BikePGH!

"Did you ride your bike? You're crazy"

This topic contains 47 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  paulheckbert 5 mos, 1 week.

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stefb

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Feb 6 2014 at 6:23am #

Anyone else as sick as I am of hearing this? It is just annoying at this point. I think driving a car when unnecessary is crazy.. Perhaps that will be my new response instead of just smiling back.
/rant


jonawebb

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Feb 6 2014 at 8:49am #

They’re actually trying to be nice, to engage in conversation, to chaff you a little. I just kid them back about how dangerous the roads are driving, with crazy motorists who have no idea about what to do on snow and ice.
Yesterday I passed a motorist trying to make it up a steep hill, spinning his wheels. “Need a push?”


gg

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Feb 6 2014 at 8:56am #

Doesn’t bother me at all. Most people don’t understand walking or cycling. I just tell them how energized I feel if I ride my bike to work and that it makes my day. It is a chance to tell all what they are missing.


edmonds59

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Feb 6 2014 at 9:14am #

Admittedly, I haven’t been riding much lately, but when I do get that question, I just say “Why is that?”. Then it’s on them.


J Z

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Feb 6 2014 at 9:22am #

stefb wrote:Anyone else as sick as I am of hearing this? It is just annoying at this point. I think driving a car when unnecessary is crazy.. Perhaps that will be my new response instead of just smiling back./rant

I usually get, “Did you ride your bike, today?” with the “You’re crazy” part left unspoken. Mostly they have kind intentions behind it, i.e. “I worry about you but admire what you’re doing at the same time.” <- I actually heard this, yesterday from a co-worker.

Comments have run the gamut from, "You must be really fit; are you former military; be careful out there; etc." but usually it's just an opportunity for me to say, "Thanks, I'll be careful, just keep an eye out for all of us cyclists out there you see."

I prefer bonechilling Minneapolis-style cold to the slick road conditions we've been getting, lately.


RustyRed

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Feb 6 2014 at 9:24am #

My response is: “You didn’t know I was batshit already?”


ericf

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Feb 6 2014 at 9:48am #

Nah, I’m not crazy. I am a middle aged man with rapidly decreasing testosterone, and I need to ride on days like this to feed my weak, masochistic ego.


JaySherman5000

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Feb 6 2014 at 9:57am #

My biggest surprise was last week when the associate director of the business unit I work for insisted on driving me home. He helped me load my bike into his SUV, which was actually nice. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I felt like I was missing something by not arriving home with an icy beard.


andyc

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Feb 6 2014 at 10:14am #

Even driving on the skating rinks yesterday was not advisable. I did see some people out bicycling when I was driving a friend home. I would say that if bicycling on the roads yesterday and you didn’t need to, you are a little crazy. I may have winter tires on my car, but how many people are out there on half-bald all-season tires? How many of them drive poorly or inattentively even in the best conditions?


Pierce

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Feb 6 2014 at 12:20pm #

This is right up there with “Where do you get your protein?” for me

What’s amazing to me is that if the logic holds that it’s crazy to ride our bike when it’s below freezing, why is it not crazy for people to drive when it’s 72 and sunny out?


HiddenVariable

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Feb 6 2014 at 12:50pm #

nah, i don’t mind it at all. actually, it’s always coworkers saying this to me. usually i end up engaging them about it (“yeah, it’s really cold out, but as long as you dress proprely…”), and it definitely comes with a tone of admiration.

monday morning during our surprise snowstorm, i got that from a coworker who also bikes. “people tell me i’m crazy, but you’re crazy.” but that was a really fun ride.

yesterday, though. that sucked. 34° and rainy, AND i had to constantly fight to just to keep upright. i ended up having to portage numerous times. i still prefer it to driving, though.


lcdill

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Feb 6 2014 at 2:15pm #

It always makes me feel like an undeserved superhero. I like it. I always say, “Why, yes. I am an insane person. And you can be too!” Really, though, I mean “I’m too impatient and cheap for the bus system, and too anxious and cheap to find parking for a car… And you can be too!”


byogman

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Feb 6 2014 at 3:15pm #

Seconded.

I feel kinda bad I didn’t ride in today. Yesterday I didn’t due to a desire not to worry my wife.

Today… dunno, the fact that all the slush froze hard actually scared me a bit. I couldn’t even dig out my wife’s car in the morning. And there was an absurdly convenient opportunity to ride in with a neighbor.

But the sun is calling me now. I’m somewhat tempted to try jogging home. It’s a touch under 4 miles. Should be plenty doable, if a bit slow. Anyone mix it up and jog for transportation?


jonawebb

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Feb 6 2014 at 3:28pm #

Biker’s guilt. For not riding when everything is covered with thick, hard ice. A sign of mental illness if there ever was one.


Pierce

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Feb 6 2014 at 4:46pm #

I just recalled an argument I had in Speech and Debate when I was in high school at a debate in Washington D.C.

I had a room full of non-cycling privileged nincompoops who were arguing against my proposal to give a tax credit for cycling stuff

Anyhow, one of my counter-arguments (against using bicycles in bad weather) was that if there is ice on the ground, you should actually have more control on a bicycle because the bicycle has less mass and usually less velocity

This would be even more true if more of us had tricycles, which would be more stable in icy conditions


devohelmetguy

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Feb 6 2014 at 4:46pm #

Yesterday was the first time in five winters that I felt uncomfortable on 32mm studded tires. Chunks and plates of hard ice hidden in slush. Cars were out of control and interacting with them was terrifying. Definitely on the verge of soiling myself a few times. I didn’t appreciate that the drivers made a point of telling me I had no business being on the road. The “you’re crazy because can’t you see I can’t control my car” argument isn’t a particularly good one.


stefb

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Feb 6 2014 at 6:38pm #

I think I am just annoyed at the car culture mentality.

Just an FYI – the fat tires handled well on the ice and slush yesterday.


byogman

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Feb 6 2014 at 9:43pm #

jonawebb wrote:Biker’s guilt. For not riding when everything is covered with thick, hard ice. A sign of mental illness if there ever was one.

Well, I somewhat do try to “represent”, whatever the heck that means. One more rider and they’ll clear the bike lanes for sure, right!?

Anyways, it would have been somewhat less crazy to ride in and back than to get a ride in and run (well, a shuffling jog really) back, which is what I wound up doing.

It was fun for the sake of its oddity and rewarding just to put an upper bound on how late I’ll be worse comes to worse. Gives a little perspective, too. You think we’ve got it bad out there as a cyclist? Try being JUST a pedestrian trying to make any kind of time in winter boots tromping along on slick lumpy ice on sidewalk. Ankles, knees, hips, everything hurts a little. From one trip, one day.


cowchip

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Feb 7 2014 at 6:17am #

There is no such thing as bad weather / just bad clothing choises


StuInMcCandless

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Feb 7 2014 at 7:10am #

I haven’t been on the bike all week, nor have I been on the board all week. Strictly pedestrian, but some of that at speed. I have most of a mile to get to the bus stop, but for a variety of reasons, had less than walking time to the bus on three occasions this week, all of which were done on ice, snow, and/or frozen slush.

Since biking Perrymont on a dry, fully lit day in July is chancy, I really wasn’t going to risk getting into or causing a wreck by insisting on trying to bike. It’s amazing how many people will pass me on a blind grade or blind curve, even in ideal conditions.

I did bike last Friday and got a couple of “You rode today?” from people who are accustomed to see a helmet in my hand on non-ideal travel days. I don’t think they see me as crazy so much as determined, which is actually better, I think.


Pierce

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Feb 7 2014 at 8:37am #

Another reason this phrase drives me crazy is because it’s people who don’t know WTF they’re talking about, essentially saying we, people who do this everyday, don’t know what we’re talking about.

Put on some clothes. It’s not that different an experience cycling in 16 degrees or 65 degree weather.

Who has better health outcomes, who isn’t needlessly contributing to global warming and all the negative effects of that? Who isn’t idling in an endless line of commuters going into the city?

As I am writing this, I had two people ask how the ride in was, which is a slightly less annoying version of the same thing.


gg

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Feb 7 2014 at 9:19am #

I wish people would use this opportunity to promote cycling and tell people how alive they feel cycling to work instead of driving. If everyone could just get one or two more people to ride a bike and they got one it would keep going in our direction. Maybe some folks like being the 1%’er. Are we even 1%? I don’t know, but I would like to see less parking lots and more green space in our city, not to mention more amenities for cyclists. It is the future if we keep promoting it as a wonderful thing to do. It would sure help the diabetes epidemic going on.


ieverhart

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Feb 7 2014 at 11:28am #

are you former military;

New response: “yes, special forces.”

I got the “even today???” treatment as I was locking/unlocking a few weeks back (no surprise there) from a friend who was herself locking/unlocking before/after a ride (I forget who was coming and who was going)–THAT was a first.

I am also a believer in the “no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing” philosophy, but when we had warm day last weekend, I REALLY enjoyed going out for a ride without a big coat and gloves, etc.


HiddenVariable

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Feb 7 2014 at 12:30pm #

Pierce wrote:Another reason this phrase drives me crazy is because it’s people who don’t know WTF they’re talking about, essentially saying we, people who do this everyday, don’t know what we’re talking about.

As I am writing this, I had two people ask how the ride in was, which is a slightly less annoying version of the same thing.

man, you must be a real pleasure to be around. i hope no one ever asks you how your day was. i can’t imagine how annoying that would be for you.


byogman

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Feb 7 2014 at 1:43pm #

By default I take “Did you ride your bike? You’re crazy” as incredulity often, not always, but often, with admiration as the subtext. It gets a little silly when you hear it a lot, but whatever.

I try my best to smile and say, yes but . If I don’t have time I just smile and say yes. I think it’s bad form to get curmudgeonly. We had fun commuting, we should be the happy ones.

How was the ride in? Pretty much always great, thanks for asking.


salty

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Feb 7 2014 at 9:30pm #

stef had it right in the first post, the people driving cars are the ones that are crazy. so i usually give them some variation of “yeah, how did *you* get here?” i don’t think any of them have ever really understood my point, but you never know – i was a car driving fool for over a decade and eventually i got a clue.


Pierce

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Feb 8 2014 at 11:43am #

@hiddenvariable

You just reminded me, I actually drew a comic about people asking me how my ride in is:

http://leftofsanity.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/rote-existence/

And yes, I typically am annoyed when people ask how my day was. It’s usually a form of perfunctory communication, which I haaaaate.

I used to have a co-worker when I was younger who would ask me just to piss me off and I would always say “mediocre” and that probably went on for a year or so.

It’s also annoying in the middle of the week, because really, what’s the chance anything has changed between yesterday when I was working and today, a few hours later, when I’m working again?


byogman

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Feb 8 2014 at 8:08pm #

I would prefer if content free perfunctory communication could be reduced to its barest element and be accomplished with a nod or grunt or two.

But it serves a social purpose nonetheless, maintenance of a light association. All functioning social organizations have them and it’s definitely not worth getting worked up over.

As for the guy who said it just to piss you off, also best bet is not to get in a twist. Treat it like perfunctory communication and replace mediocre with fine. Eventually bullies get bored.


Mikhail

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Feb 9 2014 at 12:47am #

byogman wrote:As for the guy who said it just to piss you off, also best bet is not to get in a twist. Treat it like perfunctory communication and replace mediocre with fine. Eventually bullies get bored.

Or you can take it seriously and explain the whole ride in details for about 10 minutes. Usually it never comes to the second attempt from a bully.


Mick

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Feb 11 2014 at 12:24am #

Pierce wrote:And yes, I typically am annoyed when people ask how my day was. It’s usually a form of perfunctory communication, which I haaaaate

? ? ?

It’s an opening for communication and your response determines whether it is perfunctory or personal; positive or negative; casual or intense.


Kordite

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Feb 11 2014 at 7:00am #

Working a bank help desk I will get the “How are you doing” question and I will occasionally answer honestly by saying “Not so well today.” Invariably I get the “Good” response and they move on to the issue they called about making it clear that these small talk greetings are completely insincere and are merely part of the phone script they have developed based on the assumption that when you ask how someone is they will offer the Pavlovian response of “OK” or “Allright..”


cburch

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Feb 11 2014 at 1:59pm #

Mick wrote:It’s an opening for communication and your response determines whether it is perfunctory or personal; positive or negative; casual or intense.

this.


edmonds59

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Feb 11 2014 at 2:34pm #

It’s like that time when Wesley Crusher bumped into Rondon in the corridor of the Enterprise.


Pierce

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Feb 11 2014 at 8:43pm #

I get a lot of calls too, and an amazing amount of times, people don’t even stop talking to allow for a response. They ask how I’m doing, but then immediately jump into why they’re calling. In that kind of environment, I’m on the fence whether or not I should even bother engaging in meaningful conversation. It’s occasionally nice when it happens, but more often than not, it doesn’t

So I’d like the freedom to be as lazy the other person, while acknowledging that what we’re saying is actually meaningless. If I were being genuine, a lot of my days I’d be like “Hello, I hate my job, you’re going to ask me a question and then not actually listen to what I tell you, resulting in me having to repeat myself, how can I help you?”

Or if I get the “How are you doing today?” question I could be like “Well, I’m sexually frustrated and live in a society where the vast majority of my values don’t coincide with the vast majority of the population and this makes me feel increasingly alienated as we work towards an ecological disaster on a scale the human race has never seen before. But what can I do for you today?”

On the note of things being covered with snow, the fucking coop of all places, has their upperlevel bike rack plowed in with snow. So the people driving their subarus over from Park Place and Sq Hill have a pristine parking lot, but me, the guy riding his bike, has to walk through snow to park my vehicle.


cburch

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Feb 12 2014 at 3:46am #

do you ever smile?


JaySherman5000

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Feb 12 2014 at 8:34am #

Can someone give Pacifist Pessimist Pierce a hug already?


byogman

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Feb 12 2014 at 9:47am #

Pierce wrote:

So I’d like the freedom to be as lazy the other person, while acknowledging that what we’re saying is actually meaningless.

How are you doing today? How was your ride? How was your weekend? How was your lunch?…

“Fine”. Or “good”. One syllable and done.

I’d prefer a grunt or nod as being more to the point, the nod sometimes I get and give in the bike storage at BNY Mellon, but it’s close enough… why are you agonizing over it!?

I mean, if you see an opening for more by all means, but there’s no pressure anymore once you conform to the social norm just the teensiest bit. And that opportunity seems to be exactly what you’re asking for if you can bring yourself to do it. Go for it. I promise you’ll keep your soul.


Mikhail

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Feb 12 2014 at 9:48am #

cburch wrote:do you ever smile?

I have a tendency to think that Pierce is a russian. As everyone knows russians do not smile.


jonawebb

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Feb 12 2014 at 10:20am #

edmonds59 wrote:that time when Wesley Crusher bumped into Rondon in the corridor of the Enterprise.

I love it that this is an actual, valid, reference (except, of course, that the encounter occurred on Relva, not the Enterprise).


cburch

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Feb 12 2014 at 11:06am #

Mikhail wrote:

cburch wrote:do you ever smile?

I have a tendency to think that Pierce is a russian. As everyone knows russians do not smile.

in soviet russia, good day have you! what a country!

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