Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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100%JR
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Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Postby 100%JR » 5 Sep 2018, 2:36pm

Right from the off I don't want this to start a helmet debate.I have thought for a few days about posting it but I am quite annoyed.
Last week we were on a Family Holiday in beautiful North Wales not far from Mallwyd.Having taken our bikes I took my son over to Lake Vyrnwy to do a few circuits around the Lake.In the end we did three laps(2 clockwise and 1 anti-clockwise).We had a cafe stop after lap 2(22 miles)and this is where the point of this thread comes in.
We pulled up to the cafe,leant the bikes up against the wall and I sat the lad down at the table.I went in to order.I'd noticed an elderly couple on (possibly)touring bikes with panniers etc as we entered the seating area and as I was waiting to be served i noticed the man chatting to my son.I just presumed he was talking cycling.I ordered and went to rejoin my son who looked a bit upset.When i asked him what was wrong he said "that man has just told me off for wearing my cycling kit and helmet" :!: I thought my lad had misunderstood so went to have a chat.I can recall the entire conversation and could quote it but basically this bloke had took it upon himself to lecture a 10 year old boy about not having to "dress like Bradley Wiggins" to enjoy riding his bike.He also admitted to telling my son it was absolutely fine to ride without a helmet :evil: I kept as calm as I could and informed this chap that whether or not my son wears a helmet is my decision and he wears his CC clothing as he likes it and he races for that CC(where he has to wear a helmet).There then followed a brief(few minutes) debate but it was all quite calm with no raised voices.
Is it a generation thing?I don't want to have a dig at Touring cyclists or older cyclists but this has never happened on any Cafe stop with Road/Club cyclists or MTBers we've met.Generally the chat is about the route he's doing or distance etc.
If the person involved is a member on here then please feel free to put your point across but this really took the shine off the ride for my son and he was very quiet on the last lap :|
Last edited by Graham on 5 Sep 2018, 3:41pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bonefishblues
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Re: Thoughts on this...

Postby Bonefishblues » 5 Sep 2018, 3:12pm

At best that is impolite and inappropriate.

Bez
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Re: Thoughts on this...

Postby Bez » 5 Sep 2018, 3:18pm

ibbo68 wrote:Is it a generation thing?I don't want to have a dig at Touring cyclists or older cyclists but this has never happened on any Cafe stop with Road/Club cyclists or MTBers we've met.


Well, it's important to note that helmet wearing is far more ingrained in club cyclists and MTBers: both activities involve specific risks (excess speed when racing, collisions with other riders when in a pack, and loss of control on difficult terrain) which don't arise significantly when touring or riding in other relaxed fashions such as going down the shops or pootling round a park.

So it's vanishingly unlikely that anyone who you might classify as a club cyclist or an MTBer would be so vocally anti-helmet as to foist their opinion on a 10 year old.

However, I suspect that if you rocked up to a cafe populated by a group of the above, accompanied by a child not wearing a helmet, you might on rare occasions find someone so vocally pro-helmet as to foist their opinion on a 10 year old.

I think the point is this: a tiny minority of people feel so strongly about this sort of thing that they'll (quite impertinently) subject a 10 year old to the full force of their views. It's just that, because you and your son wear lycra and helmets (which is your choice, no problem), you'll only ever get unsolicited opinion from the people whose opinion opposes your appearance.

Like I say, send an unhelmeted 10 year old on some club rides and I suspect before long you'd have a similar but opposite experience :)

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Re: Thoughts on this...

Postby amediasatex » 5 Sep 2018, 3:29pm

The issue isn’t so much the chaps opinions. as he’s quite entitled to hold them, it’s the unsolicited giving of said opinions, especially if done in a forceful way, and doubly so if given to a minor.

It’d annoy me too I think.

I hope your lad wasn’t too upset and hasn’t been put off in anyway, wearing club colours and being proud of your affiliation is nothing to be ashamed of.

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Graham
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Postby Graham » 5 Sep 2018, 3:54pm

Looking on the brighter side. This might have been a valuable life experience for your son.

Now that this has happened he can analyse the experience and draw some useful conclusions from it. . . . and I'm sure he will.

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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Postby Bmblbzzz » 5 Sep 2018, 4:06pm

Perhaps it's a generation thing, or an age thing, not in a pro- and anti-helmet way but in that some people, as they get older, become less reticent, more confident in their own views and less considerate of other points of view. And some become more considerate and less self-confident. Or perhaps this particular bloke was always prone to give others lectures on what they should and should not do, from his own perspective.

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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Postby PH » 5 Sep 2018, 4:08pm

ibbo68 wrote:I don't want to have a dig at Touring cyclists or older cyclists

I've no idea why you would, they're the group most likely to have a diversity of opinions.
Idiots are idiots, interfering ones the worst. The arrogance that they thought it appropriate to tell a juvenile what they ought to wear or do shows them up for what they are. Well done for keeping cool, I'm not sure I would have, shame it took the shine off your son't ride.

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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Postby Bez » 5 Sep 2018, 4:10pm

Perhaps it's a generation thing, or an age thing … Or perhaps this particular bloke was always prone to give others lectures


That's kind of the thing, though, isn't it? It's a sample of one. You can't reliably infer any pattern from it; all most people will do is recall or construct a theory which explains it, and make it fit that.

Best advice is not to analyse a one-off like this, but to simply file under "some people are dicks" and move on :)

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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Postby Tangled Metal » 5 Sep 2018, 4:12pm

Opinionated buggers! It's a shame it affected him.

I'm still fuming about opinionated club riders telling my partner she should be wearing a helmet. A very quiet road that gets one car every 15 minutes with a section of canal towpath. All ridden at less than 8 mph with a 4 or 5 year old riding a 16" wheeled kids bike. Hardly needs helmet use. I didn't have one but he never told me off! I can guess why. Male and 6'5" tall. Mysogynistic, opinionated, middleaged [removed] !

Sorry! These things can get under your skin. It's kind of the cycling equivalent of a man telling a woman she could do with improving her appearance with a nice dress and heels. My. Example not the op's.

BTW how old is your son? It is very good that he's keen on a healthy activity such as cycling. If young then I hope he gets over the interference.

If he's older (say 14+) I would hope he takes it as a learning experience. By that I mean he takes what the old touring cyclists said and learns to give anyone [removed] back if they do it in future.

I know a few kids that if such an interference happened to them they'd verbally rip the old codgers to bits. I mean that in a nice way. Kind of educate them in how to talk to younger generations with the level of respect they would want back. That's part of the issue, lack of respect towards the younger cycling generation.
Last edited by Graham on 5 Sep 2018, 4:23pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: FFE . . .family-friendly edit

Bez
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Postby Bez » 5 Sep 2018, 4:15pm

I can guess why. Male and 6'5" tall. Mysogynistic, opinionated, middleaged [removed] !


Steady on. Misogyny aside, you've just accurately described me!

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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Postby Paulatic » 5 Sep 2018, 4:21pm

We all file these in the 'Dicks' folder and it’s funny how some never auto delete.
In my folder
CTC Birthday Rides Malton , CTC member berating a 7yo child for riding on the pavement.
More recently, pulling into a lay-by to ask a cyclist if everything was OK? His first words to me "Where’s your helmet?
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Postby Tangled Metal » 5 Sep 2018, 4:26pm

Did that not read right? I'm the tall male helmet less rider that club riders never want to criticise. I've always found it funny that being tall (I don't see myself as big because I'm only 90kg in weight) is enough to stop people giving me grief. Especially since it's always the small men I've known who have been the ones most capable of looking after themselves or who are most aggressive in nature. I'm actually rather a soft, un-confrontational kind of a person.

The club rider that told my partner off but didn't confront me read the mysogynist. I think that is right word. Someone who feels it is within his function to correct women because he's a man. I have yet to see a female club rider criticise another rider for the clothing or equipment choices when out riding. Only once did I hear a woman cyclists say to another woman cyclists that her cycling top looks nice on her.

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Graham
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Postby Graham » 5 Sep 2018, 4:32pm

Alas, our gender-specific behaviour is very deeply ingrained by cultural conditioning.

It is very difficult to completely break away from it, particularly when our peers expect it.

The later generations may do better. A work-in-progress.

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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Postby Bmblbzzz » 5 Sep 2018, 4:32pm

It can happen. I remember an occasion when I (male, middle-aged) stopped at the top of a hill. An elderly lady walked by with some dogs and stopped for a chat; she'd been a track cyclist when younger. So that was good. But then she told me I should be wearing a helmet, based on an experience she had when track racing. But yes, it more commonly happens the other way, I'm sure.

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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Postby mjr » 5 Sep 2018, 5:05pm

The lecturer was wrong to do so in that way, regardless of views. I struggle to think what good he thought might result.

However, if everyone suffering the opposite (told children should be wearing special clothes and especially hard hats for cycling) posted here, we'd be seeing "database full" errors far more often!
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