Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

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xpc316e
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Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby xpc316e » 22 Nov 2012, 7:36pm

This something of a rant to get an incident off my chest, but I am keen to know whether other instructors suffer from being told what to do by 'experts'?

Today I lent a child my son's bike so that he could complete his Bikeability course (the lad's BMX had only one brake), so I adjusted the seat to ensure he could put the balls of his feet on the ground. About an hour later we were turning right out of a minor road into a major, and a man stood next to me for a while. I ignored him as I was the lead instructor and fully engaged with the riders, but he stood there. Eventually he spoke to tell me that I should know that one boy's bike was far too big for him, as he couldn't get his feet on the ground. I asked him which lad it was and he indicated the lad riding my son's bike. I asked how he knew that he couldn't reach the ground, and he told me that he had watched him repeatedly stop with his left foot on the kerb. I pointed out that they all stopped like that, because we taught them to do so. I assured him that the boy could touch the ground with both feet whilst seated, and he walked off muttering.

I often get passers-by saying what a good idea that children are taught to ride properly, but I also attract this sort of interfering twerp - am I the only one? I'd be interested to know what people have said to you about how you should go about your job.
Riding a Dahon Jetstream P9 folder, a Decathlon Fitness 3 flat-barred road bike, a Claud Butler Cape Wrath MTB, a TW 'bents trike, a Moulton-based tandem, a Scott CR1 Comp, and the latest acquisition, a custom-built SWB, above seat steered recumbent.

Vorpal
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby Vorpal » 24 Nov 2012, 7:50pm

I haven't had that particular one, but I have had a couple of interfering busybodies.

My firm but polite response to most people who approached me during training sessions was, "I'm sure you'll understand that my attention needs to be on the children, and what they are doing. If you have question about what I'm doing or are interested in Bikeability training, please contact...." And then, I ignored them.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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Si
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby Si » 25 Nov 2012, 9:58am

I don't train kids but I take newcomers out on organised rides. So far there always seems to be a slightly less newbie there that takes it upon themselves to start telling his fellow newbies what to do ( e.g. telling people to ride on the pavement or jump reds) despite them have less than ideal abilities themselves.

Having aid that, looking at it from the other side (i.e. the interfering busy-body), I have been afeared of some things that I've noticed qualified instructors do - especially the one that damaged my bike while giving it an ABC check (and missed the fact that the saddle and back wheel were both loose).

gordy
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby gordy » 25 Nov 2012, 10:22am

I tend to think that it's a cultural thing... the British middle classes have an obsession about telling other people how to do their jobs. If those people are seen as experts - such as instructors, teachers, police officers, road engineers, doctors, referees, umpires, social workers... then the passer-by (or forum poster :wink: ) will feel even more enthusiastic about chipping in a comment.

Chill, if you can. You need a thick skin and endless patience.
I took children out on school trips for twenty years but eventually got fed up with punters criticising and telling me what I should be doing.

John Holiday
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby John Holiday » 28 Nov 2012, 5:52pm

For every person who has passed some critical comment about our training (e.g. Children shouldn't be on the roads etc.),
we have had a dozen who are quite complimentary,even to the point of handing us a box of sweets to be distributed amongst the trainees!

crashgordon
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby crashgordon » 9 Jan 2013, 3:52pm

I have had members of the public saying the children shouldnt be on the road as they dont pay road tax!

crashgordon
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby crashgordon » 9 Jan 2013, 4:03pm

Another one sprung to mind, just before christmas while stood on the footpath at the side of the road discussing with the children positioning and basic observational skills when doing a right hand turn from a major to a minor I had a member of the public who had ridden down the road at quite some pace towards us on his road bike bedecked in full power rangers lcyra slow down shout at me and the kids that I should be aware of cyclists on the road too. This was kind of interesting as we were all on the footpath and hadnt hindered his progress at all. Just as he finished his rant to face forwards he wobbled off the road, up the kerb and into a bush. Nice example for the kids, needless to say I used it as an example for them :D

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pjclinch
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby pjclinch » 10 Jan 2013, 1:47pm

crashgordon wrote:This was kind of interesting as we were all on the footpath and hadnt hindered his progress at all. Just as he finished his rant to face forwards he wobbled off the road, up the kerb and into a bush. Nice example for the kids, needless to say I used it as an example for them :D


Sounds like you really might have been in his way, in that case... :-)

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Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

Geriatrix
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby Geriatrix » 11 Jan 2013, 12:05pm

xpc316e wrote:I often get passers-by saying what a good idea that children are taught to ride properly, but I also attract this sort of interfering twerp - am I the only one? I'd be interested to know what people have said to you about how you should go about your job.

Try riding a recumbent. The world is full of experts offering advice :)

Unfortunately many Bikeability best practices are not included in the HW code so John Franklin's methods are beyond the ken of many parents and drivers.
This is why I think that British cycling's petition to have cycling awareness included in driver training should be supported.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

keepontriking
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby keepontriking » 11 Jan 2013, 6:45pm

During a cycle-training session I was outside a school teaching five young riders the folly of pavement riding, when, yes, two cycling bobbies came along - on the pavement.

They pulled up showing genuine interest in the cycle-training, and offered to help at any future sessions.

Some banter ensued when I politely pointed out that perhaps they should have been riding on the road and not the pavement.

"Ah, we have dispensation so we can chase criminals." "That's Our Job", they proudly told the youngsters, puffing out their chests and patting their equipment pouches.

We all looked around, and I asked my trainees if they could see any 'criminals'. There were none to be seen, so I suggested that the two policemen seemed to have lost their quarry, much to the amusement of the children.

This caused them to change tack, with...
"Ah, but it is best to ride on the pavement when there is so much dangerous traffic".

So I asked my trainees, who were now clearly enjoying the exchange, if they could see any 'dangerous' traffic.
We all looked up and down the near deserted road.
"Yes, there is a parked car over there" said one, - and that was it.
Nothing else, zilch, not even the local vicar with a shopping basket.

There followed a sheepish, "We must be on our way; lots of baddies to catch" from PC Senior Bobby, and I wished them a pleasant and safe ride. His junior, gave a knowing wink back at us as they left.

As the two set off, we stood and watched with jaws hanging, as one went along the road, while the other bunny-hopped onto the .....pavement.

It didn't take me long to decide whether they could indeed help with any future training.

crashgordon
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby crashgordon » 16 Jan 2013, 8:01pm

pjclinch wrote:
Sounds like you really might have been in his way, in that case... :-)

Pete.

Lol very true, we were obviously in the wrong standing on the pavement :D

Miscology
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby Miscology » 30 Jul 2013, 10:35am

No cycling related experts so far, but I had a guy at traffic lights tell me to stop using my offroad shoes on concrete. I lived just around the corner and was heading to the trail, maybe about 300m on the streets in total. I had just used them a couple of days before to run to the top of Ben Nevis, so I knew what I was doing.

I wish people would mind their own business. His snotty superior attitude spoiled my run.

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rootes
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby rootes » 30 Jul 2013, 11:20am

i must admit i did speak to a lady on bike after Chelsea bridge after she tried to overtake a skip wagon just as it was approaching a narrow part of the road/island..

luckily the wagon driver saw her and stopped to let her back into the lane... if he had not she would have been under the front wheel... she seemed completely unaware..

MarkF
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby MarkF » 9 Aug 2013, 8:36pm

This is a right bugbear of mine. Nothing is ever said to me if I am riding my road bike wearing decent kit. But, if I ride my hybrid, which I do a lot for local trips and shopping, I am a magnet for unwelcome and unsolicited "advice" from uber cyclists, it really pisses me off. I've ridden across the UK, across France and Spain too, I don't need help to cross a busy junction! :evil:

On the other hand..............I used to pass a middle aged guy on a MTB on my commute, his seat was so low he was nearly kneeing himself in the chops. After a couple of weeks we were side by side at some lights and I said "Excuse me, I hope you don't mind me saying, but............", he listened, looked at me and said "What the f***s it got to with you"? :D

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Mr. Viking
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Re: Do you get 'experts' telling you what to do?

Postby Mr. Viking » 9 Aug 2013, 9:06pm

MarkF wrote:On the other hand..............I used to pass a middle aged guy on a MTB on my commute, his seat was so low he was nearly kneeing himself in the chops. After a couple of weeks we were side by side at some lights and I said "Excuse me, I hope you don't mind me saying, but............", he listened, looked at me and said "What the f***s it got to with you"? :D

he does have a point :wink: . It's hard to watch someone cycling with a bad setup though. It's just not right