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So I got a flat on my ride home yesterday, it's a busy path so were quite a few cyclists passing by and most of them asked if I was ok, some even stopped when it wasn't neccessary. As nice of them it is to ask and I know they have best of intentions - is it ok to actually be a bit annoyed by having to shout 'yep fine!' every few seconds? Reckon it cost me a minute or two while I was attempting to perfmorm a super rapid repair  1 

31 comments

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ktache [1497 posts] 1 month ago
23 likes

A passing cyclist cannot possibly be aware of how many times you have already been asked.

Believe me, it's a lot nicer than having people ride past and not asking, even when you have everything you need.

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srchar [1331 posts] 1 month ago
13 likes

No. They were just being nice.  I'll be sure to ignore you next time you're patching up a tube after your second puncture of the day, rather than donating a tube. Wouldn't want to cost you precious seconds  1

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nniff [302 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes

What they said - if you're fine, no problem.  If you're not, you'd be grateful, even if there's nothing to be done to help (except maybe ride on up the road a mile to where there's a mobile signal and pass on a message).

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domats [9 posts] 1 month ago
13 likes

Actually that's not always the case and it's always better to be safe than sorry.

I remember a few years ago I was on a rural road out in the middle of nowhere and my chain went.  Scrambled around for my powerlink, it wasn't there.   Shit.  After about 15 minutes another cyclist came and stopped, just about the only other person on this long stretch of road.  He asked if I was OK?  Errr...no, chains gone and no spare link.  He did have a link and within 5 minutes I was back on the road.  Imagine if you were in a pickle (not just a simple flat tyre) and passers by don't bother to ask or help?  I think it's only good manners myself, annonying or not.

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BehindTheBikesheds [3063 posts] 1 month ago
8 likes

Take it that actually our (mostly) happy bunch are decent people and want to help out, you see people on bikes giving motorists a push in circumstances where they need not stop at all but do. Often because it's easy to jump off and lend a hand, that's the bloody marvellous beauty of cycling, no need to worry where to park up and we see the being held up by offering a lending hand as no big deal, the other way around, meh, not so often IME.

It's hard for people to see if you are indeed okay, sometimes you might look to have all the gear but actually you forgot the most important thing like taking out the punctured tube from last time, or for some reason you took your levers out for another bag or you've just knackered your new tube putting the tyre back on or even you can't get that tubeless tyre on because you've just snapped your lever trying and you've gloop everywhere and in a right two 'n eight.

The amount of times I've gone past people walking when they look on the face of it fairly keen cyclists only to find their pump is fubar'd or some other issue.

Maybe for next time you can take a little (or medium/big) card with you and prop it up 5m beforehand with a 'I'm all good thanks' in big bold letters, just to save you the annoyance like.

Seriously though, relax, see it that you're part of a great group of like minded people and that you'd offer help to someone else in the same predicament and you might be the 50th person to offer help.

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Mungecrundle [1422 posts] 1 month ago
8 likes

When I was 14, a friend of mine died of an asthma attack on a crowded commuter train. Apparently no-one came to her aid and I learned later that this is actually more common than you might expect as everyone thinks someone else will help and they don't want to get involved.

Obviously a puncture is hardly in the same league of life threatening events, but my take home message would be that even when there are lot's of other people around who might be able to offer assistance, best to ask*.

 

*This does not of course apply to riding buddies, who's punctures and their attempts at roadside repair are to be mocked without mercy or assistance of any form.

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ktache [1497 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

Always offer help, though if the rider in difficulty is a lone female be a little cautious, slow, do not dismount, and at a distance offer assistance.  I think some of us can appear to be a bit threatening.

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factor41 [21 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes

I'd always ask because it's nice to think that if I was in need, someone would offer their assistance rather than riding past. Quite a few people have been grateful for help I've given in the past too, even on busy rides where dozens of other people would have passed them before I got there.

If you want less people to ask, you'll need to up the pace of your super rapid repairs!  3

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hawkinspeter [3489 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

I usually only offer help if the cyclist looks like they need it (e.g. sat by the bike or looking sad/distressed) but I don't normally bother if someone is working on their bike. It depends where it is as well - I'm more likely to check if someone is okay on roads with little traffic.

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a1white [170 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

In addition to the other excellent comments made,  I’d say if you don’t want people asking you if you need help, simply wheel your bike away from the stream of passing cyclist (such as on to a side street). 

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BehindTheBikesheds [3063 posts] 1 month ago
11 likes
ktache wrote:

Always offer help, though if the rider in difficulty is a lone female be a little cautious, slow, do not dismount, and at a distance offer assistance.  I think some of us can appear to be a bit threatening.

Sorry but I won't do that, I won't make a special effort to stand away because the person happens to be of a partiuclar sex, that is utterly ridiculous to my mind. Continually propagating that all men are sexual predators/perverts is frankly offensive, it serves no purpose in the long run but to condition women to think they need to be on the defensive anytime a male approaches them and that men should be overly cautious, in fact the way things are men are more likely to continue on past because they don't want to be accused of anything because of the ludicrous thinking.

I randomly chat to kids in the park (when I'm with the grandkids), shops, supermarket - a little girl in LIDL yesterday was talking in the same pitch/tone of the Haribo advert so it made me smile and I said 'you can make a big big sandwich', to which the parent laughed, I'm big, I'm male, and presently have a close shaved head, do I think I 'look' threatening, do I bollocks, what does that even mean FFS!!

I will not be put into a box that says thou shalt not talk to a child or stop and offer assistance to a women (but be 5 metres away) because all men are pervs/peadophiles, this thinking is utterly bonkers and harmful both ways.

Act like a normal human being and treat others like normal human beings!

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srchar [1331 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Unfortunately BTBS the world has moved on from the time when a man could help a woman or speak to a child without raising eyebrows. We're all sexists, rapists and paedos now, collectively guilty of the crimes of all men.

I'm only half joking too.

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BehindTheBikesheds [3063 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

it's the media's fault, making out there's a pervert on every street corner behind  a bush or down a dark street at night and/or every man is wanting to kidnap your child for deviant reasons.

I'm a white male cyclist with a severe short back and slap, luckily I've virtually lost the 'Northerner' tag due to my accent having virtually all gone after 30 years, the only thing that could make it worse is if I had a  cum guzzling bangkok ladyboy tattooed on the chest and a Swastika tatooed on my forhead.

I'll just go about doing the same thing I always have, I'm not about to creep up behind someone and go 'boo' but I'm not keeping my distance or behaving differently just because society paints some warped version of me/my species.

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dunnoh [215 posts] 1 month ago
8 likes

I got a flat on the bridgewater canal.  Mended it.  Two CO2 cartridges failed.  My pump failed.  Only one person stopped in 30 minutes.  I ended up soaking wet and having to call the wife. 

Why the **** are you moaning about the kindness of strangers you miserable sod? 

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Fishpastesarnie [31 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

I would rather someone asked than just pass on by.

Two years ago I was taking part in the BHF London to Brighton Off-road when my chain broke. I was  in the middle of nowhere and approximately 3 miles from the mechanic stop. Only 2 people out of the 50+ that passed me bothered to stop and ask if I needed help. 

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ibr17xvii [426 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

I would be more annoyed if a load of people passed me without asking than getting a bit pis*ed off by people who did TBH.

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Fionnghal [12 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

I have to say that, as that lone female rider mentioned in an earlier post, I don't feel threatened or imtimdated by a male cyclist stopping beside me to ask if I'm okay.  What about when it's the other way around?   I have   assisted lone male cyclists - should I be cautious in case he sees it as an attempted chat up?  I don't think so. It's just what normal decent cycling folk do.

 

ps I have only ever once been annoyed by a male cyclist offering assistance. It was heehaw to do with concern for my personal safety. Rather it was was a concern for his own safety as I really wanted to inflict pain on him as he mansplained how to fix punctures to me since I couldn't possibly be capable of doing that as a woman.  LOL.

 

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a1white [170 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
ktache wrote:

Always offer help, though if the rider in difficulty is a lone female be a little cautious, slow, do not dismount, and at a distance offer assistance.  I think some of us can appear to be a bit threatening.

Sorry but I won't do that, I won't make a special effort to stand away because the person happens to be of a partiuclar sex, that is utterly ridiculous to my mind. Continually propagating that all men are sexual predators/perverts is frankly offensive, it serves no purpose in the long run but to condition women to think they need to be on the defensive anytime a male approaches them and that men should be overly cautious, in fact the way things are men are more likely to continue on past because they don't want to be accused of anything because of the ludicrous thinking.

I randomly chat to kids in the park (when I'm with the grandkids), shops, supermarket - a little girl in LIDL yesterday was talking in the same pitch/tone of the Haribo advert so it made me smile and I said 'you can make a big big sandwich', to which the parent laughed, I'm big, I'm male, and presently have a close shaved head, do I think I 'look' threatening, do I bollocks, what does that even mean FFS!!

I will not be put into a box that says thou shalt not talk to a child or stop and offer assistance to a women (but be 5 metres away) because all men are pervs/peadophiles, this thinking is utterly bonkers and harmful both ways.

Act like a normal human being and treat others like normal human beings!

 

you’re being a little silly here. Just use your common sense. If you’re on a dark deserted road at night, and a lone female has a flat, obviously they will probably be cautious of random men approaching them. Try to put yourself in their shoes. By all means you should offer to help, but Ktache makes perfect sense here, try to do it in a considerate, non-confrontational, manner It’s really not that complicated.

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Rick_Rude [131 posts] 1 month ago
7 likes

Surely if you're cycling and approaching a fellow cyclist it's hardly as random as if you just appeared out of field on foot or something?

I think the amount of men randomly cycling about looking for lone women is probably fairly small when the car is vehicle of choice for sex offending. 

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John Smith [252 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes
Rick_Rude wrote:

Surely if you're cycling and approaching a fellow cyclist it's hardly as random as if you just appeared out of field on foot or something?

I think the amount of men randomly cycling about looking for lone women is probably fairly small when the car is vehicle of choice for sex offending. 

 

Ye, surely if your a nervous lone female cyclist with a flat on a dark country road another cyclist stopping and greeting you with a cheery hello and offer of help is going to make you feel much safer than a car stopping, and if you really are feeling unsafe then even an offer to hold a light and a bit of company for a few moments would be appreciated.

In fact the only time I have stopped to help (I have offered many times) was a lady on her own who was walking with a flat on a busy road. Being non threatening and keeping away didn’t even cross my mind. I just happily asked if I could help and changed her tyre for her (she was a tourist with a hire bike and no idea about mantinance who had cycled to Blenheim palace). 

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brooksby [4352 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
John Smith wrote:
Rick_Rude wrote:

Surely if you're cycling and approaching a fellow cyclist it's hardly as random as if you just appeared out of field on foot or something?

I think the amount of men randomly cycling about looking for lone women is probably fairly small when the car is vehicle of choice for sex offending. 

 

Ye, surely if your a nervous lone female cyclist with a flat on a dark country road another cyclist stopping and greeting you with a cheery hello and offer of help is going to make you feel much safer than a car stopping, and if you really are feeling unsafe then even an offer to hold a light and a bit of company for a few moments would be appreciated.

In fact the only time I have stopped to help (I have offered many times) was a lady on her own who was walking with a flat on a busy road. Being non threatening and keeping away didn’t even cross my mind. I just happily asked if I could help and changed her tyre for her (she was a tourist with a hire bike and no idea about mantinance who had cycled to Blenheim palace). 

Only time I've actually stopped and helped anyone, it was a woman. She actually waved *me*down, though (she couldn't find the puncture, to patch it).

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longassballs [138 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Many times have I slowed down and shouted "y'alright?" to someone stopped by the side of the road to be greeted in reply with "y'alright" and perhaps a nod. Too late to say "No, not hello... I'm asking if you need assistance!" as I've gone past in the second it's taken to register and end up just laughing to myself, cursing being a Northener.

Weirdest decline of help was from a guy who I rode past again 30km later as I looped around yet only a few km's from where he was stopped but this time he was riding with a sledgehammer in one hand!

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hawkinspeter [3489 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
longassballs wrote:

Many times have I slowed down and shouted "y'alright?" to someone stopped by the side of the road to be greeted in reply with "y'alright" and perhaps a nod. Too late to say "No, not hello... I'm asking if you need assistance!" as I've gone past in the second it's taken to register and end up just laughing to myself, cursing being a Northener. Weirdest decline of help was from a guy who I rode past again 30km later as I looped around yet only a few km's from where he was stopped but this time he was riding with a sledgehammer in one hand!

That's why I shout "You OK?" rather than "Alright me babber?" (and I'm not really that Bristolian).

Are you sure that wasn't Peter Gabriel? Or maybe some kind of MC?

 

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tommyraleigh86 [7 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Wow quite a lot of response, sorry if I offended I don't mean it really ha! Just a niggling thought in the back of my mind, of course I totally apprecaite people asking really and I'll probably be very grateful one day when everything has gone tits up!  1 

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NPlus1Bikelight... [87 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes

Always offer help and always be grateful for others for giving a damn in a times where few show any community spirit. Last week I stopped for a cyclist who basically didn't want to get their hands dirty putting their chain back on and had it impressively stuck between the wheel and cassette.  They didn't actively ask for help but didn't say no either and would have likely pushed the bike home - then was surprised and grateful when presented with 10 second fix and quick indexing check.  They were happy, I was happy and hopefully they will pass it on, I doubt it will be mechanical help but you never know, might get a wider pass from them in a car one day. 

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froze [105 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

I agree, be glad and thankful you live in an area where the people are nice; remember to pass it on though, if you see someone with a flat you do the same and ask if they need anything.  I've lived in places where people could care less if you're lying half dead on the street, they won't bother to stop to help because it takes their training time away!

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giff77 [1364 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes
tommyraleigh86 wrote:

Wow quite a lot of response, sorry if I offended I don't mean it really ha! Just a niggling thought in the back of my mind, of course I totally apprecaite people asking really and I'll probably be very grateful one day when everything has gone tits up!  1 

You do realise that as people slow down they won’t be asking if everything is alright but “Is that you Tommy”. When you respond in the affirmative they’ll be answering “I’ll be seeing you then”!!!

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TwisTed [10 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
ktache wrote:

Always offer help, though if the rider in difficulty is a lone female be a little cautious, slow, do not dismount, and at a distance offer assistance.  I think some of us can appear to be a bit threatening.

While I appreciate the sentiment I cant really think of much less threatening than a dude, in lycra, with cleats etc. If we're brave enough to be out on our bikes alone in the first place, maybe even riding in traffic we'll be ok with help if we've forgotten the right size allen key.

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The Rake [96 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
dunnoh wrote:

I got a flat on the bridgewater canal.  Mended it.  Two CO2 cartridges failed.  My pump failed.  Only one person stopped in 30 minutes.  I ended up soaking wet and having to call the wife. 

Why the **** are you moaning about the kindness of strangers you miserable sod? 

did you get wet because you fell in the canal?

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madcarew [1003 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
ktache wrote:

Always offer help, though if the rider in difficulty is a lone female be a little cautious, slow, do not dismount, and at a distance offer assistance.  I think some of us can appear to be a bit threatening.

Sorry but I won't do that, I won't make a special effort to stand away because the person happens to be of a partiuclar sex, that is utterly ridiculous to my mind. Continually propagating that all men are sexual predators/perverts is frankly offensive, it serves no purpose in the long run but to condition women to think they need to be on the defensive anytime a male approaches them and that men should be overly cautious, in fact the way things are men are more likely to continue on past because they don't want to be accused of anything because of the ludicrous thinking.

I randomly chat to kids in the park (when I'm with the grandkids), shops, supermarket - a little girl in LIDL yesterday was talking in the same pitch/tone of the Haribo advert so it made me smile and I said 'you can make a big big sandwich', to which the parent laughed, I'm big, I'm male, and presently have a close shaved head, do I think I 'look' threatening, do I bollocks, what does that even mean FFS!!

I will not be put into a box that says thou shalt not talk to a child or stop and offer assistance to a women (but be 5 metres away) because all men are pervs/peadophiles, this thinking is utterly bonkers and harmful both ways.

Act like a normal human being and treat others like normal human beings!

In spite of the miles, BTBS and I find common ground once again. I don't treat females any differently in that kind of situation. And the same with kids. If they interact with me, I interact with them. Normalising men as different / potentially violent or predatory as the default setting normalises the concept, and that in the end does society enormous damage. IMHO.

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