Thursday, 1 April 2010

Cycling etiquette - Waving

Cycling etiquette is a funny thing. I remember from my earlier cycling days (15+ years ago) there seemed to be a huge divide in cyclists - In a "mods and rockers" stylee; you were either a mountain biker or a road cyclist.

In the mid 90's I used to ride a cute green AlpineStars MTB. It was my main mode of transport and it was used both on and off the road. As the friendly soul I am, I always waved or at least nodded to all who rode past. As an amateur, it took me a while to cotton on, but I often wondered why many of the riders with the curly handlebars only ever reciprocated my greeting with a scowl. I soon realised that it was my bike. I could only guess that as the popularity of the MTB soared the "roadies" just saw us a pests, giving cyclists a bad name as public steps were descended and park benches were hopped on/off. Their elite clubs were being infiltrated by non-athletes.

I feel things have changed slightly. There appears to be less of a cultural divide between roadies and MTBers; probably as the lines have blurred slightly with many cyclists owning both a road bike and an off road bike.

Proud to wave! ;-)
Since returning to cycling, I continue to nod or raise my hand to all who ride by, yet still, there seems to be a small minority of cyclists ignoring one another. Last week, I lost count of all those who just put their head down and rode on without even a smile. Grumpy sods! One incidence remains firmly stuck in my mind though as it really made me angry. I was merrily riding along on my beloved cross bike when I passed two stationary "roadies" (they were giving way to me and a dozen cars). I smiled and called out good afternoon as I passed. They were looking directly at me, so I expected some kind of acknowledgement, but instead they blanked me and turned to each other and started chatting. Not even a head nod! How rude! Did their parents not teach them how to be polite?

Maybe they didn't like my knobbly tires? Maybe they were just surprised to see a girl riding along? Maybe they were annoyed at having to stop for the oncoming traffic - my lane had priority, but as I was riding as fast as most of the cars in my lane (we were in a restricted speed limit area) they couldn't seriously blame me for their hold up! It really angered me, couldn't they have just shown me some common courtesy. After all, as riders, we already have to face enough ignorance and anger by most car drivers, so when we see another bike rider why not acknowledge another kindred spirit.

Sorry, that's my rant over!


VeloCake said...

miserable gits, the lot of them.

trio said...

Some people are just miserable, I wave and say hello to everyone!

trio said...

Some people are just miserable, I wave and say hello to everyone!