Co-workers don't get it...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    NDD
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    Co-workers don't get it...

    I have never seen a thread like this, sorry if it exists.

    Post stories of the things your co-workers say or do when they learn you bike to commute.

    Today, this guy I don't particularly like anyway admitted that he will both cuts off cyclists who are stopped or stopping at a stop sign (coming from behind) and that he likes to peel out when passing cyclists. He said waiting for them to go is a waste of his time. I told him I wouldn't expect any better of him. (Unrelated note: while I was diligently working today, this jackoff was standing around with two other guys talking about basketball or texting).

    Now it's your turn!!
    dang

  2. #2
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    Motorists are gonna have to get used to cyclist more as the years go by. I generally get a lot of respect, I ride in days when its -40C or-40F with a windchill -50C or -58F. But some are baffled that I can buy groceries and beer. I hear you there are many motorists who hate cyclists.

  3. #3
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    One of our office staff, a fair weather cyclist for whom I have a fair bit of respect, asked me about my studded tires and winter cycling the other day. I had been outside skidding logs and cutting standing dead trees for a few hours, freezing my ass off due to lack of movement.

    To warm up, I rode my bike to the small town lunch and breakfast place about two miles up the road. When I got back with a gut full of pulled pork and home fries, I was asked "wasn't it cold out there?"

  4. #4
    Yeah!
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    I get stupid questions like "Is that your bike?" (as I'm walking it into my office, helmet and bike attire still on) and "Where is your car?". Not one shred of intelligence around here.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  5. #5
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    I get this quite a bit, not necessarily from my coworkers though. They have adjusted to the fact that yeah, I ride in. Yeah, in the snow. Yeah, in the cold as well. Other people at the hospital though, they are just in shock when I ride in when it is 30 out. I used to think that it was cold at 30, but not really any more. OMG, you rode in? It is supposed to snow tonight. Yeah, that is why I bought a fat bike. And then you get the dumb questions, like above. Aren't you cold when you ride in? No, it feels like I am laying on the face of the sun. Like somehow being outside on a bike is any different than when you walk to your car. Were you cold when you walked in to work? Yeah, it's cold out. Dumbass.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  6. #6
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    Any co-worker who raids the break room donuts, leaving only an empty box....will NEVER get it.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  7. #7
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    What strikes me...is looking into a work place from the outside...

    The workers all kinda look and act the same????

    some places have a some pretty bad attitudes (moral) some have pretty good attitudes (or moral).

  8. #8
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    I love my co workers, they think I am crazy for commuting during the winter here in Michigan, but they do respect my decision to ride.
    Usually I am the one that jump into the Donuts box whenever somebody brings them to the office and I haven't experience any harassment from drivers on the road.
    Drivers usually move to the other lane to pass me if there is not incoming traffic. I ride as far to the right as possible though and I wear all bright clothing and lots of lights on the bike.

  9. #9
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    Most the people I work with don't own cars. They walk, ride, or take transit. Those that do own cars get why the rest of us don't. It's unbelievably nice to work in an environment that is fully accepting of all types.

    In the past I've had co-workers express things like the OPs. Co-worker or not, if I encounter these people I let them know their behavior is callous and lay out the dangers of those types of actions. No matter their excuse it is always wrong, on every level. It's amazing how courageous people feel when they're in their vehicles. Take them out of the car and they tend to not have as much conviction in their argument.

    Friggin' bully mentality. Bunch of adolescents in adult bodies.

  10. #10
    jrm
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    Did you ride today? how far do you ride? me: bah bah bah them: Oh thats not very far. It'd be cool if after almost 15 years of asking me the same flipping questions they get the point of no longer asking..but Nooooo. I usually get the jump on the donut selection since im one of the first people in. But lately ive been backing off on the donuts and settling for chex mix instead.

  11. #11
    NDD
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    There was only one day where we had a box of donuts at work. Free coffee every day. I'm on that.

    It just irks me. I didn't like the guy, and now he just pisses me of every time. No perspective on anything but his easy peasy middle class sheltered life. College kids, man. He's the type that comes into work and then has to take ten minutes to leave get breakfast. Then eats "discretely" behind the cash register while texting. And he thinks he's in charge.

    The bike thing was the icing on the cake. In general they just don't get it. Another co-worker insisted that I'm a jerk for riding on the campus. I explained to her how I structure my schedule so I'm not coming in at busy times, less people in the way, etc and she insists I'm wrong. If I stopped riding where campus started, it'd be a fififteen minute walk to campus. That's beyond a waste of time, but I did it one day when it was icy for pedestrian safety.
    dang

  12. #12
    29er and 26er
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    No one I work with has given me a hard time, and it sounds like I need a new job.... I can't remember the last time someone brought in donuts. :-( Now I'm hungry.

  13. #13
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    I work with a bunch of rough and tumble guys. No one goes in to the pest control business expecting things to be rainbows and unicorn farts.

    The first day I started riding, the guy who trained me came back from vacation, looked at me and said "Dude, I leave for a week and you turn into a Chinaman on me?".

    Over the last 2 years, I've had comments around "Do you wear the tight little short shorts and stuff?" to "Don't you make enough to buy a car", knowing full well what my yearly income is and whether or not I could afford a vehicle. All in all, I'd say that most of my coworkers are either on board or understanding of the situation. Not so much for my regional director, however...

  14. #14
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    I must be lucky. No one I work with really cares how I get to work. The comments I do get are typically "You bike how far? Good for you!" or "How was the ride this morning?" Only once did someone try to lecture me on how choosing to ride in the snow was unsafe, but I actually think she was just concerned that some idiot driver would lose control. We had a chat about it and she relented, agreeing that riding my bike on the sidestreets is probably just as safe as driving on the freeway in that weather.

    I do have one friend that likes to rib me about my tights, but I think that's a fair comment.

  15. #15
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    I get a few comments about my safety, so I remind them about the 4 times I got rear ended driving in Boston traffic. 6 years pedaling, no issues except 1 minor rider error.

  16. #16
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    Where I work people don't always know my name or me personally, but they know the guys who rides his bike every day. Now instead of being surprised when I ride they are surprised when I don't. It's pretty cool. They don't always understand why, but think it's pretty cool.

  17. #17
    honez1414
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    I work in a manufacturing plant in the deep South. I get two types of reactions. The first who thinks I have a death wish and am being irresponsible by "taking such risks". And the second who treats me like a superhero because I ride in to work 15 miles one way.

    We have a "healthy living" board so I will be looking to join that group and kick off some bicycle advocacy. May be an uphill battle because I'm fairly certain my sexual orientation is questioned just because I don't drive the 5.6 liter in every morning.

  18. #18
    The White Jeff W
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    Re: Co-workers don't get it...

    I used to have this co-worker who was already a douche, then he bought a Harley.

    One of the days I rode my bike to work he rolled his eyes & asked me if I knew what the difference between my bike and his was. I said "yeah" and pointed at his gut hanging over his Harley belt buckle.

    I don't think he ever spoke to me again, which was OK with me.
    No moss...

  19. #19
    honez1414
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    I'm stealing that response

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13 View Post
    I used to have this co-worker who was already a douche, then he bought a Harley.

    One of the days I rode my bike to work he rolled his eyes & asked me if I knew what the difference between my bike and his was. I said "yeah" and pointed at his gut hanging over his Harley belt buckle.

    I don't think he ever spoke to me again, which was OK with me.
    That is perfect.
    dang

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by honez1414 View Post
    May be an uphill battle because I'm fairly certain my sexual orientation is questioned just because I don't drive the 5.6 liter in every morning.
    You can claim no need to overcompensate.

  22. #22
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    That's why I wear bike shorts sometimes and snap my fingers down near my crotch so people look.

    When coworkers think they're funny because it's cold or snowing and make a comment, I always say something positive like bragging about a tail wind.
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  23. #23
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    No one gives a s**t how anyone gets to work where I work which is probably how it should be. I get the occasional comment along the lines of "Isn't it dangerous to cycle on the road" etc but that's about it. There has been a definite increase in the number of folk cycling to work over the last couple of years, mostly for health reasons I would say. We don't seem to have any rampant anti cyclist motorists or sanctimonious, holier than thou, eco warrior bike commuters at my place.

  24. #24
    The White Jeff W
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    Re: Co-workers don't get it...

    I'm hoping to get a new job at a company about 7 miles from my house. If this comes through I'll definitely doing alot of bike commuting. I could probably bike there in less time than it takes me to drive to my current job.
    No moss...

  25. #25
    NDD
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    Y'all are lucky to have either supported or uninterested co-workers. When it's really cold out and one of my professors sees my helmet, she always says. "Oh dear, bless your heart." or something nice.

    I just don't get other people's interest. I bike commute for me.
    dang

  26. #26
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    Funny thread. I have gotten some of the "Don't you have a car?" ("No, it's a Jeep.") and "Cant' you afford a car?" (No, I'm a teacher.) comments, but usually it's some variation of the "you rode your bike today?" question, with variations in emphasis according to the severity of the weather conditions. It's comical, because I ride every day (that's my standard answer: "I ride every day.") but the same folks ask some variation of the same question as soon as it's hot or cold or raining or snowing or blowing or anything other than a bluebird day.

    "Did you ride today?"
    "Did you RIDE today?"
    "You RODE today?"
    "You rode TODAY?"
    "Did you ride TODAY?"
    "You rode in THIS?"
    "You rode in THAT?"
    "You RODE in this?"
    "You RODE in that?"

    No amount of deadpan "Yeah, I ride every day." is enough. The question will be asked again.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  27. #27
    psycho cyclo addict
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    Most are intrigued (particularly when I ride in on really cold or snowy days) and some just don't get it.

    On the less frequent occasions that I have to drive to work, someone invariably asks why I didn't ride a bike that day.
    【ツ】 eDub 【ツ】

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  28. #28
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    I got asked the other day by two different people, one I work with, the other I don't if I rode on the sidewalk when I rode in. When I said no, one response was positive, the other very negative. She condescendingly told me that bikes don't belong on the road and that they should be on the sidewalk, like when your mom told you when you were 5 years old to stay out of the street. I proceeded to tell her that the sidewalk was actually more dangerous for everyone and that riding on the sidewalk is illegal in a lot of cities. She didn't believe me, and had to talk down to me. Lady, no offense, but go to hell.

    I get a lot of what CommuterBoy posted as well. Mostly disbelief that I rode in. As long as it isn't icy, pouring rain or below 0, I will more than likely be riding in. People cannot seem to grasp that. Oh it's cold out. NOOOOOOOOOO. End of January and you say it is cold out? I hadn't noticed.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  29. #29
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    CB: No. I flew in and are my arms ever tired!

    I rode my errand bike on snowy streets here and got the: You Rode in THAT?" response.

    Yes with studded snow tires.

    They make STUDDED snow tires for bikes?

    The idea that there is enough market that somebody actually makes tires to ride in snow and ice indicated to them the deplorable state of mental health services inthe country judging by the face I got.

    edub: Most are intrigued. I delivered meals for a service like meals on wheels this afternoon. I have ridden to meet my wife there and leave the bike under observation. So I was asked if I rode today and no bike was in evidence. I was temped to say I rode my new invisible theft resistant bike.

  30. #30
    Short-Change-Hero
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    Yeah I get questioned when I do ride in now as it is not near as much as it used to be (and unfortunately the waistline is showing it).

    I would get every variation of "you rode your bike today?" that you could think of. Actually my manager finally got used to hearing the clicking of my rear hub as I would walk out at night and tell me to "ride safe" (she and her husband are bikers). Got to get back to it seeing as it has been a nice June-uary and looks to keep going in the same direction weather wise. But I love my truck OOOOHHH SOOOO MUCH and with gas being below $2/gallon I have less financial impact. LOL (I know poor excuse).

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Y'all are lucky to have either supported or uninterested co-workers. When it's really cold out and one of my professors sees my helmet, she always says. "Oh dear, bless your heart." or something nice.
    If she's from the South, she's not being totally nice.

    Urban Dictionary: Bless your heart

    When I rode to work, I would get to hear about all the other misbehaving cyclists in the world that my coworkers had observed. Then I would be asked why the other cyclist broke the law or what justified it. Um... for the same reasons car drivers do it everyday?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    ..but the same folks ask some variation of the same question as soon as it's hot or cold or raining or snowing or blowing or anything other than a bluebird day.

    "Did you ride today?"
    "Did you RIDE today?"
    "You RODE today?"
    "You rode TODAY?"
    "Did you ride TODAY?"
    "You rode in THIS?"
    "You rode in THAT?"
    "You RODE in this?"
    "You RODE in that?"

    No amount of deadpan "Yeah, I ride every day." is enough. The question will be asked again.
    Ain't that the truth!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregon2wheels View Post
    If she's from the South, she's not being totally nice.

    Urban Dictionary: Bless your heart

    When I rode to work, I would get to hear about all the other misbehaving cyclists in the world that my coworkers had observed. Then I would be asked why the other cyclist broke the law or what justified it. Um... for the same reasons car drivers do it everyday?
    She's from Wisconsin, does that change anything?

    And CB, really.... THAT'S how you responded to them. :P

    Ten, forget about explaining the law to some folks. Road equals car and you're just a man boy grow up yadda yadda blah blah. Get and engine, what are ya gay?

    Yeah...
    dang

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    CB: No. I flew in and are my arms ever tired!

    I
    I've done more commuting days on a Sikorsky S76 than I have on my bike so far this year. been day tripping to an oil rig for the last 3 weeks that doesn't have enough bedspace so it's a 30min flight out at 6AM and back 4:30PM

  35. #35
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    My work place and coworkers are cool about biking. Heck, we've got a webcam set up on our bike rack, that I am watching right now, and our annual winter company party this year is going to be at the area's premier xc ski and biking area and the company is renting a number of fat bikes for people to ride. The branch manager commutes by bike most days and when we moved into our new building the first renovation was to get a shower/changing room put in. That said, working at client sites I often get the "You rode in this?" question or variant. I've been lucky, though, in that whenever I interview for a client assignment one of the first things I let them know is that I am a bike commuter, that if I am at work I rode my bike and ask what facilities they have to support me in my efforts. I've yet to have a client be put off by this.

  36. #36
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    All the state statues here are on LexisNexis. I keep the page bookmarked in my phone. It's a quick and great way to read and show people what the law actually states. When I encounter someone who insists I break the law or ride dangerously, I relate an overwhelming amount of statistics, laws, and their sources. All the while not letting them get a word in edgewise.

    I once confronted a co-workers husband who admitted he swerved at every cyclist he encountered. I told him to sit down, shut up, and listen to every word I say. I unleashed on him for a good ten minutes in front of 20 or so people, many of whom were cyclists. My co-worker and I were good friends and she thanked me later and sent his apologies. I'm fairly certain the public humiliation backed with rational thought and sound references changed his mind. Ideally, I'd like 30 minutes with anyone that thinks roads are for motorized traffic only: Ten minutes of discussion, then a 20 minute bike ride on surface streets. Change their perspective on operating a vehicle and the meaning of transportation.

  37. #37
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    I actually get more comments on the days I don't ride in. Cue any sort of bad weather (tornado, blizzard, lightning, -10 below) and I'll get at least 5 jokey comments along the lines of "Why didn't you ride your bike today? Ha-ha-ha-ha."

    The other comments I get are ride offers when it's raining. I always answer that I haven't melted yet, so I think I'll be okay.

  38. #38
    honez1414
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    Co-workers don't get it...

    Quote Originally Posted by WiTrailRunner View Post
    I actually get more comments on the days I don't ride in. Cue any sort of bad weather (tornado, blizzard, lightning, -10 below) and I'll get at least 5 jokey comments along the lines of "Why didn't you ride your bike today? Ha-ha-ha-ha."

    The other comments I get are ride offers when it's raining. I always answer that I haven't melted yet, so I think I'll be okay.
    I've noticed that also. People are very interested in the reason I didn't bike in on that particular day. That expectation has gotten me on the bike a few times in inclement weather.

  39. #39
    honez1414
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    I did get a good laugh when 4 techs leaving from the night shift went back to the locker room for their umbrellas. I was soaking wet from the muggy rode in and the only possible explanation for some guy walking in to work that wet was that it must be raining outside.

  40. #40
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    Last year I moved from the states to the Netherlands, where cycling rules the land. My commute is 18km each way and I ride year round. Today was -2c with snow/ice/slush all over and I maybe saw 2 other cyclists on the way into work. Days like these the bike shed is practically empty. Most of my Dutch co-workers have a lot of respect for me which I take as an honor considering they are born on bicycles. The rest (Dutch and expats alike) think I'm just another crazy American. I'll take that over being just another fat American any day.

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