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Gear Prudence: I keep running into a problem with drivers: They wait for me at stop signs. I arrive a few seconds after the driver, so I stop. The driver stares at me expecting me to go, or gives me the little go-ahead wave. I give the go-ahead wave back either way. Then the driver returns my stare. Like many cyclists, I can track stand on my bike for at least a few seconds before putting my foot on the ground, so perhaps some drivers take this as a sign that I’m about to go. But I tried the experiment of dismounting the bike entirely, and the driver still just stared! How do I make it clear that they shouldn’t wait? —Drivers Often Need To Waste An Individual’s Time

Dear DONTWAIT: The law and custom at stop signs is that the first to come is the first to go. This is true when it’s two drivers, two cyclists, or any other combination. Their reticence might derive from confusion (thinking bikes have different laws), deference (attempting to be obliging), or from an abundance of caution (many cyclists aren’t nearly as law-abiding as you are). But regardless of the why, firmly placing a foot down is a sure signal that you’re going to wait. Shouting “Just go already!” is another option, but that’s far less tactful. All things considered, a slight delay is still considerably better than a collision, so maybe just chalk this up as one of those funny quirks of intermodal interaction and accept it. —GP 

Gear Prudence: I bike a lot. My friends bike casually. They’ll ask me if it’s OK to bike somewhere new, such as a bar on the other side of town. My answer is almost always: “Yes, of course. It’s only a few miles away and there are bike lanes.” But then they do it and yell at me because it was a horrible experience, they got too sweaty, drivers were mean, and bike lanes were blocked. But these things aren’t my fault! Should I just stop helping? —Answers Deemed Valueless; I Concede Entirely

Dear ADVICE: You’re missing the point. They’re not asking you for the obvious, so you’re better off providing insight based on your accumulated expertise. An app can tell them how far away a place is and whether there are bike lanes, but an app won’t offer information on what it feels like to bike there. Of course there are going to be things you can’t control (weather, traffic, the disposition of strangers piloting automobiles in a frustrating urban context), but use this as an opportunity to guide your friends toward the best possible (and least stressful) biking experience. Give them options. If there are hazards or tough spots, tell them! Warn them about hills. Help in a real way and you’ll get way less guff. —GP