Author Topic: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing  (Read 3576 times)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« on: April 17, 2020, 08:45:33 pm »
Got out yesterday on the boingy bike, exploring the local bridleways.  I have yet to sort out a suityable carryable repair kit for this bike, but hey, big old tractor tyres, what could possibly go wrong?

Brambles across bridleways that's what.  Rode straight over one and thought no more about it.  Half a hour later somewhere around Barstow Newdigate and I felt a squidgyness around the back tyre. Arse. Abandoned further bridleway plans and pedalled as fast as I good towards Rusper, trying to keep my weight over the bars. The bike didn't half squirm just trying to traverse the camber of the road. When I came to hills I got off and walked,giving up[ riding altogether as I got to Rusper.  I must have been passed by half a dozen cyclists, none of whom offered anyhelp or asked how I was doing. Miserable bastards. With about 5 miles to go a pickup type thing pulled over and the driver asked if I wanted a lift. Torn between having to walk for another two hours and maintaining social distancing I thought for a little while and accepted. It was a big pickup type thing, not 2m wide but we were a bit apart.  He said if I'd been one of those "lycra clad racing cyclists" he wouldn't have stopeed as he "fucking hates them". I didn't mention that when I'm not on a boingy bike I have been known to wear lycra and ride a machine with dropped bars. 

Got home, washed hands, fixed puncture, found suitable spare tube and means to pump it.

There is a conundrum though isn’t there about stranded cyclists? I normally always stop and check ( despite some rather rude rebuffs occasionally). However, what can one do from at least 2 metres? Express sympathy?
I thought this deserved a topic of its own, so here it is.

I suppose one thing you could do is place tools / tubes / whatever at a suitable distance, retreat and give instructions, then pick them up afterwards and give them a good wash when you get home.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2020, 08:47:31 pm »
However, what can one do from at least 2 metres? Express sympathy?

I helped a cyclist un-suck their chain without touching anything[1] just before the lockdown, but they were utterly clueless and there was little that a normal on-the-bike toolkit would have done to help.  Most problems require tools or spares, if not expertise.


[1] "Nahh, unscrewing that won't help you, it'll probably ruin your day as you need special tools to do it back up again.  Try taking the chain guard off, feeding some slack through and pulling the chain from the other side."
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2020, 08:50:55 pm »
I suppose one thing you could do is place tools / tubes / whatever at a suitable distance, retreat and give instructions, then pick them up afterwards and give them a good wash when you get home.

I lent a track pump to a cyclist riding on flat tyres outside my house (she was chatting to one of the neighbours, and I happened to be bike fettling with the front door open to dissipate the smell of chain lube), but that was easy as I had plenty of access to soap and water.

There's probably an argument for carrying a couple of ziplock bags or something so you can contain contaminated tools until you get home.  How's Blodwyn Pig handling his roadside finds?
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2020, 08:52:05 pm »
I had a puncture in a small village yesterday. I took my time sitting on the grass triangle enjoying the sunshine as I changed the tube. During that time two locals came out to ask if I had everything I needed, along with numerous cyclists. There were a few that didnt, but they didnt look like regular cyclists.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2020, 08:52:50 pm »
Extra post to hopefully break the chain of annoying superfluous "/" at the end of the thread title.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2020, 08:53:46 pm »
I had a puncture in a small village yesterday.

Tubeless etc?

[EDIT] Extra superfluous / added to thread title.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2020, 08:54:24 pm »
There's probably an argument for carrying a couple of ziplock bags or something so you can contain contaminated tools until you get home.  How's Blodwyn Pig handling his roadside finds?
TBH that is usually a good idea anyway. There's very often some rubbish to taken home, or to the nearest bin; sandwich wrappings or whatever.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2020, 08:55:03 pm »
I had a puncture in a small village yesterday.

Tubeless etc?

[EDIT] Extra superfluous / added to thread title.
:demon: :demon: :demon: ;D :D ;)
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2020, 08:55:17 pm »
I had a puncture in a small village yesterday.

Tubeless etc?

[EDIT] Extra superfluous / added to thread title.

Nope. Tubed.

Was turning a corner at speed and felt the front tyre start to roll.

Wouldnt have happened on tubeless, Brucey.

Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2020, 08:58:46 pm »
Never mind stranded cyclists, I've serviced two friends' bikes since lockdown. The drill is that they leave the bike at garden gate, retreat, then I, gloved, retrieve it and work on it in garden with them watching from gate. Once finished, process in reverse.

Against lockdown rules, but I figure this is less risky than going to a cycle shop.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2020, 08:59:34 pm »
There's probably an argument for carrying a couple of ziplock bags or something so you can contain contaminated tools until you get home.  How's Blodwyn Pig handling his roadside finds?
TBH that is usually a good idea anyway. There's very often some rubbish to taken home, or to the nearest bin; sandwich wrappings or whatever.

I've occasionally used the shower cap from my Carradice for that sort of thing.  Also as a containment device should you purchase roadside eggs.

I usually have a few pedal bin liners kicking about at the bottom of my touring panniers, because travelling without bin liners would be un-BRITISH or something.  Should put some in the other bags too.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2020, 09:02:14 pm »
Got out yesterday on the boingy bike, exploring the local bridleways.  I have yet to sort out a suityable carryable repair kit for this bike, but hey, big old tractor tyres, what could possibly go wrong?

Brambles across bridleways that's what.  Rode straight over one and thought no more about it.  Half a hour later somewhere around Barstow Newdigate and I felt a squidgyness around the back tyre. Arse. Abandoned further bridleway plans and pedalled as fast as I good towards Rusper, trying to keep my weight over the bars. The bike didn't half squirm just trying to traverse the camber of the road. When I came to hills I got off and walked,giving up[ riding altogether as I got to Rusper.  I must have been passed by half a dozen cyclists, none of whom offered anyhelp or asked how I was doing. Miserable bastards. With about 5 miles to go a pickup type thing pulled over and the driver asked if I wanted a lift. Torn between having to walk for another two hours and maintaining social distancing I thought for a little while and accepted. It was a big pickup type thing, not 2m wide but we were a bit apart.  He said if I'd been one of those "lycra clad racing cyclists" he wouldn't have stopeed as he "fucking hates them". I didn't mention that when I'm not on a boingy bike I have been known to wear lycra and ride a machine with dropped bars. 

Got home, washed hands, fixed puncture, found suitable spare tube and means to pump it.

There is a conundrum though isn’t there about stranded cyclists? I normally always stop and check ( despite some rather rude rebuffs occasionally). However, what can one do from at least 2 metres? Express sympathy?

It's a 'Touching the Void "You're fucked" and going have to crawl back to camp' moment.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2020, 09:03:04 pm »
I would still do it for punctures and so on. Just get them to stand back while you do it and don't pick your nose until you've got home and washed your hands.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD



Ban cars.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2020, 09:26:05 pm »
Might be a case for carrying a small bottle of antiviral hand sanitizer? If you can get any that's actually effective against viruses rather than bacteria. Or hey, you've almost certainly got water anyway, so a sliver of a bar of soap in a small plastic bag...
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2020, 10:27:50 pm »
I would still do it for punctures and so on. Just get them to stand back while you do it and don't pick your nose until you've got home and washed your hands.

This, surely.

They probably don't have it (albeit it's a non-zero risk); the bits of their bike you're likely to touch probably don't carry transmissible quantities of it; you can mitigate the remaining risk by behaving as though your hands have oil on them (happily, the actual oil or muck on them will act as a handy1 aide-memoire) and not touching your face (well, soft, mucous tissue) until you've washed 'em.


1: Did you see what I did there?

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2020, 11:21:33 pm »
Never mind stranded cyclists, I've serviced two friends' bikes since lockdown. The drill is that they leave the bike at garden gate, retreat, then I, gloved, retrieve it and work on it in garden with them watching from gate. Once finished, process in reverse.

Against lockdown rules, but I figure this is less risky than going to a cycle shop.

Yep, I've done the same. Both key workers, and all of our LBSs are shut for the duration, so they had little choice. Fortunately, Wiggle is still working and they managed delivery in less than 24 hours on standard terms, so my friends were able to conttinue cycling to work with little interruption. And they got their bikes cleaned as part of my disinfection procedure!

Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2020, 07:43:15 am »

... and I already have a means of carrying water on the bike.


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Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2020, 09:09:08 am »
Last time in the Wolds:

58 km in the Wolds with 801m climbing. 

Rather cloudy with a biting wind and I got a puncture.  Maybe marathons are not as puncture proof as I thought, that's three this year already.  The only cyclist who passed offered assistance but I was doing fine so I just thanked him for taking the trouble.

I always carry work gloves in the tool kit so I could help someone but I am only doing shopping at the moment.  For outside exercise I go for a walk with Mrs A who is in a high-risk category and doesn't cycle no more anyway.
Sic transit and all that..

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2020, 09:41:16 am »
Good thread Cudzo

Of the six or so cyclists that passed by on the other side, I'd say three weren't carrying visible means of pumping anyway. They were all roadies and I was on a mountain bike, so it could be a fair assumption that there would be 700c/26 inch and presta/schraeder incompatibility between us. However I am using presta valves.

When I'm on either the fixer or the Pretty Bike there's a saddle wedge with two tubes, spanner, CO2 and a pair of disposable gloves. I reckon I could stop and patronise offer words of advice in my usual fashion, just from further away.  If a bit of hands on tinkering was needed I think I'd keep the gloves on, to remind me not to pick my nose, until a hand washing opportunity arose.

I've sorted out a spare tube and levers for the boingy bike now. I've updated my CO2 spreadsheet to see how hard a 16g gas bottle will get a 26 x 1.8 tyre. Around 40psi. That should get me home, or I might fiddle around and put a road morph mount on the bike.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2020, 10:26:02 am »
Might be a case for carrying a small bottle of antiviral hand sanitizer? If you can get any that's actually effective against viruses rather than bacteria. Or hey, you've almost certainly got water anyway, so a sliver of a bar of soap in a small plastic bag...

A bottle of hand sanitiser has been part of my standard audax kit for years. Not sure if the stuff I have is suitably powerful enough to fend off covid though.

I like the idea of carrying a bar of soap, though I'm not sure I'd want to risk wasting water supplies on washing my hands unless I know I'll get the chance to top up soon.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2020, 10:35:56 am »
Tim's raised (in my mind at least) the opposite point – could there be situations, now, in which it would not be irresponsible to ask for assistance? And how would you do it?
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2020, 11:22:17 am »
The idea behind helping the stranger is in part that hopefully they'll see that a few inexpensive bits can rescue them from their predicament.

Increases the odds that they'll keep cycling more than if they have to push it home, that's for sure.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD



Ban cars.

S2L

Re: Socially Distant...
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2020, 12:07:36 pm »
I normally always slow, ask and if needs be I stop and help. Lately, I have ignored a couple of guys who appeared to be standing at the side of the road, looking at their bike.
I have asked a lady if she needed help, whilst moving, but she said she was OK, so there you go, a bit of sexism if you like.

To be honest, if I was in their position, I'd rather people didn't stop. I carry all the tools to do all the jobs that can be realistically done at the side of the road.
If other people don't, well, they should really look at Zwift as a viable option...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2020, 09:30:31 pm »
I actually encountered a cyclist standing at the roadside in a pose possibly contemplating a mechanical or possibly just pondering the route. Said they were fine, luckily. When I got home I added an extra pair (I have some for mechanicals anyway) of disposable gloves to the saddlebag, jic.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Offering help to stranded cyclists while social distancing
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2020, 02:49:40 pm »
I'm not very good at mechanics, and with increasingly severe arthritis in my hands, I'm in no position to offer help. (atm, I'm never too far from home where hubby is listening out for the phone). But I do carry a decent amount of toolkit.  For some years, my offer of help has been "have you got everything you need?" In present circumstances, I could throw a tool or spare inner tube at them.  If I didn't want to hang around getting cold, I would do what I have done in the past and tell them to leave my belongings somewhere - church porches are good - for me to collect later. I have never been let down by anyone - yet.