Author Topic: Defending Bicycling Badassity  (Read 10322 times)

Salim

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1649
Defending Bicycling Badassity
« on: October 21, 2015, 08:23:03 AM »
From lectures, to horror stories, to a grimace with an imperative, "Be careful!" as I head out the door, I am bombarded almost everywhere I go for traveling by bicycle. It starts with a cloud passing across the visage and escalates rapidly until they can't help but blurt out dire warnings. (Is part of this maybe that they are seeing a small, quiet, aged woman doing something they are afraid to do...?)

My typical reaction used to be to make light of it, tell them my bicycle is my car, and try to change the subject. That didn't work well. After a while, so many apparently intelligent people telling me I am in mortal danger had an effect on me, so I did some research. I found online, from 2009-2012, in 25% of all (U.S.?) adult bicycle fatalities, the cyclist was drunk; in one third of all bicycle fatalities, the cyclist was not wearing a helmet.

Yay! I am sober and I wear a helmet :-) I thought these statistics would get the critics to leave me alone, but it had the opposite effect: they appeared to be encouraged to lecture more! (DH says it's because I gave them something to argue with.)

Being repeatedly told I am going to be killed is most unpleasant. My periodontist is the worst! (Where's the admiration for riding a non-polluting vehicle 13 miles to an appointment on time?) Tact is certainly required with someone armed with sharp instruments.

What about using humor?

  "Haha... I'd like to see what you drive!" (not very funny)

  For the periodontist: "I guess I should agree with everything you say since you are armed and dangerous."

Maybe I just need to toughen up (goodness!... is there ever an end to that?), but some clever comebacks would be greatly appreciated. Do you feel a need to defend your bicycling badassity and how do you do it?

Slam

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2015, 08:33:43 AM »
I constantly get the, "You rode your bike here?  Do you want me to give you a ride home?"

I always reply with, "No thanks, I actually LIKE riding my bike."

As far as the comments about how dangerous it is, just reply with something about how, "That's what all this safety equipment is for."  Or, "The traffic isn't bad this time of day."  Just make light of the situation.

irishbear99

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 295
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2015, 08:40:47 AM »
A simple "Thanks for your concern" should shut the conversations down. Repeat as necessary.

FWIW, I also tell people "safe travels" or "ride/drive safely" when they're leaving work. I don't mean it as I think what they're doing is dangerous or they're going to get killed on the way home. I certainly hope they don't take it that way. It's more of an acknowledgement that the roads can be dangerous and I'm wishing them the good fortune of an uneventful trip.

I constantly get the, "You rode your bike here?  Do you want me to give you a ride home?"

I always reply with, "No thanks, I actually LIKE riding my bike."

You could also reply with, "No thanks. I rode it ON PURPOSE." (With a wide-eyed stare and a shocked tone of voice.) :)

beltim

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2833
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2015, 09:09:28 AM »
From lectures, to horror stories, to a grimace with an imperative, "Be careful!" as I head out the door, I am bombarded almost everywhere I go for traveling by bicycle. It starts with a cloud passing across the visage and escalates rapidly until they can't help but blurt out dire warnings.

People generally have terrible assessments of risk.  Bicycle riding is more dangerous than driving a car, but by nowhere near enough to justify the reactions you get.  But that's probably because those people took a little information (bicycles are more dangerous) and drastically overreacted.  They probably have the same reaction for a whole host of other things.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2015, 09:19:01 AM »
The last time this happened (which isn't often, for me) I replied "statistically, I'm likely to live longer by riding a bike because the health benefits outweigh the risk of crashing." It actually made the person stop and think!

If that doesn't work, I suggest turnabout: make a show of being worried about how dangerous driving is, or wish them luck in not getting diabetes due to their "car habit."

FLBiker

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 967
  • Age: 43
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2015, 09:31:42 AM »
The last time this happened (which isn't often, for me) I replied "statistically, I'm likely to live longer by riding a bike because the health benefits outweigh the risk of crashing." It actually made the person stop and think!

I like this response.  Personally, here in Tampa, people are pretty positive about it (even though Tampa is a relatively dangerous biking city).  I get a lot more "I wish I could do that" than I do anything negative.  When people talk about it being dangerous, one thing I have said is "I stick to small streets."  Here, the small neighborhood streets are (IMO) much safer than big streets with bike lanes.

I'm also a big fan of reflective vests.

AZDude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1298
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2015, 09:48:04 AM »
When I get bombarded with ridiculous questions, I tend to respond with equally ridiculous answers.

Them: "You rode your bike here?"

Me: "Helicopter is in the shop..."

The conversation ends there but without the hard feelings if you just told them to stfu.


Salim

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1649
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2015, 10:05:51 AM »
Excellent ideas!

@ Slam: I've had some luck with the "light traffic" defense. I'll practice that one.

A simple "Thanks for your concern" should shut the conversations down. Repeat as necessary.

FWIW, I also tell people "safe travels" or "ride/drive safely" when they're leaving work. I don't mean it as I think what they're doing is dangerous or they're going to get killed on the way home. I certainly hope they don't take it that way. It's more of an acknowledgement that the roads can be dangerous and I'm wishing them the good fortune of an uneventful trip.

You could also reply with, "No thanks. I rode it ON PURPOSE." (With a wide-eyed stare and a shocked tone of voice.) :)

"Thanks for your concern" repeated as necessary is an elegant solution; it's polite and discourages further remarks.

I agree that "safe travels" -type remarks are welcome, in the spirit of "bon voyage".

@ beltim: Ignorance combined with lecturing can come across as rudeness, don't you think?

@ Jack: Great points, especially about the health benefits. I think I could say, "The health benefits statistically outweigh the risks, but thank you for your concern."

@ FLBiker: A reflective vest is one thing I do not have already and sounds like a good idea.

When I do get compliments, it's usually about being able to load my cargo bike up when I'm at the grocery store. And one time a trucker passed me, pulled over, and flagged me down to ask me where I got my electric bike. He said his father, who loves bicycling, was sick in the hospital and he wanted to buy him a bike like mine to make things easier for him.


Salim

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1649
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2015, 10:07:08 AM »
When I get bombarded with ridiculous questions, I tend to respond with equally ridiculous answers.

Them: "You rode your bike here?"

Me: "Helicopter is in the shop..."

The conversation ends there but without the hard feelings if you just told them to stfu.

Awesome! I love it!

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13746
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2015, 10:07:56 AM »
There are two approaches to fix this . . . minimalist and overkill.

1.  If you're just stopping somewhere while running errands, lock your helmet to your bike.  Then nobody needs to know that you rode in.

2.  Become 'that crazy bike dude/lady' at work.  Prominently place your helmet in a conspicuous spot so that proper deference can be paid to it and your awesomeness is available for all to see.  Liven up drab cube walls by arraying your brightest cycling spandex, thermals, and windproofs around you on dozens of hangers suspended from every surface for drying.  Decorate your office with bike parts (I like to hang the gears from worn cassettes on my cube walls with thumb tacks), and keep some bike chain lube in a spritzer bottle so you're always smelling bike fresh.  With the exception of espresso, only drink liquids from a bidon.  Sew three rear pockets into your dress shirts and during marathon meetings pull food and energy gels out of these pockets to replenish your energy.  Always walk closely behind people in hallways and while going up/down stairs to reduce wind resistance.  If at all possible, bring your bike into your cubicle with you, particularly when it's snowy, muddy, and wet.  Any time that someone mentions your bike, regale them with your favourite stories of the Tour, the Giro, the Vuleta, the spring classics, or whatever race happens to be going on.  A couple months of this and people will actively avoid any bike related communication with you.

Kroaler

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 781
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2015, 10:21:09 AM »
I used to be in the "Bicycles are super dangerous to ride" camp, but then I came across this article that factors in the health increases of riding a bike.
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/13/bicycling-the-safest-form-of-transportation/

I still feel unsafe to ride a bike for transportation in my area  though. The road beside my house is 25 mph, but traffic does 60mph. Ive called and complained, and they have upped patrols and tickets, but people are not slowing down....

Probably huge complaining on my part, but I would actually like to move somewhere I could get around on a bike. My only fear where I live now is getting nailed from behind by a car doing 60 in a blind curve,   thats why the road is a 25mph area.....
 

Salim

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1649
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2015, 10:31:43 AM »
@ GuitarStv

1. Excellent, no-drama solution.

2. That's hysterical! What fun!

vhalros

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 309
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2015, 10:40:27 AM »
Around here, about 7 % of people bicycle to work. So it is common enough that you don't get too many weird comments about it. But, still, occasionally some one tells me it is too dangerous. We all have different levels of risk tolerance, so I can't necessarily disagree with their assessment. But what I don't get is how is that acceptable? How do you accept a system where people need two-ton steel safety cages to travel distances of just a few miles, especially in a place like this where we are so short of space?

Salim

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1649
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2015, 10:45:07 AM »
I used to be in the "Bicycles are super dangerous to ride" camp, but then I came across this article that factors in the health increases of riding a bike.
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/06/13/bicycling-the-safest-form-of-transportation/

I still feel unsafe to ride a bike for transportation in my area  though. The road beside my house is 25 mph, but traffic does 60mph. Ive called and complained, and they have upped patrols and tickets, but people are not slowing down....

Probably huge complaining on my part, but I would actually like to move somewhere I could get around on a bike. My only fear where I live now is getting nailed from behind by a car doing 60 in a blind curve,   thats why the road is a 25mph area.....

That's a great article, too.

I totally agree with being selective about routes. Your decision sounds very sensible and it is sad the street where you live is a problem. It would be great if you could go a block and then turn and go down a better route, but I think you would have said if that was the case. I live in a semi-rural area, and routes to many of the places I want to go are mostly lovely country roads. For destinations with more dangerous routes, I drive the family pickup truck.

beltim

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2833
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2015, 10:47:58 AM »
@ beltim: Ignorance combined with lecturing can come across as rudeness, don't you think?

Absolutely, and that is often something that really bothers me.  I didn't mean to give the people lecturing you any credit here - I'm sorry if I gave that impression.  I was just trying to explain why they might be overreacting.

beltim

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2833
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2015, 10:51:10 AM »
The last time this happened (which isn't often, for me) I replied "statistically, I'm likely to live longer by riding a bike because the health benefits outweigh the risk of crashing." It actually made the person stop and think!

Do you have any evidence to support this beyond the MMM article?  That article had a great central point - that analysis needs to take into account health benefits as well as risks - but as the comments to that article show, MMM made a few nonsensical assumptions.  If you take those assumptions out, biking is still more dangerous than driving (though that doesn't mean it's not worth the risk).

Salim

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1649
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2015, 10:52:44 AM »
How do you accept a system where people need two-ton steel safety cages to travel distances of just a few miles, especially in a place like this where we are so short of space?

Well said! And there are so many other good reasons to choose bike over car. If we can find routes that are safe enough, we don't have to accept it.

Salim

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1649
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2015, 10:57:01 AM »
@ beltim: Ignorance combined with lecturing can come across as rudeness, don't you think?

Absolutely, and that is often something that really bothers me.  I didn't mean to give the people lecturing you any credit here - I'm sorry if I gave that impression.  I was just trying to explain why they might be overreacting.

No, I thought you were making a good point.

In the beginning I think I was very patient with people's remarks because they didn't understand, but I've lost my patience after so much pummeling. I started this thread because I would rather find a graceful solution than to blow up at people.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13746
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2015, 11:23:36 AM »
The last time this happened (which isn't often, for me) I replied "statistically, I'm likely to live longer by riding a bike because the health benefits outweigh the risk of crashing." It actually made the person stop and think!

Do you have any evidence to support this beyond the MMM article?

Absofuckinglutely:

http://www.ubcmj.com/pdf/ubcmj_3_2_2012_6-11.pdf
http://www.cycle-helmets.com/health-benefits.pdf
http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d4521

The studies show that when you look at the health benefits of cycling, you come out ahead (even accounting for accidental death and sucking tailpipe exhaust).

The Money Monk

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: Nevada
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2015, 11:29:58 AM »
When people say similar shit to me about my motorcycle, and how it is destined to kill me,  I usually just say "well you gotta die from something"

That perplexes them into silence most of the time.


RyanAtTanagra

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1099
  • Location: SF Bay, CA
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2015, 11:36:17 AM »
I got this when I started riding a motorcycle.  It was annoying, but for the most part I'd only get it once from each person when they first learned I rode, so it went away after a while as people got used to it.

For the couple people that kept insisting on sending me news articles about motorcycle accidents, I would send them news articles back about car accidents.  They stopped.

I think responding about the health benefits outweighing the risk is a good option.  I couldn't really do that with a motorcycle...

tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2015, 12:02:14 PM »
The other day at my newish job, a co-worker heard I was about to ride home.  She said (in an almost sympathetic tone) "Do you want a ride?"  I had to explain that it was my choice. 

I see someone else had the same experience.  People just can't seem to wrap their heads around it...

smalllife

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 983
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2015, 01:56:04 PM »
I usually just quip back that it's safer than driving.  They get confused and stop talking long enough for me to get on my bike and ride home/away ;-)

enigmaT120

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 390
  • Location: Falls City, OR
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2015, 03:48:28 PM »
@ GuitarStv
2. That's hysterical! What fun!

Yeah, he's saying be Jef the Cyclist from Pearls Before Swine! 

I tell people it's a lot safer than riding my motorcycle.  For me it probably is even safer than driving my car (talking about risks alone, not health benefits) as 20 miles of cycling and 80 miles of bus travel replace 100 miles of car or motorcycle driving.


frompa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 407
  • Location: Pennsylvania
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #24 on: October 21, 2015, 06:57:26 PM »
I often get similar comments.  I recall years ago a woman who worked in my office was negative about the fact that I bicycled to work, and then when I became pregnant and continued to commute by bike, she was openly horrified.  It's years later, and she (dear soul that she was) is long gone. I am still alive and bicycling. These days when I get the downer comments, I usually say something like, "Don't worry, I figure I'm less likely to get hurt if something goes wrong at my biking pace of 10 mph than if I were driving a car going 50 mph."  It makes the point that transport by any means carries some risk. 

I agree that GuitarStv's suggestions are hilarious.  Keep up the badassity, bike woman!

JRA64

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 791
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2015, 07:10:16 PM »
This is a drastic solution, but you could move to a more bike friendly place. Bikes are ubiquitous in my city and I never get this kind of grief. If anything it goes the other way, I'm encouraging people to ride their bikes and they are on the defensive.

The few questions I get about safety, I usually respond that my route is largely bike paths or quiet streets in subdivisions. I usually assume people are admiring or jealous, maybe I'm naive.

AlwaysLearningToSave

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 437
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2015, 12:31:53 PM »
From lectures, to horror stories, to a grimace with an imperative, "Be careful!" as I head out the door, I am bombarded almost everywhere I go for traveling by bicycle. It starts with a cloud passing across the visage and escalates rapidly until they can't help but blurt out dire warnings. (Is part of this maybe that they are seeing a small, quiet, aged woman doing something they are afraid to do...?)

My best experience was when I was discussing my new bike commuting habit with an insurance partner at my law firm.  He asked a few of the normal questions about whether I'm on streets or bike trails, whether I wear a helmet, etc., and I assured him of my safety as best I could.  Then he wondered aloud whether the firm owns a life insurance policy on me.  The firm normally does not insure associate attorneys, so he was apparently figuring a term life insurance policy on a young, healthy bike-commuter would be a low-cost investment with good enough odds of a high payoff to make an exception to the general rule. 

He was at least half joking, but I don't think he was entirely joking.  It was definitely one of the more amusing reactions to my cycling.  He at least gets points for creativity. 

beltim

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2833
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2015, 01:37:28 PM »
The last time this happened (which isn't often, for me) I replied "statistically, I'm likely to live longer by riding a bike because the health benefits outweigh the risk of crashing." It actually made the person stop and think!

Do you have any evidence to support this beyond the MMM article?

Absofuckinglutely:

http://www.ubcmj.com/pdf/ubcmj_3_2_2012_6-11.pdf
http://www.cycle-helmets.com/health-benefits.pdf
http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d4521

The studies show that when you look at the health benefits of cycling, you come out ahead (even accounting for accidental death and sucking tailpipe exhaust).

Thanks!  Those are certainly much better studies.  I wish that there were one that was US-focused, though, since the risk of injury and death is higher here than in the Netherlands.  A back of the envelope calculation suggests that the benefits ratio is probably ~1.7 in the US (benefit ratio of 9:1 in the Netherlands, risk of fatal accident is 5.3 times greater in the US compared to Netherlands).

alexrcraig

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Lansing, MI
    • Have a Rich Marriage
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2015, 02:09:33 PM »
It does not matter what you do or say, some people will never understand it.

That is just the way it is. Just smile and nod as you laugh your way to the bank because you have a larger nest egg than all of them. That is what I do anyways.

I run a small commercial cleaning company and I hear negative stuff all the time about my work as if I am lower in value, but I do not mind because I have people working for me and I laugh myself to the bank.

The truth is that I am probably making as much if not more than those doctors because I have no debt and do not have to carry the large malpractice insurance.

Some people will never understand your life of frugality. In fact, most people will never understand it.

Americans love to spend especially on their cars.

America's luxury car is a Ford F150 sitting at about $60,000. I hope that shows you American's preference for driving. I hope they live in that car!! lol

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/07/30/how-americas-truck-the-ford-f-150-became-a-plaything-for-the-rich/

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13746
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2015, 02:36:15 PM »
The last time this happened (which isn't often, for me) I replied "statistically, I'm likely to live longer by riding a bike because the health benefits outweigh the risk of crashing." It actually made the person stop and think!

Do you have any evidence to support this beyond the MMM article?

Absofuckinglutely:

http://www.ubcmj.com/pdf/ubcmj_3_2_2012_6-11.pdf
http://www.cycle-helmets.com/health-benefits.pdf
http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d4521

The studies show that when you look at the health benefits of cycling, you come out ahead (even accounting for accidental death and sucking tailpipe exhaust).

Thanks!  Those are certainly much better studies.  I wish that there were one that was US-focused, though, since the risk of injury and death is higher here than in the Netherlands.  A back of the envelope calculation suggests that the benefits ratio is probably ~1.7 in the US (benefit ratio of 9:1 in the Netherlands, risk of fatal accident is 5.3 times greater in the US compared to Netherlands).


I think your conclusion is a bit pessimistic.  You picked the lowest benefit ratio calculated when the study said that it ranges from 9:1 to 96:1.

It also might need modification as generally people in the US are fatter (and would benefit more from regular exercise than those in the Netherlands):

beltim

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2833
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2015, 02:49:41 PM »
The last time this happened (which isn't often, for me) I replied "statistically, I'm likely to live longer by riding a bike because the health benefits outweigh the risk of crashing." It actually made the person stop and think!

Do you have any evidence to support this beyond the MMM article?

Absofuckinglutely:

http://www.ubcmj.com/pdf/ubcmj_3_2_2012_6-11.pdf
http://www.cycle-helmets.com/health-benefits.pdf
http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d4521

The studies show that when you look at the health benefits of cycling, you come out ahead (even accounting for accidental death and sucking tailpipe exhaust).

Thanks!  Those are certainly much better studies.  I wish that there were one that was US-focused, though, since the risk of injury and death is higher here than in the Netherlands.  A back of the envelope calculation suggests that the benefits ratio is probably ~1.7 in the US (benefit ratio of 9:1 in the Netherlands, risk of fatal accident is 5.3 times greater in the US compared to Netherlands).


I think your conclusion is a bit pessimistic.  You picked the lowest benefit ratio calculated when the study said that it ranges from 9:1 to 96:1.

Possibly.  The 96:1 data comes from Spain with a crazy-low estimate of traffic deaths, which might be accurate for Spain but is certainly inaccurate for the US (or the Netherlands, which was the much better study that said 9:1).  Either way, it wasn't possible to do a direct comparison with the 96:1 study because the fatality rate for bicyclists in Spain wasn't given.  Addressing these issues is why I'd like to see a US study.  It's weird that the one US study didn't study the increased risks due to bicycling and only discussed the benefits.  And the total benefit from the US study (without any risks) wasn't as large as the estimated benefit in Spain including risks, which guarantees that the benefit ratio is going to be much lower in the US.

Quote
It also might need modification as generally people in the US are fatter (and would benefit more from regular exercise than those in the Netherlands):

Sure.  There are many adjustments that you'd need, and obesity and amount of exercise are probably at the top of that list.  Relative amounts of pollution are also quite different.

vhalros

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 309
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2015, 03:12:40 PM »
I'd guess that the US is so much less homogeneous in level of risk (as compared with the Netherlands; only 16 million people, national policies to promote cycling safety) that considering the national average is not terribly helpful in decided whether to cycle in one's own community.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 03:17:10 PM by vhalros »

Cycling Stache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 471
  • Age: 43
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2015, 03:24:18 PM »
If you're not trying to convert someone, the response I would (and do) give is:

"Yes, if I didn't love it so much, I probably wouldn't do it."

That always seems to works.

If you're trying to covert someone, show them your calves.

frompa

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 407
  • Location: Pennsylvania
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2015, 04:29:34 PM »
If you're not trying to convert someone, the response I would (and do) give is:

"Yes, if I didn't love it so much, I probably wouldn't do it."

That always seems to works.

If you're trying to covert someone, show them your calves.


++

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13746
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2015, 06:22:04 AM »
 . . . and don't tell them that they will never be able to buy jeans that fit properly once they develop massive thighs and a tiny waist.

vhalros

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 309
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2015, 07:16:00 AM »
. . . and don't tell them that they will never be able to buy jeans that fit properly once they develop massive thighs and a tiny waist.

Costco Urban Star Jeans. $15, slightly stretchy so they will fit reasonably well around both thighs and waist.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13746
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2015, 09:07:04 AM »
'twas a joke.  My true preference is to go everywhere pantsless so as to highlight boulder like thighs and calves that look like a python digesting a moose.

okits

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8722
  • Location: Canada
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2015, 12:06:14 PM »
Bike response: "I'll be careful, thanks!"

Motorcycle response: "The hotties dig it."

GuitarStv: my friends and I perceive Toronto (downtown core, Yonge Street) to be too dangerous for biking (aggressive drivers).  Are we just big wussypants?  (We take transit or walk, instead, so it's not being used as an excuse to drive everywhere.)


GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13746
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2015, 12:48:42 PM »
GuitarStv: my friends and I perceive Toronto (downtown core, Yonge Street) to be too dangerous for biking (aggressive drivers).  Are we just big wussypants?

Toronto's really not a bad place to cycle.  I wouldn't recommend cycling in the busier sections if you're easily flustered, don't know when to take the lane, have trouble starting/stopping, are uncomfortable riding with one hand so you can signal with the other, can't easily look over your shoulder without swerving into traffic, etc.  FWIW, my closest calls have been in the quieter areas of Toronto . . . in the very busy areas (especially at rush hour) the traffic is usually going so slowly that it's very safe.

okits

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8722
  • Location: Canada
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #39 on: October 23, 2015, 09:53:12 PM »
GuitarStv: my friends and I perceive Toronto (downtown core, Yonge Street) to be too dangerous for biking (aggressive drivers).  Are we just big wussypants?

Toronto's really not a bad place to cycle.  I wouldn't recommend cycling in the busier sections if you're easily flustered, don't know when to take the lane, have trouble starting/stopping, are uncomfortable riding with one hand so you can signal with the other, can't easily look over your shoulder without swerving into traffic, etc.  FWIW, my closest calls have been in the quieter areas of Toronto . . . in the very busy areas (especially at rush hour) the traffic is usually going so slowly that it's very safe.

:)  Thank you for the advice.  I'll keep in mind that a bike could be a realistic transportation option when I'm figuring out my next thing!

Salim

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1649
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #40 on: October 24, 2015, 08:05:46 PM »
More insight and great ideas... thanks everyone!

I often get similar comments.  I recall years ago a woman who worked in my office was negative about the fact that I bicycled to work, and then when I became pregnant and continued to commute by bike, she was openly horrified.  It's years later, and she (dear soul that she was) is long gone. I am still alive and bicycling. These days when I get the downer comments, I usually say something like, "Don't worry, I figure I'm less likely to get hurt if something goes wrong at my biking pace of 10 mph than if I were driving a car going 50 mph."  It makes the point that transport by any means carries some risk. 

I agree that GuitarStv's suggestions are hilarious.  Keep up the badassity, bike woman!

Thanks for the encouragement!

Salim

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1649
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #41 on: October 24, 2015, 08:10:51 PM »
I usually just quip back that it's safer than driving.  They get confused and stop talking long enough for me to get on my bike and ride home/away ;-)

I do like the simplicity of this approach.

Salim

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1649
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #42 on: October 24, 2015, 08:13:18 PM »
@ GuitarStv
2. That's hysterical! What fun!

Yeah, he's saying be Jef the Cyclist from Pearls Before Swine! 

I tell people it's a lot safer than riding my motorcycle.  For me it probably is even safer than driving my car (talking about risks alone, not health benefits) as 20 miles of cycling and 80 miles of bus travel replace 100 miles of car or motorcycle driving.

A 100-mile commute each way? Dude... !?!

Salim

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1649
Re: Defending Bicycling Badassity
« Reply #43 on: October 24, 2015, 08:20:11 PM »
It does not matter what you do or say, some people will never understand it.

That is just the way it is. Just smile and nod as you laugh your way to the bank because you have a larger nest egg than all of them. That is what I do anyways.

I run a small commercial cleaning company and I hear negative stuff all the time about my work as if I am lower in value, but I do not mind because I have people working for me and I laugh myself to the bank.
...
America's luxury car is a Ford F150 sitting at about $60,000. I hope that shows you American's preference for driving. I hope they live in that car!! lol

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/07/30/how-americas-truck-the-ford-f-150-became-a-plaything-for-the-rich/

I know what it's like to be underestimated; it's usually pretty cool.
Unbelievable about the F150!