Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Cyril Haearn
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by Cyril Haearn »

Anybody else had a similar experience?
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by Tangled Metal »

Two old teacher types once said "we approve after seeing our toddler son reading in the child trailer once but nothing negative that I can recall. Might have had one or two cases of adults asking where our son's helmet was. On the back of my bike at the time. Either that or in the canal. He was very young but had learnt to take his helmet off. There was nothing we could do to stop that so we went with the flow. He's always known his own mind afterall.
mattsccm
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by mattsccm »

Two different issues here.
1. Having a go at someone because of their choice of kit is a bit much if they are a stranger unless there is some serious issue such as shoe laces tangled in sprockets. Maybe the age is important but I think not.
2. Chatting to the child is not a problem although an appropriate tone of voice is nice. A child of that age sitting by himself at the table next to me who is obviously into the same sport would undoubtedly be spoken to. I'd , unless there was evidence not to, treat that child as an adult. Maybe, as a primary school teacher for 20 + years, I am happy to do so.

Maybe , as an older gentleman, he is less likely to be inhibited by what he says and, no doubt, the older generation are less aware (thank goodness) of our paranoia towards children and strangers. Hardly worth the worry unless the kid is distressed and if so tell him that the chap is a grumpy old sod.
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meic
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by meic »

Having a go at someone because of their choice of kit is a bit much if they are a stranger unless there is some serious issue such as shoe laces tangled in sprockets. Maybe the age is important but I think not.


Neither of us were there but I interpreted the indirect quotes from the stranger as offering an alternative world view rather than having a go.

Compare "You shouldnt be wearing a helmet" to "You know that it is absolutely fine to ride without a helmet".
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Airsporter1st
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by Airsporter1st »

Cugel wrote:
meic wrote:Your child is going to meet strangers, even ones who dont hold the same views as them and their parents all through their lives. I would take this as part of their education.
It is a life skill to meet strangers and deal with them, it is a life skill to deal with people who dont share your world view.

I am fairly certain that my eleven year old daughter would not have batted an eyelid if she met somebody who suggested she doesnt need to have her cycling gear and helmet to ride around Lake Vyrnwy, she knows that. She wears her kit and helmet because she wants to. She also goes up to strangers and talks to them.


Modern children aren't allowed a decent education these days, particularly one they discover for themselves. They must be "protected", especially from "stranger danger". Personally (and paradoxically) I feel most of them need protecting from their over-protective parents.

As with so much unthinking modern behaviour, this "protecting" of children (and oneself) from the vicissitudes of everyday life is productive of exactly the opposite effect to that hoped for. The "protected" never learn to protect themselves and are found later as "adults" wallowing about unable to cope with very much at all and instead bleating about "my right to be safe". They are of the ilk that cannot fix a puncture and will berate the bike shop for selling them a bike that gets one. They're also happy to give up endless freedoms in favour of draconian "anti-terror" laws.

I had a friend, years ago, who would never let his two boys anywhere near the slightest kind of danger, real or imaginary. For example, he would not let them play anywhere near a road and screamed at them if they escaped the garden. Later, when they were in their early teens, they did what all teens do and escaped the parental strictures. Sadly, they had never learned to cross a road or judge traffic flows and so both, at different times, got hit by cars when attempting to cross in a busy town.

Strangers are generally not dangerous, especially to children. Most strangers mean well, even those lecturing olde pharts who feel a duty to explain their uncomfortable viewpoints to children. Personally I learnt a great deal from all kinds of lecturing adults when I was a bairn - mostly how to refute their daft notions - which tended to clarify and test one's own opinions or habits. Sometimes the olde phart imparted some valuable wisdom, along with the lesson "how to change your mind rather than being an over-protected little lord Fauntleroy clutching an apron string".

Cugel, hoping someone will disagree and give me their ebullient lecture on the matter. :-)


Very well put.
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by Bez »

Clipper_2018 wrote:I find it staggering that any adult should choose to lecture a child, especially one accompanied by a parent, on any subject at all.


It should be less staggering when you consider that the government does precisely that all the time.

http://beyondthekerb.org.uk/2015/10/02/ ... errorists/
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Tinnishill
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by Tinnishill »

Cyril Haearn » 6 Sep 2018, 10:16am
Anybody else had a similar experience?


My boys are in their 20's now,but they did a fair bit of touring when they were younger. Here's a picture that I have posted on here before which illustrates the sort of set up we had.
Scan.jpeg


We were subjected to quite a few unwanted lectures over the years but some still stick in the mind.

We stopped in the honking rain one afternoon while looking for a B&B and were subjected to a great long haranguing from two passing old ladies who seriously accused us of child cruelty. It was only when the penny dropped that the boys were actually enjoying themselves that their attitude changed and we parted amicably.

On another occasion, we were making a long decent on a country lane when a woman in a car kept blowing her horn until she could overtake, then stopped blocking the road, leapt out and announced that she was making a Social Work intervention. That ended by me issuing two worded travel instructions ending in "off".

A third incident. While cycling on an urban, heavily signposted, cycle path we had our route blocked by an irate woman who appeared to object to everything we said or did. That ended by me handing her my mobile phone, asking her to call the Police and saying that I wanted to speak to them after her so that I could report her for breach of the peace. Exit Bear, stage left, as Shakespeare probably didn't say.

In these incidents helmet wearing didn't appear to be a factor, what had attracted their attention was that we were cycling with young children.

Over the years we have had loads of outbursts of unsolicited advice from busybodies. Most of the ill informed nonsense has come from competitive cyclists and motorists, but I have noticed a trend towards people with authoritarian jobs; teachers, social workers, cops and the like. I think that when people age and veer towards dementia they become less socially inhibited.

What I see as key about the original post is that the Dad was out cycling with the Son. That's the important bit; keep going, it's worth it.
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ambodach
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by ambodach »

I must have a very tolerant family. Since my wife died a couple of years ago I frequently go to visit a son near Oban who has a spare grandad annex and use this as a base to cycle from. My grandchildren are ordered by both parents to wear helmets and indeed the school insists on their use when cycling to school. When they cycle as a family they all wear helmets. I do not wear a helmet but I would not dream of trying to influence my grandchildren who cannot fail to notice that I never wear one. The subject never arises. I have noticed on occasion one of them sneaking off on an errant without one but presumably he hopes his mother never notices.
mig
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by mig »

strangers can be nice & positive too.

one of my mother's carers said her 9 year old girl loved to cycle but didn't have the right bike nor place to go (very busy roads locally to them.) with both of these issues sorted out we've had fairly regular evening jaunts around and around some local laps all summer. her beaming face has been a real shot in the arm for me after some recent sad times. she turns up clad in leggings, a top for the temperature that night and a pair of pumps. climbs on the bike and off she goes! we've had so many local dog walkers, passers by etc stop and clap her, cheer her, wave and smile. we even know the names of the local dogs! hopefully she'll stick with the bike and it will become a part of her life. here's hoping anyway.

as for the lad in the OP. tell him to smile back if it happens again, say very little then crack on with his ride. may the wind be always at his back.
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horizon
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by horizon »

ibbo68 wrote: 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.|


I think there was a serious failure of understanding the mentality of 10 year old boys here. :)
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Cyril Haearn
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by Cyril Haearn »

mig wrote:strangers can be nice & positive too.

one of my mother's carers said her 9 year old girl loved to cycle but didn't have the right bike nor place to go (very busy roads locally to them.) with both of these issues sorted out we've had fairly regular evening jaunts around and around some local laps all summer. her beaming face has been a real shot in the arm for me after some recent sad times. she turns up clad in leggings, a top for the temperature that night and a pair of pumps. climbs on the bike and off she goes! we've had so many local dog walkers, passers by etc stop and clap her, cheer her, wave and smile. we even know the names of the local dogs! hopefully she'll stick with the bike and it will become a part of her life. here's hoping anyway.

as for the lad in the OP. tell him to smile back if it happens again, say very little then crack on with his ride. may the wind be always at his back.

Positive thread alert, +1
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by Tangled Metal »

I think the op had the first positive thread. I mean he talked about 3 laps of the lake with his 10 year old son who was enjoying it. Can't get more positive than a young lad enjoying cycling as a hobby / sport. Long may it continue into teenage years and beyond.

All the rest will hopefully be forgotten and when he's out cycling with his kids round a lake they don't meet some of codger with an opinion that's of no interest to anyone but the old blowhard himself!

To the OP I say you're doing a great job with your lad to have him enjoying cycling. A healthy pursuit and I hope a big part of his life (if he's cycling for sport and transport). Anything that gets them away from consoles and mobile phones (except for strava of course).
Cyril Haearn
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by Cyril Haearn »

The Llyn Efrnwy circuit is wonderful, a great place to do a century
At Llanycil near Bala there is an interesting bible museum. The Berwyns are great for walking
+1
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thirdcrank
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by thirdcrank »

ibbo68 wrote: ... 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 ...


I had assumed that this was the point of this thread. Unsurprisingly (unless I've missed it) nobody has put their hand up. Once upon a time, it was IME quite common for unrelated adults to assume they had a role in the discipline of other peoples children. I've a clear memory from about 1950 of two of us aged 5 or 6 going to the sweetshop in the rain holding my school mac over our heads and a BOF with a waxed moustache came out of his front door - in itself unusual then - to tell us to wear the coat properly. :roll: For one reason or another, strangers talking to other people's children is now taboo, be it cycle helmets or mac's used as improvised umbrellas. No wrecks and nobody drownded .....
Cyril Haearn
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Re: Interfering stranger lecturing my son about bike clothing

Post by Cyril Haearn »

thirdcrank wrote:..
..
For one reason or another, strangers talking to other people's children is now taboo
..
..

Fortunately small children do not know that, they often accost strangers, typically a child approaches me, asks my name, a nervous parent asks if the child is bothering me? Absolutely not! Trains are great for children, they love to run up and down the aisle :wink:
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