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  1. #1
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    The cyclist "wave" in Toronto

    Is it just me, or does anyone notice a distinct LACK of recognition between fellow cyclists in Toronto? I've noticed that in smaller cities, cyclists are eager to the point of interrupting their own run and coming out of the drops to acknowledge a passing rider. I would at least expect roadies to wave to roadies (elitist buggers).

    Could be that there are simply so many of us around that it has lost its zest.

    Comments? Observations? Do YOU wave?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    I find the same here in Ottawa, but I don't usually wave I nod or say hello. But oddly enough I was out in the country doing my 30K route and a bunch of riders on Harley's wave to me. I found this cool because when I route a motorbike every other motorcyclist would wave but the Harley's.

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    I nod at other cyclists... I need my hands on my handle bars. I'm usually pedaling pretty hard.

  4. #4
    Raving looney
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    I sometimes offer a "hi" or "good morning" or something - that can often be misinterpreted (I was chewed out by a lady once for saying something nice to her - as she didn't hear me properly and assumed I'd chastised her - I straightened that out and all was well ).

    More often than not I'll just look over and nod, and when passing I'll offer a hand of 'thanks' if they seem to have taken action to move over for me or whatever.

    I try and bring a sense of comeraderie to my riding, but there's grumpy/antisocial people on bikes as well as in cars.

  5. #5
    Senior Member skiracing's Avatar
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    I do and probably 90% of others wave back. Now it's not really a wave, I'll usually nod or raise my fingers from the bars. The once who don't respond I kinda don't care about.... in a way they are no different then a fellow driver when you're driving a car or another pedestrian when you are walking so I don't give it much thought.

    Most of ridingis on country roads north of suburbia so maybe the ppl are different here than in downtown... who knows.
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  6. #6
    Dead Men Assume...
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeclash View Post
    Is it just me, or does anyone notice a distinct LACK of recognition between fellow cyclists in Toronto? I've noticed that in smaller cities, cyclists are eager to the point of interrupting their own run and coming out of the drops to acknowledge a passing rider. I would at least expect roadies to wave to roadies (elitist buggers).

    Could be that there are simply so many of us around that it has lost its zest.

    Comments? Observations? Do YOU wave?
    You didn't say anything about YOU waving.

    Just joshing with ya. I don't normally wave but I do nod.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus View Post
    I find the same here in Ottawa, but I don't usually wave I nod or say hello. But oddly enough I was out in the country doing my 30K route and a bunch of riders on Harley's wave to me. I found this cool because when I route a motorbike every other motorcyclist would wave but the Harley's.
    Harley riders on tour are the friendliest.

  8. #8
    Senior Member skiracing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus View Post
    I find the same here in Ottawa, but I don't usually wave I nod or say hello. But oddly enough I was out in the country doing my 30K route and a bunch of riders on Harley's wave to me. I found this cool because when I route a motorbike every other motorcyclist would wave but the Harley's.
    Not sure if you'd have the answer to this one... I was once out riding and a group of bikers pass me on Harleys... as they pass they all do the Corna hand gesture with a bit of a back and forth movement. I wasnt quite sure if it was directed at me or among themselves but it would still be nice to know what it means.
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  9. #9
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    Well, in light of this thread, I waved twice and said "Good morning" to two cyclists this morning, as well as asking "Are you all right" when I was the first one to a cyclist who went down on the Queen streetcar track...

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    So wave if you feel like you need to. I don't wave, but I return them with a nod of the head just to be nice. It's not a freaking social club. You want waves and everyone to be nice and say hello all the time, move to a small town. If I waved to every bicycle I encounter, I would get a cramp in my waving hand. These newbie need-the-wave threads are just plain silly. Mind you, it may be different in our cities here where there have always been lots of cyclists around. I guess if you're out in the mid-western US or the south, or in some parts of western Canada, encountering another bicycle may be more of an unusual event.

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    I was out on the martin goodman trail going west from downtown last night and i must say the amount of people waving and nodding was at all an time high.....the friendly bunch i have encountered in a long time....including the roadies out there, for all you who they have been ignoring!

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    It's hit and miss...and vice versa. I don't care anymore. I'm tired of making the effort to be friendly.I will always , however, offer any assistance if a rider is down or is having a mech. Otherwise, it's just down to business.

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    I ride out in the suburbs. A wave/nod/smile or whatever is normal out here. There is 1 particular rider who never acknowledges though. But whatever.

    I will say though that while on my MTB, if you are ever at the side of the trail with a flat / mechanical. EVERYONE will ask if your alright. The same is apparently not true on the road. Too bad really...

  14. #14
    Senior Member skiracing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbgobie View Post
    I ride out in the suburbs. A wave/nod/smile or whatever is normal out here. There is 1 particular rider who never acknowledges though. But whatever.

    I will say though that while on my MTB, if you are ever at the side of the trail with a flat / mechanical. EVERYONE will ask if your alright. The same is apparently not true on the road. Too bad really...
    Thats cause a lot of roadies are snobs.... not all, but a lot. I'm sure there are some among mtb riders as well just probably less.
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  15. #15
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    As previously posted: there are rules:

    The general rule is that people wave to strangers when they are both doing something novel or special, or where there aren't many encounters, or where they somehow identify with the other person; and they don't wave when they are doing something common, or it's crowded, or the other person seems to be part of a different culture or group.

    Car drivers don't wave to each other (common).
    Pedestrians in small towns wave to each other (novel/special).
    Pedestrians on New York sidewalks don't wave to each other (common).
    Roadies in a city with few cyclists wave (novel/special).
    Roadies in a city with lots of cyclist don't wave (common)
    Roadies don't wave to Freds and vice versa (different culture).
    Boaters on small lakes wave to each other (identify with each other)
    Boaters on large lakes don't wave (don't identify)
    New cyclists wave (novel/special) and seasoned cyclists don't wave back (snobs)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    As previously posted: there are rules:

    The general rule is that people wave to strangers when they are both doing something novel or special, or where there aren't many encounters, or where they somehow identify with the other person; and they don't wave when they are doing something common, or it's crowded, or the other person seems to be part of a different culture or group.

    Car drivers don't wave to each other (common).
    Pedestrians in small towns wave to each other (novel/special).
    Pedestrians on New York sidewalks don't wave to each other (common).
    Roadies in a city with few cyclists wave (novel/special).
    Roadies in a city with lots of cyclist don't wave (common)
    Roadies don't wave to Freds and vice versa (different culture).
    Boaters on small lakes wave to each other (identify with each other)
    Boaters on large lakes don't wave (don't identify)
    New cyclists wave (novel/special) and seasoned cyclists don't wave back (snobs)

    Hardly scientific but VERY accurate.

  17. #17
    LMLN Turd Ferguson's Avatar
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    There are too many people in Toronto to wave or nod to everyone.

    Also, roadies ( those who race ), almost always usually acknowledge those from other clubs (if wearing club jersey). The same applies when on bike tour. It's a matter of having something in common. I don't wave to drivers who drive the same car as me and won't always acknowledge someone just because they have a road bike.

    A nod or hello is fine,..but the hands belong on the bars.

    That being said, I've have met the odd person while riding and sometimes found a new riding buddy. For every hundred I come across I might speak to 10% of them.

    Question, how many give other riders the finger?
    Last edited by Turd Ferguson; 06-19-08 at 08:02 PM.

  18. #18
    z3n
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    I don't ride in the city...I work in Toronto but live and ride outside Oshawa. People out here go out of their way to say hello...weather in a group or solo everyone says hello.

    I make a point to acknowledge other cyclists...there aren't that many of us we need to stick together

  19. #19
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    Someone should start a support group for the excessively friendly.

  20. #20
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
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    I find it bizzare that strangers would wave at each other. Plus, I'm cycling - traveling from point A to point B. Unless you need to communicate something important, you should NOT wave or speak to me - if you do so you are causing a distraction which itself could be problematic.

    Hidden pothole? Crack in the pavement? Road-kill up ahead? Sure, give me a signal, that would be appreciated. Just another of the two dozen or so cyclists I will pass on my commute home? Reserve signals for important things, like indicating turns!

  21. #21
    z3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
    Someone should start a support group for the excessively friendly.
    Not saying I would stop to chit-chat but a wave or a nod wouldn't hurt.

    Quote Originally Posted by patc View Post
    I find it bizzare that strangers would wave at each other. Plus, I'm cycling - traveling from point A to point B. Unless you need to communicate something important, you should NOT wave or speak to me - if you do so you are causing a distraction which itself could be problematic.

    Hidden pothole? Crack in the pavement? Road-kill up ahead? Sure, give me a signal, that would be appreciated. Just another of the two dozen or so cyclists I will pass on my commute home? Reserve signals for important things, like indicating turns!
    I should have been more clear....I don't commute on my bike... from a commute perspective I wouldn't be too eager to say hello to every Jane and Joe on a bike.

    I cycle on weekends and after work on farm roads and the only cyclists I see are out training. Given my circumstances I wave or nod and I feel its appropriate.

  22. #22
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    I should have been more clear....I don't commute on my bike... from a commute perspective I wouldn't be too eager to say hello to every Jane and Joe on a bike.

    I cycle on weekends and after work on farm roads and the only cyclists I see are out training. Given my circumstances I wave or nod and I feel its appropriate.

    Gotcha. Still not something I've ever felt comfortable with.

    Several years ago I attended a family reunion on the in-law side in Kamloops, BC. A smallish town where everyone says hello to you. IT DROVE ME INSANE! Here I was, trying to have a nice quiet walk and enjoy the landscape, and every minute or so someone would interrupt my solitude. Felt like being slapped, it was that jarring!

    There are spaces where social interaction is expected and desired... to me roads, sidewalk, pathways, etc. are not among those spaces. Then again I don't get why anyone would cycle in a group, so what the heck do I know?

  23. #23
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    LOL, I get the same problem when I spend time in my wife's little home town in the Ottawa Valley. You can't walk one block on the main street without having to say hello and stop to chat multiple times. For that matter, you can't even go into a pharmacy, and certainly not Tim Hortons.

    But to the original poster, I suppose if I was riding my road bike out on an isolated country lane and I met another cyclist going to other way, I might give a nod hello.

  24. #24
    Senior Member clausen's Avatar
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    Roads to are too busy to wave when I'm in the city. Once I'm out of on quieter roads I"ll wave or at least acknowledge other people.

  25. #25
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    Not generally when I'm upto my armpits in core traffic cars at rush hour. I'll call passes, maybe the odd good morning at the light but otherwise I'm haulin' ass and really am not paying attention to things that are unrelated to my travels. It's safety thing for me.

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