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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday, while working on the final climb of what would turn out to be a solo 71 mile, 3500 feet of climbing day, a car passed me and pulled over about 20 yards ahead of me. Door opened and an older man emerged holding a map. As I approached he began to speak while pointing to his map. Before he could get 3 words out I waived him off and said "can't stop." I reacted on instinct but about a 100 yards later I thought that wasn't very nice...I had a slight pang of quilt. This is not something that would normally bother me, as I am usally willing to help another espcially when they ask. However, I did realize that had he been a cyclist in need I would have stopped, without a doubt.

Was there a line crossed? When do we set aside common courtesy for cycling? What is the difference between an older man seeking help and an older man in lyca with a bike seeking help? (I am presupposing that most cyclist would help out another cyclist in need)

Just a topic for discussion....trust me, I did not loose and sleep over this....
 

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Call me a Fred
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I have given lots of directions to motorists, most of which turned out to be wrong. I usually don't know the names of streets, I just know where I turned to get where I am. I have never had a car stop for me when I had bike problems, just other bikers.

As you were busy and it was not a life or death situation, you had no moral or ethical reason to stop just to give directions. Ask yourself how many motorists would stop if it was a cyclist at the side of a road holding a map and looking lost?
 

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Depends.

I think that more often than not I would stop but I'm generally a restaurant-to-restaurant rider so time generally means less to me than what I experience along the way. I've met some interesting people in such chance encounters, but the last time that happened to me I wound up converting a about 30 or 40 mile morning ride into a wonderful all day trip that only covered maybe 12 or 15 miles.

If I were on a personal best pace for a particular ride, I'd probably put my head down and pedal on.

The nature of the other person would affect my decision too. I'd be more likely to stop for an elderly man than I would for a car full of boys in their late teens.
 

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My back hurts
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I probably would have stopped, unless I were on a personal best on a particular climb or something of that sort. I'd certainly consider a person's age in determining whether to stop. Maybe most motorists wouldn't go out of their way to help us, but helping a stranded motorist may create a little cycling goodwill with that one driver.

Speaking of encounters with non-cyclists, I was repairing a flat last weekend in a semi-isolated part of Griffith Park. I suddenly heard a female voice saying "excuse me" and saw a young woman walking toward me from out of nowhere. She asked if she could watch me change a flat, which seemed like an odd request and made me a little uncomfortable. I said OK. She then explained that her friend was a member of the Bike Coalition and had talked her into getting a bike. She recently started riding but was on foot when I saw her. She was concerned that she didn't know how to fix a flat and wanted to learn before she had one. She ended up being a very nice person, and we both left with a nice feeling (at least I think we did). I'm a real people person. ;)
 

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The web is a MUT
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"see you at the top of the hill"

This is very common with runners (I was a runner wanna be, but my knees and back decided they were don't wanna be's instead), where drivers will always be asking them for directions during a run. If it was obvious that the car people were really lost and if you were in the middle of a steep finishing part of a climb then just huf-n-puff out that you'll stop at the top of the hill for them. If they don't have any reciprocal consideration for you from that then they're on their own. On the other hand, if you could have used a break you could have stopped, told him what you were doing, mention how difficult it is climbing on a bike, and that it would have been nice if he would have stopped at the top of the climb instead of midway and blocking you. Some drivers just really don't have a clue, others are thinking of something else. Work for the better avenue to foster understanding. If the guy had any sensibility, upon hearing your "can't stop" comment, he could have just continued to the top of the hill, pulled over then, and tried to figure out where he was going. At that point you could have stopped or continued on your way without any further exchange between the two of you.

There is no right answer, life is a series of multiple choice questions with more than one correct answer. Just my opinion, don't whack the messenger with the frame pump please. ;)
 
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