Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hey There, London!

I've always made much of my readers in Texas. That is for two reasons, the first being that they were among the first to show up and even stick around, and the second being that they do stuff like this:

Now really, how could I not like that bunch?

This post, however, is about recognizing the people right here in London, Ontario, who read this blog. I watch my stats, not obsessively (at least not in the last six months or so), but I do watch 'em, and I'm getting more visitors from right here at home than ever. There is one main thing I would like to say to my local readers: Thank you. I feel a peculiar satisfaction knowing that some people who see my videos and pictures can relate directly with the streets they're seeing.

I have never been part of a cycling group or community except here online. To be frank, I am intimidated by hardcore road cyclists, I'm too old to hang with serious MTB cyclists, and serious commuters are mostly a bunch of loners like me. I guess in my heart of hearts I hope that local everyday commuters are reading and relating to this blog. I wave to cyclists who appear to be kind of like me. I don't know if that's annoying or not. I kind of like it when people on the other side of the road nod or wave, so I do it.

I'm not entirely sure why I'm writing this. I guess it is my clumsy effort at being social with people I might actually meet. If you live and ride in London, that heavyish dude in a blue cycling jacket who gives a low wave is me! I'm considering marking myself or my bike with RANTWICK, because I would really like to stop and talk with people who know me via these pages... what do you all think? Should I? Or is that just kind of lame?

Yours In Shameless Insecurity,

PS - Is "shameless insecurity" even possible, or is it an oxymoron? More worrisome, am I an "Oxy moron" for asking that question?


Skyers said...

I think its a great idea..I have often thought about the fellow bike commuters that use the same route as myself, who are they? where are they going? Should I organize a Cheapside Commuter Club??

I also think my fellow commuters would be more likley to share commuting tips,routes, and general knowledge with me just because I am on the same route as them.
I wave to other bike commuters too, most of the time I get a wave or nod in return.
I'll keep an eye out for ya even tho I know our paths wont usually cross. My wife is sick of hearing my riding stories so it would be nice to chat with some that may be interested.
I'm going to the bike show tommorow so if I see a giant Rantwik logo on someone I will for sure stop and chat them up.
SS out.

RANTWICK said...

Bike show?

Skyers said...

everything bike related. Some good deals on bike. The Best BMX Stunt contest on the planet. if you have never been I highly recomend it
Deals to be had..

Doohickie said...

Declare a "Ride your bike to work" day and set up a meet & greet at a local bike shop. Maybe even have a little group ride. I bet it would be fun.

I'm lucky in that I've found a bike club that is serious about their riding but also very social. There are hardcore racers in the Swifties group whose wives ride in the Cruisers group. Parents ride with their kids. Sometimes you'll even see a tandem with a trail-a-bike (dad with his two sons) on our rides.

There's no reason you can't start something like that in London.

Doohickie said...

My suggestion for a Cheapside Commuters Club: Set up a weekly Saturday Breakfast Ride. Meet somewhere, the same place every week, then ride to various eateries around town. That's what our club does. They do a longish route to breakfast (maybe a little over an hour's ride), then do a beeline back to the original meetup point (15 or 20 minutes).


Doohickie said...

Oh... and one more thing: As one of the Rantwicks in that picture, all of us in Texas send our greetings to all of you in London!

P.S. I've been to London, Ontario, and really liked the people there. The occasion was a failed water pump, and the guys over at Canadian Tire by the White Oaks Mall were great about getting us back on the road quickly.


RANTWICK said...

Doohickie - Thanks for your kind words about London people. You are a true ambassador and diplomat, and as such are inherently social.

Your suggestions, however, would require 1) some small effort and 2) a desire to meet more than one person at one time... both of those are a problem for me.

Hopefully Skyers will take your Cheapside advice more willingly than I, a chronically lazy social and emotional cripple.

Rollz said...

I generally don't like people. I will wave at you if I see you though. I would actually stop to meet you. Truthfully I am secretly hoping that I could be the one person at one time you would like to meet. I never wave at any cyclists because I never see any. I only see one guy a day on a bike and he is on an electric bike with a smoke in his mouth.

Big Oak said...

Sounds like the London folks are more social towards outsiders than with their own town cycling folk. Everyone has an antisocial side, I am confident you can overcome yours and meet a few bikers who can tolerate you long enough to eat breakfast with you and maybe bike a few miles together. Start with Skyers and see where it goes from there. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I think I see that electric bike guy too. Ridout Street? He is one of the local blue box divers.

Speaking of electric bikes, and if you are in need of a quick laugh, check out Yike Bikes.

RANTWICK said...

Rollz - Bang. You got it. We are quite similar in some ways. That doesn't mean we wouldn't hate each other, though. You are indeed one of those one at a time guys, because I'll never know if I hate someone if I don't even try.

Big Oak - Sorry man, but while I would be quite interested to bump into a reader, I have no burning desire to overcome my antisocial side. That, in some ways, is what my blog is for... being social without actually having to meet anybody.

Ham said...

Just don't expect much waving if you ever make it to the _real_ London. I've been observing Ding Day ( for the last two years and I have yet to be dinged back.

Anonymous said...

Oh darn, I would have to get a bell for that day. Having said that, I will probably get a $136 fine in the next week or so for not having a bell.

cafiend said...

I wave to any cyclist. Some of the hard core ones favor me with a look of disgust that's as enjoyable in its own way as a return wave. Those riders are a summer phenomenon, though. We locals mostly know each other, if only from these fleeting road encounters. Often that's plenty of social contact. I don't ride with the hard core sporty group anymore, because I would have to skip the commute that day or do the hard core ride AND the commute.

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