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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My neighbor is a nice guy. Yuppie, early 50s, has an expensive bike, is in good shape, probably rides around 4,000 miles per year including some big organized rides, etc. When I moved into the neighborhood two years ago he got super excited and is always inviting me on rides. I’ve ridden with him twice and here’s the thing: he’s sketchy as hell. I can’t relax at all around him because he’s twitchy, he can’t hold a line, his braking is all wrong, etc. I also don’t like the choices he makes in terms of routes and how he rides around cars, etc. In addition, in the last year he has crashed THREE times, two of them have landed him in the hospital. He’s got two kids and a wife. My honest opinion is that he should find another hobby. He’s nice a guy but I don’t want to ride with him again. What are your thoughts? Should I have an intervention? Should I be honest with him? Or just keep avoiding him and making excuses?
 

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Be honest, you aren't riding with him as it is. You won't be losing a riding buddy but you could gain one. Perhaps he has never actually been told. Best to do it over some beers and ask him straight up if he would like to improve his safety and performance? truth is smooth riding saves energy and skin. Good luck. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZE8tJnTHhw
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Be honest, you aren't riding with him as it is. You won't be losing a riding buddy but you could gain one. Perhaps he has never actually been told. Best to do it over some beers and ask him straight up if he would like to improve his safety and performance? truth is smooth riding saves energy and skin. Good luck. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZE8tJnTHhw
I learned to ride smoothly when I started racing in high school. I was hazed brutally by the older, better riders on the team, but learned quick. I'm not sure that works with a guy in his 50s. And honestly, I'm also not looking to gain riding buddies. I prefer to mostly ride by myself these days.

So yeah part of this is an age thing. It was pretty easy to be a blunt, honest ******* in my teens and 20s when riding with friends who lacked skill. But now? Hmmm
 

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Sound like a guy I used to ride with - he would get to the front and pull like he's trying to prove something, and then just slow down with no warning. Those of us behind him would nearly crash into him. He would never rotate off the front. You say you don't want to ride with him again, but it sounds like you do IF he improves his riding behavior. It's probably going to be more uncomfortable to just avoid a neighbor with a shared interest in cycling than it would be to be open with him and let him know what he's doing wrong. So do him, and yourself a favor and be honest with him. Let him know that his riding style puts you at risk as well as him. Until then, when you ride behind him, keep back a little rather than getting right on his wheel.
 

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He may have never been on a real group ride, you could start there. Some people just don't get around, although they want to be 'in'.
One needs to know who they are riding with and ride accordingly. Just keep yelling from 3 bike lenghts back "I still here, keep going!"
 

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I have no answer to your original question--but I basically nod and smile, and then never take anyone up on their invitation to ride together.

But I know what you mean--last weekend I happened to start out on my ride and got intermixed with a crew heading up to Bear Mountain. I was feeling like crap--too much time painting on hot days, so I ended up leap-frogging with the weakest rider in what was otherwise a pretty pro little group.

And he was exactly as you described--and I couldn't figure out why his buddies (who had various Fundo jerseys on and looked decent on their bikes) didn't ride with him for a bit and coach him on smoothness and efficiency. I don't think I was that bad even when I started racing, and any bad habits I had got beaten out of me by the old-timers that used to mix in with the small group Novice/Veteran races.
 

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You'll save your own skin and sanity by avoiding him, but that won't help him improve. Sounds like he needs to learn the basics from somebody. Holding a line, fast cornering, applying brakes in emergency stops, looking down the road enough, making evasive maneuvers, bunny-hopping, etc. You could probably prep him in advance that you will practice this stuff on a ride together. Then tell him to practice during his own rides. Test him a few weeks later. Use your observations and his accidents as a springboard.

Unless you could care less about him and his family. Dang neighbors! :D
 

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Just tell him that you don't be safe riding with him. Some of the things he does is dangerous -- and they've gotten him in some serious crashes. You like your skin and bones the way they are. Maybe he is just a little clueless. Hard to imagine someone putting that many miles in and being an erratic rider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just tell him that you don't be safe riding with him. Some of the things he does is dangerous -- and they've gotten him in some serious crashes. You like your skin and bones the way they are. Maybe he is just a little clueless. Hard to imagine someone putting that many miles in and being an erratic rider.
Yeah, I agree. I find it pretty amazing. Although from one I've seen in the one or two group rides I've done in the past ten or so years it's not terribly unusual.
 

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Correct him when he does stupid things. If he gets mad and decides that he doesn't want to ride with you anymore, no loss......Maybe you can teach him something.
 

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ask him straight out. "do you have any interest in becoming a better rider, because I've noticed some of your handling can be a bit 'interesting'...?"
if he says yes, there you go....if he says no, you have your answer. stop joining him.

if he says yes, work with him on drills and techniques in a quiet location...you'll probably both get something out of it.
 

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But this guy is persistent and doesn't seem to take a hint.
I'm not surprised. I and a cycling buddy have mutual cycling acquaintances that behave like this. We've discussed this many times, and lectured the poorly skilled riders many times. They either don't get it or don't care, but they're a liability.

If your neighbor hasn't taken your riding advice to heart (assuming you've GIVEN advice) then it's time to stay away from him, bike-wise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Is he asking to go on rides together? If he is then then you are in the perfect position to help him out.
Yes, he asks me all the time. I'm sure I'm gonna sound like an ******* here, but I'm not really interested in giving riding lessons to anyone. And from what I have seen this is a guy who isn't gonna learn. My honest opinion is that this is a not a good sport for him and that he is gonna get himself killed.
 

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... this is a not a good sport for him and that he is gonna get himself killed.
I had a witty useless response, but your seriousness sort of dampens my enthusiasm for idiocy.

But only sort of.

Here goes:

Hey old buddy old pal, Henry'sNeighbor_01, me too, I just love (fill in generic activity). We should have fun doing that some time. See ya around.

These things die on the vine all the time with people I genuinely love and wish I had time for. It shouldn't be too hard to just put him off a few times and let it evaporate, should it?

Anyhow, maybe you should tell the guy you are concerned for him. Show him one of those white bikes on the side of the road.

Good luck.

We should totally have lunch sometime.

See, it;s that easy.
 

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Yes, he asks me all the time. I'm sure I'm gonna sound like an ******* here, but I'm not really interested in giving riding lessons to anyone. And from what I have seen this is a guy who isn't gonna learn. My honest opinion is that this is a not a good sport for him and that he is gonna get himself killed.
It probably did not convey very well in my previous post here, but you sound genuinely concerned for his well-being. You said a couple times that "he's a nice guy." Why would you (and others said it here) turn your back on him? I do not understand this thinking in the least.

Some of you might remember me writing about occasionally filling-in potholes along my ride routes. Riders in my group thanked me for doing this. One pothole at an inconvenient location (for me, anyway) went unfilled. I recently started a new job and lost the free time...yada yada yada. Well, somebody in our group ride hit that pothole and died from his head trauma. It saddens me to think I could've done something to prevent it. Don't put yourself in the same situation.
 

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Correct him when he does stupid things. If he gets mad and decides that he doesn't want to ride with you anymore, no loss......Maybe you can teach him something.
This.

If he gets mad and doesn't want to ride with you, problem solved.
 

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Just be honest and tell him you prefer to ride alone, you don't owe him anything.
 
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