read

Regularly, I make a general piece of advice, and the types of responses are pretty similar regardless of the actual conversation.

Lets take a fairly innocuous example:

BikeTip: When buying a bike, if the tyres are flat, walk away. That bike is probably fucked and you're being tricked.

What I would probably have said here – given more space to utilize the wonderful language that is English – would be:

BikeTip: When buying a second-hand bike, if the tyres are flat and the owner refuses to fix them up, you can't take it for a test ride. Without a test ride, it's really hard to detect certain problems, so you should probably walk away. This is a common tactic (amongst many others) to shift broken-ass bikes, so it's probably not worth buying.

To me, there is no difference at all between those two statements. That's rather unfortunate, because to me, saying the first is the same as saying the second.

To everyone else, it's a chance to come and say random shit at me.

The Expert

As an experienced bike mechanic, I strongly disagree. I can detect fault with a bike without just checking the tyres. I check the chain for rust, flip it to check if the wheel is true, see how tight the spokes are and even check the bottom bracket for a wobble

Ok expert, this was general advice, which doesn't apply to you clearly. Well done.

The Gambler

I've bought a bike like that and it was fine.

Great that's a cool story, but you were lucky.

The Elitist

You can't even fix flat tyres? How stupid are you.

This general advice wasn't about me. As an beginner/intermediate biker, my friends might now know how to do that. Does the seller have a patch kit? Does my friend?

At a restaurant, if a steak is undercooked you'd ask them to cook it. If they say no then fuck them, I'm not gonna take it home and cook it myself. That's not how this works.

Besides, using this opportunity to randomly attack is a strange move. Are you ok? Do you need a friend to talk to? It's not me, but… somebody probably likes you.

The Unnecessary

You didn't even need to write this, this is so obvious that nobody would do it.

There are a lot of people out there, and everyone is more or less experienced than you at a whole bunch of different things. Just because you would think to something, does not mean everybody else in the world would.

Don't be shitty to somebody just because they said something you thought of already. You aren't everyone else in the world. Some people need those "Warning: Hot Coffee might be hot" warnings, so just be glad in this specific instance you aren't one of them.

The Lesley Gore

Don't tell me what to do! I'll buy any damn bike I want.

Ok do whatever just trying to help…

The Opinionater

That's your opinion!!

Of course it's my opinion, it came out of my face.

If we're out having a beer and I say "This beer is lovely." and you shout "WELL THAT'S YOUR OPINON" at me, I'm not gonna hang out with you again. People speak from their point of view, and forcing people to wrap everything they say with "IMHO … YYMV" is a waste of time and space.

The Patriot

I think you'll find it's "tires".

Words existed before the Webster dictionary, and tyres is perfectly valid if you're British. Google is also a thing if you're confused.

The Not Quite

When I got my new bike online from Halfords it had flat tyres but tbh it was fine.

Yeah… ugh… clearly… forget it.

The Mile Wide

I've never once been to a motorbike showroom that wouldn't let you take a bike for a test ride, what the fuck are you talking about.

Wow. I meant bicycle. I always talk about bicycles. Who are you and why are you screaming at me.

The Favourite

  • Bob favourited a tweet you were mentioned in by The Not Quite.
  • Bob favourited a tweet you were mentioned in by The Mile Wide.
  • Bob favourited another tweet you were mentioned in by The Mile Wide.
  • Bob needs to get a fucking hobby because he's still favouriting any sort of tweet that disagrees with you and they all misunderstood what you said.

The Alternative

That's not the problem. The real problem is checking for kinks or bends in the frame or chainstay. That'll mess you up.

Yeah totally. That's a great tip, but why are you coming at this like it's an either/or?

  • Flat tyres mask problems
  • Subtly damaged frames are also not great

We could both sit around listing out 100 things to worry about, but just because you know one other edge case problem, it does not invalidate the problem I mentioned.

The Bike Salesman

I've been selling bicycles for years now and I find this attitude disrespectful. Not all salesmen are trying to rip you off.

Ugh yeah I meant assholes on Craigslist and that shitty bike store down the road that actually does. I've been in there, and my friends have told me tales of shitty bike shops and Craigslist wankers doing this too.

The Exception

That's dumb. What if that bike is a vintage Raleigh frame in the perfect colour, and I've been trying to find one for ages. Either way, the price is worth it just for the frame.

Well, that sounds like a fairly good exception to my rather general advice. If you're happy to take that project on and do the work, or pay for it to be done, then yeah: get that bike. General advice always has exceptions. That wouldn't exactly fit in the tweet.

Certainly these people don't mean to be annoying, but damn, it's pretty annoying.

Especially the expert. It's nice that people who know a lot about a certain field are following me and care enough to answer, but when I say something in general and you #WellActually me for 20 minutes, it's not exactly helpful to anyone.

If you see me making a statement that you disagree with, absolutely come and talk to me about it, but before you do, assume the Zen of Python is on my mind while I'm making it.

Try to avoid being one of these characters above. I really don't like it.


Book Cover

Build APIs You Won't Hate

Everyone and their dog wants an API, so you should probably learn how to build them.

Buy it from LeanPub or Amazon.

Image

Phil Sturgeon

Platform Engineer @ WeWork who talks about APIs a lot. Programming Polyglot, Pragmatist, Centerist and Sarcasist. Ex-The League of Extraordinary Packages, PHP The Right Way, Ex-PHP-FIG, Ex-CodeIgniter, Ex-FuelPHP, Ex-PyroCMS.

Back to Overview