Great ride today but what's with other cyclists?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Mike Jacoubowsk, Feb 8, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. First really, really, REALLY nice day of riding in Northern California in some time, and got out
    this morning with a couple guys from the shop. On the way back one of them got a flat, so we're
    stopped at the side of the road, replacing the tube and inflating it with one of those fun mini-
    pumps... probably a good 15 minutes or so, with maybe 30-40 other cyclists passing by.

    Not one asked if we needed anything. Weird. Are we so self-absorbed in whatever we're doing that we
    no longer ask if somebody might need anything? (True enough that we were OK, but there's no way
    anybody riding past can know that for sure without asking).

    9 times out of 10, when you pass somebody who's stopped at the side of the road and doing something
    with their bike (or just looking a bit out of place), they're OK. But there's always that chance
    that somebody might have discovered that their spare tube doesn't hold air, or their pump isn't
    working, or maybe they can't figure out how to get the wheel back in and knocked out a brake shoe.

    Of course, lots of people won't say they need help even when they do, especially guys, so when I
    pass somebody at the side of the road, I don't ask if they "need help" but instead "Do you have what
    you need?" It's truly amazing how many more people will say something like "Yeah, if you've got a
    spare tube that would be great" if you ask them if they need anything... but asking them if they
    need help and they'll almost always say no.

    It doesn't hurt to look after other cyclists on the road. Someday you just might need help yourself.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
    Tags:


  2. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:
    > First really, really, REALLY nice day of riding in Northern California in some time, and got out
    > this morning with a couple guys from the shop. On the way back one of them got a flat, so we're
    > stopped at the side of the road, replacing the tube and inflating it with one of those fun mini-
    > pumps... probably a good 15 minutes or so, with maybe 30-40 other cyclists passing by.

    I think if 3 guys look like they know what they're doing, passing cyclists will expect that at least
    one of them is competent. One guy working by himself will probably get "are you OK" from half the
    passing cyclists. One guy who looks confused or puts his hand out to ask someone for help will
    probably get help pretty quickly. At least in California.

    Now, why would 3 bike shop guys need a full 15 minutes to fix a flat?
     
  3. > Now, why would 3 bike shop guys need a full 15 minutes to fix a flat?

    At that point it was only two of us (three of us would probably take longer!) and, as luck would
    have it, the first tube we installed blew out its valve core (a very weird thing to happen to a presta-
    valve tube!).

    > I think if 3 guys look like they know what they're doing, passing cyclists will expect that at
    > least one of them is competent.

    Not always true! I've stopped to help groups of guys who might otherwise look like they've got
    things under control, and it turns out they really do need a tube because they can't get a
    patch to hold.

    > One guy working by himself will probably get "are you OK" from half the
    passing cyclists. One
    > guy who looks confused or puts his hand out to ask someone for help will probably get help pretty
    > quickly. At least in California.

    You'd think that, wouldn't you? But if you know our website you know I take a *lot* of pictures, and
    for a couple minutes I was across the street taking some photos of Todd changing his tire, out of
    sight of the cyclists coming up the hill.

    I have little doubt that someone asking for help would find it, but what's so tough about asking
    people if they've got what they need? My experiences have been that people will go a long way to
    fake that they know how to take care of something when others come by, but are (sometimes) greatly
    relieved when you stop and offer them a tube or a cell phone to call home for a ride or whatever.

    PS: Regarding how long it takes to fix a flat, I'd rather spend a bit more time and fix something
    correctly, once, than have further problems down the road because I didn't notice a rimstrip
    that was out of place, or a small gash in the tire, or a tiny little glass shard that's just
    barely visible.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  4. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Ken wrote:
    > "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > news:[email protected]:
    >
    >>First really, really, REALLY nice day of riding in Northern California in some time, and got out
    >>this morning with a couple guys from the shop. On the way back one of them got a flat, so we're
    >>stopped at the side of the road, replacing the tube and inflating it with one of those fun mini-
    >>pumps... probably a good 15 minutes or so, with maybe 30-40 other cyclists passing by.
    >
    >
    > I think if 3 guys look like they know what they're doing, passing cyclists will expect that at
    > least one of them is competent. One guy working by himself will probably get "are you OK" from
    > half the passing cyclists. One guy who looks confused or puts his hand out to ask someone for help
    > will probably get help pretty quickly. At least in California.

    In general I agree. OTOH, a couple weeks ago I had the misfortune of riding through a
    construction zone where a pothole must have knocked my toolkit (incl. tubes & patch kit) out of
    its waterbottle cage. I didn't notice it missing until too late and later in the ride I got a
    flat (Murphy strikes again). So for six miles I slowly rode home along a bike path with a totally
    flat rear tire towing my boat trailer (at least its wheels were ok). Saw quite a few cyclists but
    no comments or offers to help.
    >
    > Now, why would 3 bike shop guys need a full 15 minutes to fix a flat?

    Because they were all carrying the "fun mini-pumps" which seem to be the only kind available in many
    bike shops anymore. :)
     
  5. Mike Jacoubowsky <[email protected]> wrote:
    > First really, really, REALLY nice day of riding in Northern California in some time, and got out
    > this morning with a couple guys from the shop. On the way back one of them got a flat, so we're
    > stopped at the side of the road, replacing the tube and inflating it with one of those fun mini-
    > pumps... probably a good 15 minutes or so, with maybe 30-40 other cyclists passing by.

    > Not one asked if we needed anything. Weird. Are we so self-absorbed in whatever we're doing that
    > we no longer ask if somebody might need anything? (True enough that we were OK, but there's no way
    > anybody riding past can know that for sure without asking).

    So what was Saturday, chopped liver?

    Where were you? My guess is that out in the middle of nowhere, people are more likely to stop. IME
    the people I ride with will usually ask - Hmm, maybe people who are used to riding in groups are
    _more_ likely to know the convention of stopping to ask. Last time I was stopped with a flat someone
    asked. And last Sunday after 40 miles in cold and rain, I tacoed a wheel catastrophically on RR
    tracks and a passer-by gave me a lift 10 miles back to town in his pickup. (I was with several
    people, but none of us were equipped to solve the problem.)

    Being a city boy originally, I may be a little naive about this, but I think people who live farther
    out in farm country and the like are aware of the isolation and danger of getting stranded, and more
    likely to help out. Of course, this does not apply to _everybody_ that lives in the Santa Cruz
    Mountains.
     
  6. Per LöWdin

    Per LöWdin Guest

    > Not one asked if we needed anything. Weird. Are we so self-absorbed in whatever we're doing that
    > we no longer ask if somebody might need
    anything?

    You probably looked so utterly competent that other bikers thought there was no need to stop.

    We were riding around Colorado last year and when we had any mechanical failures we invariably go
    offers of assistance. A flat tire north of Boulder immediately made other bikers stop to check if we
    were doing OK. Heading towards Coal Bank Pass from Durango we had problems with a rear deraileur,
    was sligthly off, a gentleman on a road bike stopped, adjusted it perfectly and gave us a useful
    lecture on how to fine tune rear deraileurs.

    Of course American paranoia can also be a factor, remember trying to ask a female motorist for the
    right way at a cross roads, she had one look at us, made a terrified face, and blow away without
    stopping. And, the other way around, near Loma, my wife hit a steel rod, one of those with a
    reflector, that was badly placed on the shoulder of the road, a truck stopped, she was bleeding and
    needed some stitches. The guy in the truck insisted that she´d be taken to the hospital but could
    only fit her and one bike into the truck. It was full of tools and things. When we hesitated he said
    "I am not a serial killer".

    She went with him and I biked after, he was of course perfectly ok, really nice bloke, delivered her
    to the hospital in Fruita and was just about to go looking for me when I turned up there rather out
    of breath.

    Per http://lowdin.nu
     
  7. Kenny Lee

    Kenny Lee Guest

    Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
    > First really, really, REALLY nice day of riding in Northern California in some time, and got out
    > this morning with a couple guys from the shop. On the way back one of them got a flat, so we're
    > stopped at the side of the road, replacing the tube and inflating it with one of those fun mini-
    > pumps... probably a good 15 minutes or so,

    > --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com

    I have one of those Topeak mini-pumps and I can get a tire up to 80psi in about 3 minutes. What I do
    is lay the wheel flat on the ground and use my weight on the down strokes. If I were to use the mini-
    pump while the wheel is on the bike it would take me a long time if ever to get it up to 80psi.

    By the way I would stop just out of curiosity and probably to show off my mini-pump power
    pumpin form.

    Kenny Lee
     
  8. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > First really, really, REALLY nice day of riding in Northern California in some time, and got out
    > this morning with a couple guys from the shop. On the way back one of them got a flat, so we're
    > stopped at the side of the road, replacing the tube and inflating it with one of those fun mini-
    > pumps... probably a good 15 minutes or so, with maybe 30-40 other cyclists passing by.
    >
    > Not one asked if we needed anything. Weird. Are we so self-absorbed in whatever we're doing that
    > we no longer ask if somebody might need anything? (True enough that we were OK, but there's no way
    > anybody riding past can know that for sure without asking).

    With three of you, they probably assumed that at least one of you, and maybe two, had stopped to
    help the third, and therefore didn't bother.

    ....

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  9. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:

    > But if you know our website you know I take a *lot* of pictures, and for a couple minutes I was
    > across the street taking some photos of Todd changing his tire, out of sight of the cyclists
    > coming up the hill.

    That's why nobody asked if Todd needed something, he was out of sight!

    Grammar humor aside, nobody asking if Todd needed anything is pretty weird for the local roads. When
    I'm stopped to fix a flat, I usually get at least two or three "got everything you need" questions.
    Maybe it was just a weird Sunday crowd.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/
     
  10. On Sun, 08 Feb 2004 23:58:51 -0700, Benjamin Weiner wrote:

    >> Not one asked if we needed anything. Weird.

    Yeah, especially with the West coast supposedly so much friendlier than the East. Can't remember
    this happening here. I get bent out of shape when cyclists don't wave as we pass by -- usually they
    do. I always ask whether a single rider, or a small group, by the side of the road has what they
    need. I think most riders do, here.

    > And last Sunday after 40 miles in cold and rain, I tacoed a wheel catastrophically on RR tracks
    > and a passer-by gave me a lift 10 miles back to town in his pickup. (I was with several people,
    > but none of us were equipped to solve the problem.)

    How could a rider be equipped to solve that problem? Some tacos can be almost miraculously
    repaired by pressing on the high sides of the taco while the wheel is on one side on the road. But
    that is only luck; if it doesn't work, you need someone with a spare wheel. Not too many riders
    carry spare wheels.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or _`\(,_ | that we are to
    stand by the president right or wrong, is not only (_)/ (_) | unpatriotic and servile, but is
    morally treasonable to the American public. --Theodore Roosevelt
     
  11. Rick Warner

    Rick Warner Guest

    "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > First really, really, REALLY nice day of riding in Northern California in some time,

    Debatable. I think Jan 31st was great. Both days this weekend were fine, but no better than the
    previous Saturday :)

    > Not one asked if we needed anything. Weird. Are we so self-absorbed in whatever we're doing that
    > we no longer ask if somebody might need anything?

    Not sure. Where was this at? I always ask, even stopping to check on a guy sitting on the guard-rail
    halfway down the east side of 84 yesterday. Curious that no one asked if you guys needed help; I
    always ask, and it is returned in kind whenever I have problems. Even had a woman in an older SUV
    stop to check on me when I had a flat on Junipero Serra at East Campus about 10 days ago; said she
    did so because her father was a cyclist. Maybe time for another of your mini-rants, like the one a
    couple of years ago about cyclists acknowledging one another on the road.

    - rick
     
  12. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Per Löwdin" <[email protected]> writes:

    > Of course American paranoia can also be a factor, remember trying to ask a female motorist for the
    > right way at a cross roads, she had one look at us, made a terrified face, and blow away without
    > stopping.

    I get that sometimes, too. Especially when I've put off shaving for a few days :)

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  13. Kenny Lee wrote:

    >Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
    >> First really, really, REALLY nice day of riding in Northern California in some time, and got out
    >> this morning with a couple guys from the shop. On the way back one of them got a flat, so we're
    >> stopped at the side of the road, replacing the tube and inflating it with one of those fun mini-
    >> pumps... probably a good 15 minutes or so,
    >
    >> --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
    >
    >I have one of those Topeak mini-pumps and I can get a tire up to 80psi in about 3 minutes. What
    >I do is lay the wheel flat on the ground and use my weight on the down strokes. If I were to use
    >the mini-pump while the wheel is on the bike it would take me a long time if ever to get it up
    >to 80psi.
    >
    >By the way I would stop just out of curiosity and probably to show off my mini-pump power
    >pumpin form.
    >
    >
    For rear wheels, I put the wheel back on (I almost said "mount it," .... but the wise arses here
    ...). I lean the bike against something, align the valve with the chainstay, grab it and the pump
    with my left hand (avoids breaking the presta valve), and then use my right hand to pump with
    additional force supplied by my right leg (knee against my right hand.) I can pump like that non-
    stop until I get to pressure.

    If you align the valve with the chainstay and grab it and the pump with one hand, the rest will
    come natural.

    --
    *****************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO http://www.CycleTourist.com Integrity is obvious. The lack of it
    is common.
    *****************************
     
  14. Tom Keats wrote:

    >In article <[email protected]>, "Per Löwdin" <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    >> Of course American paranoia can also be a factor, remember trying to ask a female motorist for
    >> the right way at a cross roads, she had one look at us, made a terrified face, and blow away
    >> without stopping.
    >
    >I get that sometimes, too. Especially when I've put off shaving for a few days :)
    >

    Or a couple of days on the road without showering.

    --
    *****************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO http://www.CycleTourist.com Integrity is obvious. The lack of it
    is common.
    *****************************
     
  15. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On Mon, 09 Feb 2004 05:19:52 GMT, "Mike Jacoubowsky"
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >the way back one of them got a flat, so we're stopped at the side of the road, replacing the tube
    >and inflating it with one of those fun mini-pumps... probably a good 15 minutes or so, with maybe
    >30-40 other cyclists passing by.
    >
    >Not one asked if we needed anything. Weird. Are we so self-absorbed in

    Wow! That hasn't been my experience; not only do bicyclists stop to assist, but people in cars, and
    even nearby residents came out to help me, all in one flat tire incident.

    >whatever we're doing that we no longer ask if somebody might need anything? (True enough that we
    >were OK, but there's no way anybody riding past can know that for sure without asking).

    Maybe you looked really well prepared...

    >ask if they "need help" but instead "Do you have what you need?" It's truly

    Or, slightly less awkward, "Need anything?" or "All set?".

    >It doesn't hurt to look after other cyclists on the road. Someday you just might need help
    >yourself.

    This need not only apply to bicycling. The same principle works well elsewhere. After applying this
    attitude at all times, I've noticed a marked increase of receiving the same. Karma may well exist.
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
  16. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On Mon, 09 Feb 2004 07:57:26 GMT, "Per Löwdin"
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >The guy in the truck insisted that she´d be taken to the hospital but could only fit her and one
    >bike into the truck. It was full of tools and things. When we hesitated he said "I am not a
    >serial killer".

    Brave guy. It may be urban legend, or may be something that actually happens, but the story goes
    that a man stops to help a woman, who he drives somewhere; she tears her shirt and claims that he
    assaulted or raped her; and she gets a big lawsuit settlement. I think of that sort of thing when I
    stop to help people, but I still stop to help.
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
  17. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On Mon, 09 Feb 2004 05:44:42 GMT, "Mike Jacoubowsky"
    <[email protected]ix.netcom.com> wrote:
    >longer!) and, as luck would have it, the first tube we installed blew out its valve core (a very
    >weird thing to happen to a presta-valve tube!).

    My experience has been that presta valves blow out easily. Of all the beating I've given schrader
    tubes, never has a schrader valve failed me, nor have I seen or even heard of one.

    I was once on a ride in the woods with a group, and one guy's presta valve broke; he replaced the
    tube, whose valve was broken before he installed it; then he bummed a tube off another guy, whose
    valve broke while pumping (he didn't pump smoothly, and the pump didn't have a hose); then, the last
    presta tube anybody had, extremely carefully installed, did the trick.

    Another time, I was on my road bike, and ungracefully half-hopped a curb in a semi-emergency; the
    tube was fine, but the presta valve blew right out.

    Recently, I went to unscrew a presta to inflate it, and unscrewed it right out; and it didn't want
    to screw back in properly...

    Despite all that, I kinda like presta, but I can't figure out why...;)

    >I have little doubt that someone asking for help would find it, but what's so tough about asking
    >people if they've got what they need? My experiences have been that people will go a long way to
    >fake that they know how to take care of something when others come by, but are (sometimes) greatly
    >relieved when you stop and offer them a tube or a cell phone to call home for a ride or whatever.

    While people should stop to help, anybody who needs help should certainly not be the least bit
    afraid to ask. If they are, then they're their own problem.
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
  18. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On Mon, 09 Feb 2004 13:05:01 -0500, "David L. Johnson"
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Not too many riders carry spare wheels.

    We have kevlar tire beads and belts, and kevlar spokes; when are we going to get kevlar rims? <G>
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
  19. Len

    Len Guest

    "Rick Onanian" < wrote in message >
    > My experience has been that presta valves blow out easily. Of all the beating I've given schrader
    > tubes, never has a schrader valve failed me, nor have I seen or even heard of one.
    >
    > I was once on a ride in the woods with a group, and one guy's presta valve broke; he replaced the
    > tube, whose valve was broken before he installed it; then he bummed a tube off another guy, whose
    > valve broke while pumping (he didn't pump smoothly, and the pump didn't have a hose); then, the
    > last presta tube anybody had, extremely carefully installed, did the trick.
    >
    > Another time, I was on my road bike, and ungracefully half-hopped a curb in a semi-emergency; the
    > tube was fine, but the presta valve blew right out.
    >
    > Recently, I went to unscrew a presta to inflate it, and unscrewed it right out; and it didn't want
    > to screw back in properly...

    Rick, I agree with you about presta valves, I think they are weak. But, with the narrow rims, you
    have got to use a narrow stem. So, it has to be a narrower schrader valve, which they do not yet
    make. Yet, I know that it can be done. Years ago , when I started using these newsgoups, I posted
    this opinion, in a similar discussion. Brandt was in the thread, and he responded in his, what I
    have found to be his usual acerbic tone. That, I was an idiot, for this and that reason. As a
    mechanic of many years, I have had to use schrader valves in many applications, and I know they
    work for many , and varied applications.

    > Despite all that, I kinda like presta, but I can't figure out why...;)

    I am sorry, but I think it is called Purism. A form of nostalgia/snobbery. ;<) personaly I think
    it is a more of an issue, than threadless headsets

    As far as help from others, I always carry; a couple of tubes, a patch kit, frame pump, and a
    spare tire. Damn, I hate to walk All the best, Len
    > >I have little doubt that someone asking for help would find it, but
    what's
    > >so tough about asking people if they've got what they need? My
    experiences
    > >have been that people will go a long way to fake that they know how to
    take
    > >care of something when others come by, but are (sometimes) greatly
    relieved
    > >when you stop and offer them a tube or a cell phone to call home for a
    ride
    > >or whatever.
    >
    > While people should stop to help, anybody who needs help should certainly not be the least bit
    > afraid to ask. If they are, then they're their own problem.
    > --
    > Rick Onanian
     
  20. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    "Per Löwdin" <[email protected]> writes:

    > Of course American paranoia can also be a factor,

    American paranoia? What American paranoia? Who's saying that Americans are paranoid? What's paranoid
    about realizing that everyone _is_ out to get you?
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...