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Loss of Civility

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Loss of Civility

Old 08-23-19, 01:01 PM
  #1  
viffer
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Loss of Civility

So I was fixing a flat on the sidewalk by the side of the road yesterday when somebody actually tried to back into the space and run me over while I was working on the bike. Now he absolutely had to see me sitting there, it was pretty obvious.

But it got me thinking just how much the world has changed recently. Not a single person walking or driving by stopped to ask if I was OK. I could have been run over, injured, bike down and sprawled all over the sidewalk but no one even bothered giving me a single look. A couple of guys even laughed at me while walking by saying look at this fool trying to fix his own bike, as if I had a choice. The guy who almost backed into me was the last straw.

Now Iíve always been pretty self-sufficient, carry spares and tools and am able to fix most things on the road.

I donít expect anyone to ever offer to help me, all I ask is you not harrass me or run me over. Just leave me alone and Iím fine. But like I said, the callousness and loss of civility of a lot of people these days is still shocking.
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Old 08-23-19, 01:11 PM
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I had a flat yesterday and every 2-5 minutes someone asked if I had everything I needed. Go figure.
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Old 08-23-19, 01:21 PM
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TimothyH
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I find it difficult to believe that someone intentionally tried to run you over.

If a motorist wanted you dead then you would not be here to post about the incident.


-Tim-
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Old 08-23-19, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by joelcool View Post
I had a flat yesterday and every 2-5 minutes someone asked if I had everything I needed. Go figure.
That must be the same phenomenon where if you walk into a store in a hurry, really needing something but are not able to find it. In that situation no salesperson will ever ask if you need help finding something, they will be running for the back room or telling you, "I just went on break.".

Conversely, if you walk into a store knowing right where the thing you need is located, you're guaranteed to have salespeople literally begging to help you find what you need, and they will not leave you alone.
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Old 08-23-19, 02:39 PM
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I find the opposite. If I stop on long ride to stretch, remove clothing items, or just take a 2 minute break, 90% of the time, someone will stop to ask if I’m alright or need something. Yes, there are lots of angry people out there, but there are also lots of caring, considerate people as well.
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Old 08-23-19, 03:48 PM
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There is a theory going around that intelligent life on Earth is becoming extinct.
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Old 08-23-19, 04:05 PM
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He tried to park on the sidewalk? Must be a rough neighborhood.
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Old 08-23-19, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
He tried to park on the sidewalk? Must be a rough neighborhood.
Or another country. In some places, cars are expected to put two wheels on the sidewalk.
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Old 08-23-19, 05:07 PM
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Perceptions of civility are highly subjective and often due to differences in regions and cultures. Or how we feel about the world on any given day. Even now the perceptions of aggression, aggravation and hostility from some world leaders doesn't necessarily filter down to everyone. In many cases it seems to have the opposite effect, reminding most normal folks to behave better than our leaders.

The meanest, most dangerous and racist place I've ever lived was a suburb just north of NYC in the late 1960s-early '70s. I've lived all over the US and traveled through much of the country, including the deep south in the 1960s. Nothing compared with the hostility of that one NY suburb. Every niche group -- divided by country of origin, race, religion, etc. -- despised everyone else and went out of their way to show it. And by all accounts in the news over the years it got worse for quite awhile. That myth about the melting pot didn't extend far beyond the immediate confines of NYC, which as I recall was actually pretty sociable in the '60s and '70s. I don't recall any problems as a kid wandering around the city, or with friends my age.

Subjectively, I tend to notice the handful of drivers who are careless, negligent, rude or reckless, even though that's probably less than 1 per cent of the drivers I encounter. It's safe to say the drivers who make an extra effort to be courteous far outnumber the bad drivers. Most are simply neutral and don't draw attention to themselves, so it's easy to overlook people who are behaving... like normal, civilized human beings.

Folks who ride bikes are just a subset of the same personality types. There's maybe 1 per cent who are overtly rude or reckless and treat the crowded MUP like their personal racetrack. There's maybe 10% who might stop and offer assistance. The rest just behave like normal civilized folks. They don't cause problems and don't get involved unless they see an obvious problem.

Someone working on a bike by the roadside doesn't translate to obvious problem, since mosts of us are self sufficient. I don't stop to offer help to cyclists I don't know unless I make a quick determination that they might need help. And a few times I have helped folks fix minor problems. Those are using riding hybrids or mountain bikes. Most roadies tend to be very self sufficient. I don't think I've ever encountered a cyclist on a road bike who actually needed any help, even when I asked. If it's a friend or acquaintance I'll stop and keep 'em company for a few minutes, unless they seem to not want any company. Just play it by ear.
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Old 08-23-19, 07:51 PM
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If you don't mind saying, where did this occur? City, state?
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Old 08-23-19, 08:48 PM
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Iíve seen both sides. I broke a chain a few miles from home and a man stopped and was willing to drive me home which would have made him
late for an appointment.

Another time after a crash a woman who witnessed it rushed out of her home to check on me and brought me some products to clean my wounds.

On the other side, after another crash on a two lane, no one stopped to check on me. Many cars went by, ignoring the bloody road rash.
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Old 08-23-19, 10:58 PM
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Reminds me, when I resumed cycling in 2015 after a 30+ year hiatus, it took me weeks to get strong enough to ride 3 miles without a rest break. Yup, I was in terrible shape. For the first few weeks I had to stop every 400 yards to huff on my asthma inhaler and catch my breath.

So, naturally, the first time I ventured 3 miles from home and didn't take a pump, I got a flat from a goathead grass burr. Happened in a borderline rural/semi-suburban area. I asked a fellow working in his yard if he had an air pump. Instead he gave me a lift home in his pickup.

For a couple of years when I rode by there I'd stop to chat or wave while passing. Haven't seen the fellow recently. Good guy, though. And he's not the only one. Most folks are pretty decent if we keep things in perspective.
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Old 08-24-19, 01:41 AM
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Guy offered to give me a ride in his car after I got a flat and realized my spare tubes presto valve was too short. But ya have come across many a holes on the road. Most drivers see us as a nuisance unfortunately...
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Old 08-24-19, 04:24 AM
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I can't speak for the civility end of it because of what I did for a living, I.E. the people I dealt with never had any so my view is undoubtedly skewed. However, I have finally come into "my" time inasmuch that I'm not among the sharpest tools in the shed intellectually. However, I've been able to mask it quite well because common sense is the new super power
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Old 08-24-19, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I find it difficult to believe that someone intentionally tried to run you over.


If a motorist wanted you dead then you would not be here to post about the incident.



-Tim-

There use to be cyclist hate FB groups in Australia and the comments people made were sickening, cyclists should be murdered sort of thing as a sport. But haven't seen one for awhile so may have been shut down now. There is a strong culture of cyclist vs motorist though and I occasionally get people ignore the 1 metre distance passing rule here almost clipping my bars at high speed "very deliberately" sometimes just abuse.

Occasionally there are hit and run incidents killing the cyclist and the police hunting them down finding they have a history as cycling haters. When I see them on the TV nightly news in police custody I wounder what there thinking now, was it all worth it.
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Old 08-24-19, 07:42 AM
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The elite, social paradigmn (sp?) is to keep one separated and fearful. The little green dude (in a taoist moment) spoke of fear leading to anger and violence... the mind killer....

Whether we intend to, or not, we balk and debunk the american, instantly gratified, gas fueled, consumer society.
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Old 08-24-19, 08:15 AM
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The driver tried to run you over when you were on the sidewalk?

That's awful.
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Old 08-24-19, 09:54 AM
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So......You are obviously fixing a tire and probably in a bad mood. (flat tires do that) Everybody can plainly see that and leave you alone to do your business. Which at the end of your post you specifically ask for anyway. So what's the problem? You want them to ask you a stupid question? "Flat tire, huh?" "Nope, the air got stale in my tires and it needed changing! Here's your sign!"

Next, you didn't paint a good picture of getting run over but it sounds like you were sitting on a curb doing your work. What is a motorist supposed to do? Stop in traffic, get out of their car and politely ask you to move your feet? You can plainly see them too so get out of the way. Parking sucks in most towns anyway and it doesn't help when some dude has his bike scattered all over the place.

If you are looking for incivility, no doubt you will find it. I have had many roadside emergencies on the motorcycle and on the bike and I always get offers of help.
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Old 08-24-19, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Everyone is angry these days. Maybe we can blame the politicians in DC for dividing the country. Sad!
(Facebook * Twitter) ^ bell curve = no hope for humanity

sad but true
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Old 08-24-19, 05:22 PM
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all or nothing thinking.
always.
never.
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Old 08-24-19, 07:51 PM
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Its called karma
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Old 08-24-19, 08:37 PM
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Sounds about right. People these days...
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Old 08-25-19, 07:56 AM
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next time pick a better place to fix your flat
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Old 08-25-19, 11:06 AM
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The last time I had to fix a flat by the side of the road, a Spanish-speaking family stopped to offer me a ride. I declined, since I had already replaced the tube and only had to inflate it.
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Old 08-25-19, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Worknomore View Post
Its called karma
In this case... Car-ma, maybe...?
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