps -- my luck, in other words! --
    > so I probably didn't give "statistics" a chance for an NYPD cop to give
    > me directions, but, oh well, I'm glad they were honest in not knowing
    > instead of attempting to help and send me off wrong.
    >


    I've found if you stumble on a fire station, they know the area very
    well, and will check their (far more up to date than mapquest) map
    anyway. If they're not busy on a call (good reason to not even
    approach the station), they are glad for the change of pace. They also
    usually know about road closings and partial closings, construction
    that may cause temporary road obstructions, alternate routes, etc.

    I can remember in the '70s listening to a scanner conversation where
    the police dispatcher called a police squad, who didn't know where the
    address was, and the dispatcher didn't either, and so the dispatcher
    called the fire station to get directions.

    It taught me where the real directions are, and taught me to always
    give a cross street and nearby landmark if the need to call 911 arose.

    Austin
     
  12. Roger Zoul

    Roger Zoul Guest

    AustinMN wrote:
    :: NYC XYZ wrote:
    ::: Not necessarily the case in NYC -- matter of fact, I can't remember
    ::: the last time a cop gave me directions in the City. They're often
    ::: on loan from other precincts, etc. Very odd, but there you have it.
    :::
    ::: And no, postmen and women are hardly better.
    :::
    ::: I've come to rely on myself and my maps -- my luck, in other words!
    ::: -- so I probably didn't give "statistics" a chance for an NYPD cop
    ::: to give me directions, but, oh well, I'm glad they were honest in
    ::: not knowing instead of attempting to help and send me off wrong.
    :::
    ::
    :: I've found if you stumble on a fire station, they know the area very
    :: well, and will check their (far more up to date than mapquest) map
    :: anyway. If they're not busy on a call (good reason to not even
    :: approach the station), they are glad for the change of pace. They
    :: also usually know about road closings and partial closings,
    :: construction that may cause temporary road obstructions, alternate
    :: routes, etc.
    ::

    firestations are also good places to pee and refill water bottles. One must
    use common sense when going in one, though. Don't leave your bike in the
    way of a truck or in a place that would impede firefighters. The guys in
    firestations are always nice to me when I stop in.

    :: I can remember in the '70s listening to a scanner conversation where
    :: the police dispatcher called a police squad, who didn't know where
    :: the address was, and the dispatcher didn't either, and so the
    :: dispatcher called the fire station to get directions.
    ::
    :: It taught me where the real directions are, and taught me to always
    :: give a cross street and nearby landmark if the need to call 911
    :: arose.
    ::
    :: Austin
     
  13. Andy Gee

    Andy Gee Guest

    [email protected] wrote in news:1137554990.190449.318420
    @z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com:

    > I like the summary review a lot, and I try to remember to do that for
    > others.


    I don't remember the hysterically funny details of the joke, and the
    accents don't come out right in print, but the punch line is "never mind
    the thanks, repeat the instructions."

    --ag
     
  14. Leo Lichtman

    Leo Lichtman Guest

    Was it Rodney Dangerfield who said, "You go down this road 'til you come to
    the corner where the old schoolhouse USED to be"?
     
  15. Leo Lichtman wrote:
    > Was it Rodney Dangerfield who said, "You go down this road 'til you come to
    > the corner where the old schoolhouse USED to be"?


    I was in the drug store in a local small town a couple of years and the
    clerk told some tourists to try the XYZ store down the block. Good
    instructions except that the XYZ store had changed name three times.
     
  16. gds

    gds Guest

    Roger Zoul wrote:
    >
    > firestations are also good places to pee and refill water bottles. One must
    > use common sense when going in one, though. Don't leave your bike in the
    > way of a truck or in a place that would impede firefighters. The guys in
    > firestations are always nice to me when I stop in.
    >


    Agreed!
    Also police stations. Once when touring as a poor college student we
    were bike camping and the night got very cold as we were camped in a
    park in northern Wisconsin. The local cops knew we were there and came
    by ~ midnight and offered us cots in the local lock-up. In the morning
    they treated us to a great breakfast.
     
  17. The Wogster

    The Wogster Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Leo Lichtman wrote:
    >
    >>Was it Rodney Dangerfield who said, "You go down this road 'til you come to
    >>the corner where the old schoolhouse USED to be"?

    >
    >
    > I was in the drug store in a local small town a couple of years and the
    > clerk told some tourists to try the XYZ store down the block. Good
    > instructions except that the XYZ store had changed name three times.
    >


    Small towns tend to have unofficial names for things, often related to
    people who once lived bearby. So Woodchuck Lake (official map name),
    might be known as Kane Lake, because Ebenezer Kane built a house on the
    shore, even though he has been gone, for 100 years, and nobody named
    Kane has lived in town for 75 years, locals still call it Kane Lake.
    Ask a local where Woodchuck Lake is, and they look at you funny, "ain't
    no lake by that name around here, only lake around here is Kane Lake,
    there might be a Woodchuck lake over by Hooterville".

    W
     
  18. SMS

    SMS Guest

    Leo Lichtman wrote:
    > Was it Rodney Dangerfield who said, "You go down this road 'til you come to
    > the corner where the old schoolhouse USED to be"?


    I remember trying to use a Lonely Planet book in Guangzhou China. The
    name of the hotel has changed years earlier, as had the street it was
    located on.

    I think that they finally fixed it about 15 years after the name changes
    back to the pre-cultural revolution names. Reminds of me reading "The
    Handsomest Man in Cuba" and the authors constant complaints about Lonely
    Planet's inaccuracies.

    Renmin Daxia (people's mansion) to Ai Qun.
     
  19. cycle-one

    cycle-one Guest

    "The Wogster" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >> Leo Lichtman wrote:


    >> I was in the drug store in a local small town a couple of years and the
    >> clerk told some tourists to try the XYZ store down the block. Good
    >> instructions except that the XYZ store had changed name three times.


    >
    > Small towns tend to have unofficial names for things,


    Truth. The small town that can claim me as a born and bred native was like
    that. Sure, streets and lakes and rivers had names. but growing up they were
    pretty much unknown or ignored. by locals. 'Down thataway', 'the lake',
    'over yonder' were the height of precision.
     
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