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Interesting observation

hstileshstiles Posts: 414
edited August 2010 in Commuting chat
I had a pretty disastrous journey home today. Went to remove my bike from the racks at work to find I had completely flat front tyre. It was tipping it down, so I quickly changed tube and set on my way. About 5 miles up the road, I got another puncture and had no spare tube.

So, I summoned her indoors to rescue me.

Anyway, I walked my bike around 1 mile up the road to our meeting point and stood around for around 20 minutes in the rain waiting for her and I must have been passed by 20 or more cyclists and not one stopped to offer help.

So, either I am alone in offering assistance when I see someone working on their bike at the side of the road or other riders were having an off night due to the weather or I happen to have chosen a poor route home in terms of cyclists with a sense of camaraderie.

Posts

  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    You were on foot, it was raining and you were pushing a bike with a flat.
    She was in a car (one with a roof I would guess) and made you walk for a mile to your meeting point?
    Please tell me you weren't in SPD-SLs too.

    You're not alone in offering assistance, I do it as do loads of others, but I think its easier to stop and offer aid if Noah is thinking about relaunching the Ark.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • ndrundru Posts: 382
    Every time I see someone wheeling a bike it's always a MTB so I don't stop knowing that my spare tubes would be of no use.
    My question is - why don't you ask for help?
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    I always ask, unless it's obvious they have things under control. Rescued a girl last week who had just started commuting, had had a lesson on how to replace a tube, but then lost confidence when she had to do it for herself. 2 mins and a CO2 cartridge later, and she was on her way.

    I punctured in the middle of a very wet Richmond Park last night; only one of the ~20 cyclists who came past asked whether I needed help...

    Maybe this is a stupid question, but why don't you carry a puncture repair kit? It's obviously easier to replace a tube than to fix it, but with a repair kit and mini pump you can fix quite a lot of punctures in one trip. The Park Tools self-adhesive patches take up almost no space, and are very nearly as quick as replacing the tube...
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • prj45prj45 Posts: 2,208
    I'm not going to stop unless the cyclist is clearly in distress or trying to get their tyre off using their teeth.

    Or, here's a thought, why not ask for help? I'd done it a few times and it always results in immediate assistance (spare patch, blow on a pump, spanner I don't normally carry).
  • CXXCCXXC Posts: 237
    it doesn't take much to carry scabs/patches if you're already carrying a spare tube, pump and levers.

    i always ask if someone stopped with their bike needs help, last night it was to a guy on a folder stopped at lights on jamaica road. Do unto others....
    _______________________________________________

    www.redlightjump.co.uk

    FCN 3 (FCN 4 if I'm carrying clean pants)
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    edited August 2010
    Not wanting to be pernickety but you say you were standing waiting, not actively working on the bike. That's the difference.

    Edit to add that what you've described is why I carry a repair kit with many patches, not just a spare tube.
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    If you were just standing around in the rain, why would people think you were in distress? As you say, you were waiting to be picked up.

    Now if you had your bike upside down, were struggling with tyre/tube/chain, maybe a few would have stopped.

    I stop when peopel are obviously in trouble, but if someone looks like they have all under control, then it is not required, but more often than not I do ask.

    If someone is standing waiting with a bike I would probably not think they were in difficulty.
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • Agent57Agent57 Posts: 2,320
    edited August 2010
    I tend to ask people who I can see obviously have some sort of problem. If they're walking the bike, I might ask, but only if I can see that a tyre's flat or there's some other obvious visible problem (like a roadie walking along on SPD-SL cleats, perhaps). If they're just standing by a bike, I'll assume they're resting or waiting for someone.
    MTB commuter / 531c commuter / CR1 Team 2009 / RockHopper Pro Disc / 10 mile PB: 25:52 (Jun 2014)
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,961
    As other people have said if they look as if they know what they're doing or just pushing the bike then I wouldn't stop.

    If they look as though they need help then I stop.
  • W1W1 Posts: 2,636
    This attitude bugs me - why moan on the internet when no-one actively puts themselves out to stop to see if you need help, rather than asking for it at the time if you needed it?
  • CiB wrote:
    Not wanting to be pernickety but you say you were standing waiting, not actively working on the bike. That's the difference.

    Edit to add that what you've described is why I carry a repair kit with many patches, not just a spare tube.

    Yep, that'll be the issue.

    I wouldn't stop for someone who was just standing around, they are most likely just waiting for someone/something. As, indeed, you were!

    If they look like it's all under control I wouldn't stop either, but if they look like they might be struggling I definitely would.
  • SimonAHSimonAH Posts: 3,730
    Nope, I'd always stop. Worst it could cost me if they didn't need help is a five second delay on my trip, if they did need help then I'd make their day.

    I try to run my life on the basis that if doing something that only costs me a little helps someone else a lot then always do it - sounds holier than thou I know, but surprisingly it seems to work out that when I need help with something people come crawling out of the woodwork.

    Robert Heinlein called it 'enlightened self interest'
    FCN 5 belt driven fixie for city bits
    CAADX 105 beastie for bumpy bits
    Litespeed L3 for Strava bits

    Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.
  • How easy is it to get a puncture repair tab to stick when you're applying it in the tipping rain?
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    Greg66 wrote:
    How easy is it to get a puncture repair tab to stick when you're applying it in the tipping rain?
    The "instant" ones are a bit less forgiving in the wet, but I had no trouble putting one on last night.

    Put it this way: When you run out of spare tubes, would you rather have:
    1. A repair kit which may be a bit of a faff to use, and has a very small possibility of not working at all
    2. Nothing
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • jimmypippajimmypippa Posts: 1,712
    I carry both

    But then I have Vaude waterproof panniers and ride a tourer.

    I do ask if I see anyone who looks as if they are in trouble. Pushing a bike with a flat tyre for example.
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    No reply from the OP. Probably still in the airing cupboard, drying out.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • I was once the 'support mechanic' for a local charity cycle, i fixed 58 punctures that day...

    Rain lubricates the sharp object to more easily penetrate and puncture your tyre, then you're wet, have a flat tyre and are late for whatever it was you were doing.
    FCN16 - 1970 BSA Wayfarer

    FCN4 - Fixie Inc
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    Blue Meanie I have one question: FCN 16? How? Need pics.

    I'm thinking concrete framed tall bike with square wheels. You wearing mountaineering gear (including cramp-ons), towing a parachute and sporting a snorkeling mask instead of wraparound shades.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
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