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Help me out, your take on an marital discussion...(33 posts)

Help me out, your take on an marital discussion...funknuggets
Aug 6, 2003 9:28 AM
Ok, nothing really pressing, but let me give you the situation. Last couple of nights, when Im out doing yardwork, I see this kid continually riding by my house, doing what appear to be intervals back and forth. I watch in pain as the guy is a mess. He appears to be really in his teens and on a bike fit for banishment to the land of misfit bikes.

Now, I try and stop him to just say hi and he continues on... ok, I couldnt stand it anymore. Thinking back to my younger years, my first two bikes were WAYYYYY too big and I wish I would have saved time, money and effort and just gotten the right size first. So, I wanted to check this kid out before he hurt himself. So, I tried to flag him down again... he didnt stop. Fine, I hopped on my bike and ran him down. I asked him if he was serious about riding and training and he implied that he was trying to get started and wanted to ride a century. I tried to explain about fit and how I didnt want to tell him his business, but he really needed a different bike. For starters, the dude is 5'11 and riding what appears to be a 51 or 52 MAX, with a 80 stem and it looked like he was riding straight up. So, I told him I just wanted to give him pointers because I wished someone had told me about fit when I was young. I didnt want him to hurt himself and was just trying to help.

Lah de dah... I did my "good deed" and told the kid to call me or email if he had any questions and sent him on his way.

Wife came out and chided me for being a know it all and that I should have minded my business and that the kid probably just left thinking I was a smartass and that I should have just left him alone.

So, in your opinion, was I a know it all snob or would you have done the same thing?

tough oneColnagoFE
Aug 6, 2003 9:36 AM
since your advice was unsolicited and you had to run the guy down to tell him it seems a bit over the top, but maybe you got through--though i doubt it.
I'm with you funk...........Dave Hickey
Aug 6, 2003 9:37 AM
Being that it's a kid, you did the right thing. I'd even offer a "test" ride on one of my bikes if they were closer in size.

When I was in my teens and racing sailboats, I really appreciated experienced adults giving me tips on improving boat setup and handling tips.
kindred spirits...funknuggets
Aug 6, 2003 10:13 AM
I did, I got out my fondriest, which is a 54 (and gathering dust since I got my LOOK 381), and hiked the seat all the way up, and it has a 120 stem, so it was way better fit than his, but it still wasnt tall enough... He rode it around and his fit looked better, but I got the impression he couldnt afford a new bike, so I told him to look around for a 56 minimum and I would swap the RSX stuff off the old bike over to the new bike for free him if price was a major concern. I told him he would new cables and housing and likely a new chain, but that was it.

Your heart is in the right placegregario
Aug 6, 2003 9:37 AM
I commend you for your efforts. I've often felt the same way when seeing someone riding a bike way too big/small, with a nearly flat tire, etc. It might be a male/female thing. Men want to fix the problem and women just want sympathy, not be told how to fix whatever the problem is.
Aug 6, 2003 9:58 AM
"Men want to fix the problem and women just want sympathy, not be told how to fix whatever the problem is."

This is complete and utter bullsh**. Thank you.
Talk to my wifegregario
Aug 6, 2003 10:04 AM
I could have worded it better but it CERTAINLY was not meant to insult women, thank you. My wife and I have this discussion a lot, and i've heard it from other sources. It's been described as the Mars/Venus thing. Men are fixers and women are emphathizers(?sp).

When she has a lousy day at work she doesn't want to hear me say "well if you did this..." she just wants to symphathetic ear.
BINGO! I am starting to learn :O)Live Steam
Aug 6, 2003 10:31 AM
My wife says the same thing. She actually gets mad at me sometimes, when I either try to figure out her dilemma or give advice. She says that she just wants me to listen. So now all I do is continue to eat and say "Uhum", nod or shake my head and continue to eat. Works great and we don't argue as much :O) It only took me my 43 years here on this planet to learn something so simple :O)
John Gray? KILL ME NOW!PseuZQ
Aug 6, 2003 10:36 AM
Having said that, I do sorta understand your point.

From a female point of view, if a complete stranger (guy) came up to me and gave me a bunch of unsolicited advice on bike fit or whatever, my reaction would be a) don't assume I'm an idiot and b) what qualifies *you* to be giving *me* advice? If I were assured that "a" was not occurring and that "b" had been answered to my satisfaction, then I'd be all ears.
Talk to my wifelemmy999
Aug 6, 2003 10:53 AM
Yep, my wife is the same way. She gets so mad at me if I try to offer solutions to her problems at work or school. She actually comes out and says "I just want you to sympathize with me".
Maybe for you it is....eschelon
Aug 6, 2003 11:54 AM
But it is very true...not specifically related to bicycling though...but male to female communication issues this is very true when it comes to relationship communications.
I find this interesting, in a good way.PseuZQ
Aug 6, 2003 12:22 PM
You all seem like very cool guys, and I admit that I think differently than a lot of other women. Vive la's all good.

I do admit that I took the "fix the problem" comment completely within the context of cycling. I don't need sympathy if you notice my rear wheel needs to be trued!

But yeah, come to think of it, sometimes I do just wanna vent and have someone listen rather than offer a bunch of solutions.

Better hope his parents don't file charges against you.OldEdScott
Aug 6, 2003 9:48 AM
"What's this email and phone number I found in your shorts, son?"

"Oh, I dunno, some weird man I'd never seen before chased me down on a bike, shoved this in my hand and told me to call or email so he could teach me about 'fit.'"

Good God, man! This will be a made-for-TV-movie before it's over!
Better hope his parents don't file charges against
Aug 6, 2003 10:50 AM
This sounds like something that I would say. My wife just could not understand why I was unwilling to allow my then-13 year old daughter to have friends spend the night at our house when my wife was away for the weekend. Call me a paranoid lawyer, but all of us have seen the newspaper stories, made for TV movies, etc.

Notwistanding the above, I probably would have done the same thing (or at least wanted to do the same thing before my paranoia about child molestation charges would have stopped me). My advice if he does email or call you -- ask to speak with or meet his parents before you get involved further with him and don't meet with him in any non-public place (e.g., "Would you like to see the bikes in my garage . . .). The world is a crazy place and contacts between adults and minors is fraught with potential danger.
Better hope his parents don't file charges against you.lemmy999
Aug 6, 2003 10:57 AM
I totally ignore all kids and don't even look their way unless my wife is with me. Where I jog there is usually soccer practice going on and I drive some clunker old truck and I feel like all of the parents are looking at me like I am some child molester just hanging out waiting for my chance.
I was sitting in the doctors office yesterday.Dave Hickey
Aug 6, 2003 11:07 AM
I'm sitting in the waiting room and there is a woman with two children about 4 and 6. The 4 year old just comes over and sits on my lap. The mother just smiles and says "Sorry, she's just real friendly". It didn't bother me but I wouldn't encourage my kids to sit on a strangers lap.
You did the right thing. You offered sound advice andUprwstsdr
Aug 6, 2003 9:53 AM
left it open to the kid to contact you if he wanted more help. A snob would have sneered at the kid for riding the wrong size bike and not offered to help.
re: Help me out, your take on an marital discussion...03Vortex
Aug 6, 2003 9:54 AM
My opinion- You did the right thing unquestionably especially since it was a kid just starting and learning. What is adulthood for if we can't share knowledge with the younger ones.
Why worry?djg
Aug 6, 2003 10:13 AM
Your heart was probably in the right place. There's an outside chance that your intervention did the kid some substantial good. And there's no real chance that you did any enduring harm. So I'd say: good try, it's out of your hands, hope for the best, and don't worry otherwise.
Done the same thing...almost never successfullycory
Aug 6, 2003 10:17 AM
I've had about the same experience. Generally, adults (men, anyway--women aren't quite so resistant) resist the intrusion, and kids can't do much about it because they're riding the only bike they have.
My cause lately has been suggesting to obviously new riders that they might be better off if they shifted down three or four or five cogs. Almost nobody does--they just keep on shoving the cranks around at 27 rpm.
I agree with your wifeDrone 5200
Aug 6, 2003 10:20 AM
Ok, I'm just in the habbit of saying "yes, dear."

But I think if you tried to wave him down and he didn't stop he probably doesn't want your advice. So be it. Let him discover and improve at his own pace and in his own way. I think getting your bike and chasing him down was over the top. He can get lots of fit advice, if he's interested, at any LBS. He probably thinks your some old gezzer who's way too interested. I'll bet he steers clear and you don't ever see him again on your street again.
fair enoughfunknuggets
Aug 6, 2003 10:46 AM
well, at 31... Im not sure if I should be offended by being called a geezer. I guess unsolicited advice can be taken in different ways depending on the delivery and intent, and how accepting the recipient of said advice is.

He said the LBS didn't help and he didn't seem to have a source of decent info. I just told him some of the things to check for as far as fit, lah de dah.

If he steers clear, no skin off my back.

its all goodDrone 5200
Aug 6, 2003 12:14 PM
I'm more of an introvert with a live and let live style. I can understand your reaction. It's just not my style. You didn't do wrong.

As for the geezer comment . . . I'm 35 and don't feel like a geezer, either. But man, ever ride with those over 40 guys, now there are some geezers.

so sayth the Drone. :-P
Aug 6, 2003 12:36 PM
There is a real geezer here in KC that whacks nearly everyone. He is this nationally ranked masters triathlete named Fritchie... he is a nightmare on a noisy Cervelo... absolutely freaking crazy fast. I think he is like 50 or so... but I could be wrong. So, perhaps your over 40 comment is tounge in cheek, so to speak... but just because you are old doesn't mean you are slow.

One more example. I rode in Springfield, MO Time Trials out at Battlefield Creek park which were every week. Was on a collegiate team with several Cat 2s and 3s and some old fart named John Howard came out on a somewhat infrequent basis and rocked our freaking world every single time.

So... so sayeth the geezers.
well...Drone 5200
Aug 6, 2003 3:38 PM
it was tounge in cheek. Point is: it's all relative when it comes to age. Personally, since I'm slow now at 35 and don't have many miles behind me, I'm looking forward to 40 when I'll have another 5 years under my belt. I'm hoping to gain some speed over those years. I think this is a great sport to age into.

Drone, out.
Listen to your wife...Leroy
Aug 6, 2003 10:36 AM
I know you meant well, but the kid probably thinks you're just a know it all old man jerking his chain. Are you ready to "loan" him the money to buy the new bike - along with the forum recommended serrota fit ? He will figure all this out soon enough by himself, but you probably should mind your own business. Better yet, give him the address for this forum!!
Good questionKristin
Aug 6, 2003 10:40 AM
I think you did good by offering him help and putting the ball in his court and offering help if he wanted it. However, that may have come across to him as snobbish--since he was just out for a ride and not looking for help, and you chased him down to give him some anyway. I'm sure that if he plans to get serious about riding, he'll eventually be forced to ask some questions about bike fit. Perhaps he'll come see you about it...or find a nice road bike web site somewhere.

Personally, I've made a decision to never offer unsolicited advice. Especially to strangers. This policy is serving me well, though I do have bite marks all over my tongue. :-P
Did the right thing...Triphop
Aug 6, 2003 11:26 AM
I am 28, recently married, started road riding a little over a year ago. I think, my wife would agree, you did the kid a huge favor by stopping him. He may never ask you for the help you offered, but he very well may. If he doesn't ask you for help, you atleast put a bug in his ear that he might need to get some advice on cycling, which I would bet he will search out.

As a kid, I would have been thrilled if someone, seemingly knowledgable of the activity I was participating, stopped me and offered to help me out.

At 31, you are young enough that the kid will trust you, and may even befriend you. My wife, before we were married, lived next door to a divorced woman with a teenage kid, 14 I think, I saw he had a mountian bike. I asked my wife whether she thought he had ever been mountain biking, she didnt think so, but suggested I take him. Well, the next day I found out she had talked to the kid and said he should go mountain biking with me. He was thrilled at the offer. So the following week, I talked to his mom to make sure it was cool, and we went riding, he loved it.

I say you should try to help out the youth, if not you, who will?
Where were you 15 years ago...biknben
Aug 6, 2003 12:04 PM
I could have used some sound advice when I was starting out. I'm actually surprised he was out doing intervals at that age. Good for him.

Going out on your bike to chase him down is a bit much but you meant well. You did the right thing. Offer him a little advice but don't lecture. Let him know if he wants more to contact you. That's about as much as you can do. If he really wants to go somewhere with cycling he should be thankfull to have someone like you around.

I've been racing for only a few years now. I can't help looking at the juniors and think "what if". In my teens, I was out riding while my friends were driving. I didn't know squat about racing and would have been thankfull to have someone to turn to for some advice. Now I'm an old geezer at 31. All I have to look forward to is the 35+ class. :-)
Well crap...funknuggets
Aug 6, 2003 12:28 PM
I wish you guys would have seen it to understand. The dude was nearly 6 ft tall on a small 52, with a little bitty stem that was straight up, with 40 cm handlebars. The guy looked like a gorilla trying to ride a tricycle.

Here I felt good about helping a young version of me 15 years ago to help understand and enjoy cycling without injuring himself and suddenly Im nervous that Im going to be listed on the local sexual predator list. Sheeshe, what has the world come to?

I do appreciate the comments and I see both sides. I guess I will just have to wait for the infamous best bike under $500 or bike fit threads here on the board to belch out my unimpressive knowledge in the safetly of relative Internet anonimity.

Thanks everyone.
hard to say.....marcoxxx
Aug 6, 2003 12:24 PM
i have a teen boy, in college now, but they are all over the place with their thinking, priorities, reasoning, etc, etc. other words he may not understand, care or weirded out by your kind wife has point. but if he is really into biking, why not just refer him to a local bike shop, group ride, bike club, or team if available?? let them help get his act together. i put my kid on a local mtn bike team team, and they fixed him up right...$$$$.

Funny thing happened to me on the way home today....eyebob
Aug 6, 2003 1:10 PM
I was waiting at a red light (in my car), it turned green, the car in front didn't move for several seconds so I tapped on the horn (I didn't lay into it, just tapped it) and out popped the middle finger salute from a teenager who was driving. I laughed and followed him home (he was turning into my neighborhood). I found where he pulled into and I pulled up to the house and rolled down my window and told him that I wasn't agitated that he hadn't moved on the green light, just sort of letting him know that it had changed. I wanted to do this because too often people (not just teenagers) get peeved (or rather assume) that the person honking a horn is doing it out of anger. I wasn't, just letting him know that the light had changed. I don't know if it'll change his awareness, but I try.


An analogy. Lots of times when I'm riding, cars will come up from behind and honk when passing. The vast majority of the time that they do this they're just letting me know that they're there to be safe. I don't assume that they're angry much like I wouldn't assume that someone who beeps their horn to let me know they're waiting to go is angry.
You acted on your observation.Steve98501
Aug 6, 2003 5:12 PM
Good job. You observed a bike fit situation in need of improvement. You had salient information that the kid likely lacked and made a considerable effort to share it. That is a good thing. Helping people is what the world is about.

The ball is in his court now. It's not your responsibility to know if he's interested in improving his bike situation or able or willing to do so. But you shared the information. He may or may not follow up on it. It really doesn't matter (to you) because you took the initiative to offer some help. It really could matter to the kid, as he could end up being a lot better off with his cycling.

I wouldn't sweat the references to child molestation in this case, although there are situations where it's prudent to maintain a setting that is obviously safe to all parties.

I posted a similar subject here a while back, only it was a young woman who attended a club ride on a bike that was way too big for her, and it needed a serious tune up and other maintenance. The majority response here was to go ahead and offer to help her out.