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Old 04-06-06, 04:43 PM   #1
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Does rude rule?

As was at my local LBS talking with a few of the employees about things that are different today than they were in the 70s when I started riding. I pointed out that in the 70s when you passed another rider you always acknowledge him or her with a slight hand wave or nod of the head. I said that yesterday I passed three other riders, did a slight wave and head nod to all three with no acknowledgment from any of them. The youngest guy in the shop says, "That's 'cause rude rules." He went on to give his version of why acknowledgement of another rider was not cool. So, does rude rule? If so, what's happened in the last 30 years?
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Old 04-06-06, 04:51 PM   #2
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Cycling is no different from anything else. I think "rude rules" has taken over every day behavior all over. From people who think it's okay to be on the cell phone while placing their order at the front of the line in a restaurant, thus making us all wait a bit longer, to people who will literally reach in front of you at the soft drink dispenser to get their drink, from people who will sashay across the street a great distance from the cross-walk and then give you a dirty look for giving them a beep, to people who think it's fine to call everyone 'dude,' and on and on it goes. I think we've forgotten about respect and courtesy and all that good stuff, and I think it's quite sad. I too have tried acknowedging other riders with a head nod or mini-wave, and almost every time, I get nothing in return. I've about given up. Yes, there are good reasons they may not acknowledge me (didn't see, in their own zone, etc.) but I don't think it takes much to smile or nod. I'm too old fashioned, I guess.
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Old 04-06-06, 05:42 PM   #3
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As far as acknowledgement from passing riders go, don't forget what you look like. I ride with sweats on when it is cool out, and am quite comfortable. But I don't have leg warmers, arm warmers, etc, which in some peoples eyes may make you beneath acknowledgement. Also if you are on anything old school, the same rules may apply.
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Old 04-06-06, 06:23 PM   #4
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On some of the rail-trails I ride, some days there are hundreds of riders I meet. I've given up trying to acknowledge everyone. On slower days on the trails I will. I don't consider the lack of a wave or nod as being rude. Many people out for a ride especially early in the year are dealing with the long layoff of the winter. When you feel good it's easy to wave or nod, but when you're struggling....
I just don't think the average rider spends enough time in the saddle to feel good towards the end of their ride.
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Old 04-06-06, 08:05 PM   #5
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Fortunately, folks around here are pretty friendly. I have met some really nice people while cycling. I always give some kind of nod or whatever.

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Old 04-06-06, 08:17 PM   #6
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For my part, I always wave, nod, whatever. Id say that about half of those I come across acknowledge me, but I dont care. I'm waving anyway. It makes my little corner of the world just a bit better. Rude only rules if you let it.
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Old 04-06-06, 08:23 PM   #7
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Things are a little better here in the southeast despite the northern invasion. Almost all riders on trails acknowledge each other, even the ones who refuse to yield when I'm going uphill and they're going down hill. On the American Tobacco Trail MUP, about 75% of the cyclists acknowledge each other. I'm not much of a road cyclist, but what little I do, I receive an acknowledgement about 40-50% of the time.
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Old 04-07-06, 04:59 AM   #8
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I don't agree with "rude rules". I think more of the "predator and prey" logic. When you first look at someone else, you make an instand judgement. If you think they are a "predator" you give them space. If you think they are "prey" material, it's ok to invade their space. Certainlya guy on a bike dressed in Lycra with a bright yellow jersey on is not going to be considered a predator, so some try see what they can get away with. On the other hand, someone who rides in on a Harly with full leathers won't get pushed at all.

Everyone is looking to better everyone else. Feeling good about yourself often means you have to look down on others.

Small minds have always existed, there are just more of them nowadays.
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Old 04-07-06, 05:55 AM   #9
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I've got one Geezer that I see on my rides nearly every day for the last 4 years. He only scowls at me when I say hi to him......and I say hi every time. It's gotten to be a game with me now. I try to think up new greetings for him. He probably thinks I'm making fun of him, but I'm not (or wouldn't ) if he'd just nod, wave, raise a finger, smile or even give me the finger. I refer to him as smilin' Jack.
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Old 04-07-06, 06:15 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=Dakota] Everyone is looking to better everyone else. Feeling good about yourself often means you have to look down on others. [QUOTE]


The power of one-up-manship? How insecure does someone have to be to build their self-concept and self-esteem on making others look bad? Hell, I've lived over half a century; I'm happily married; I've raised two adult kids, neither of which are in jail; I paid my way through college including gradutate school; I must be doing something right. I sure don't need to make others look bad to let me know that. The only time I'm interested in making someone look bad is if they are foolish enough to try and make me look bad. As a friend of mine says, "I'm not vengeful, but I am provokable."

I guess when I started riding in the 70s there were so few of us that we felt a bit like an elite group... those adults crazy enough to still ride bicycles. This was way before most Americans had a clue that there were professional teams in Europe... before it got popular (thanks Greg and Lance). Now that I'm thinking about it, the faulty logic has filtered into all levels of American society. E.g., the Army commerical that proclaims "An army of one". We knew we weren't an army of one out riding the roads in the 70s. We had to rely on one another for help if we broke down, were interested in the best places to get good equipment and repairs (a good LBS was much harder to find then), and wanted as much information about good palces to ride as possible. Maybe the nod or wave was more of a survival mentality... e.g., I'll acknowledge you, because I may need you. Of course, my father says that's what Harley riders felt in the early days. They acknowledged each other, becasue they were reliant on others like them. OK enough of my rant.
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Old 04-07-06, 07:06 AM   #11
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Well, your nod and wave didn't count unless it was returned.
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Old 04-07-06, 07:09 AM   #12
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I have found that the bike has increased my level of connection with people. During rides most people give a thumbs up or wave except for large groups who are in their pack mentality. Many times we come up on a loan rider and ride together and chat for while. Often I have been speaking with people on the phone or someone doing some trade work and we find out we both ride and have long conversations about bikes. So for me biking has not been a rude experience. I believe that Karma start here, so if I wave and they don't that is their problem.
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Old 04-07-06, 07:23 AM   #13
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Every time that I past a roadie I call out loud enough so that they can hear me over the wind noise "How's your ride?" I always get a reaction, typically a smile and a wave. If I can see that they are in the middle of an interval or hard effort I call out "More cowbell!" So far, all I have gotten are laughs and waves or a quick grin and a thumbs up.
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Old 04-07-06, 07:48 AM   #14
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I used to travel alot for work and noticed that this phenomenon is also regional. I was blown away on my first trip to Ft Collins, CO because I was standing in line at a supermarket and the woman behind me started talking to me like she had known me all her life. If I tried to start a conversation with anyone in a supermarket line here in Boston, they would either completely ignore you or sue you for bothering them. New England is definately the most unfriendly area of the country I have ever been. Out on the road here I almost never get a return acknowledgment from another rider, on the MUPS it's probably less than 50%, and that is usually a family or older person, never a roadie. Actually the best thing about riding on the MUPS is that the little kids will always talk to you as you pass them.
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Old 04-07-06, 07:53 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by HopedaleHills
Actually the best thing about riding on the MUPS is that the little kids will always talk to you as you pass them.
I love talking with little kids on bikes when I'm riding. Their eyes get so big when you stop to chat. I always ask them about their bike... did they name it? Do they ride it often? Only on rare occassions do parents seem annoyed by this.
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Old 04-07-06, 07:55 AM   #16
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Actually the best thing about riding on the MUPS is that the little kids will always talk to you as you pass them.
I love talking with little kids on bikes when I'm riding. Their eyes get so big when you stop to chat. I always ask them about their bike... did they name it? Do they ride it often? Only on rare occassions do parents seem annoyed by this.
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Old 04-07-06, 07:59 AM   #17
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{ I call out "More cowbell!" **

That's great - perfect for those "really serious groups".

Thanks for a morning laugh!
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Old 04-07-06, 11:03 AM   #18
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I've noticed that where we are (southern Oregon) there's a great social/eco thing going. Full spec'd, lycra wearing, carbon fiber equip't riders don't acknowledge anyone outside their little group. The word 'poser' sure comes to mind. We had (he has sinced moved) a LBS owner that set that standard--one of the rudest people, both inside and outside his store.

Outside that group, riders tend to be friendly and at least nod, others want to stop and chew your ear off. Kids of course love it if you talk to them--especially if you help them with a flat.

Interesting antecdote: I was coming home from work a while back and noticed the local recumbent rider (not too many around here) stopped on the shoulder. Since we were several miles from anywhere and it was in the 90's, I made a u-turn and went back to see if he needed anything. Turns out he had a flat, and I asked him whether he needed a kit--I had about a half dozen in the car plus a pump, and a cell phone. Got an incredibly rude reply. I hope the three mile walk pushing a long wheelbase recumbent in the heat was worth it.

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Old 04-07-06, 12:23 PM   #19
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I've noticed that where we are (southern Oregon) there's a great social/eco thing going. Full spec'd, lycra wearing, carbon fiber equip't riders don't acknowledge anyone outside their little group. The word 'poser' sure comes to mind.
Interesting antecdote: I was coming home from work a while back and noticed the local recumbent rider (not too many around here) stopped on the shoulder. Since we were several miles from anywhere and it was in the 90's, I made a u-turn and went back to see if he needed anything. Turns out he had a flat, and I asked him whether he needed a kit--I had about a half dozen in the car plus a pump, and a cell phone. Got an incredibly rude reply. I hope the three mile walk pushing a long wheelbase recumbent in the heat was worth it.

John in Oregon
Have to agree about the "Poser" bit. I am a mountain biker and we are looked down on by the roadies where I live. Rarely get any recognition or response from them, but that does not bother me, What annoys me are the "Young" Riders that do not understand bike etiquette. They are not necessarily Young or new riders but they have not learnt the basic rules of Offroading. Any one climbing a hill has priority- even if it does ruin your downhill run. Any one with the bike upside down has a problem and you stop to see if they need help. And anyone waving to slow you down has seen a problem that you may not have done.
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Old 04-07-06, 12:48 PM   #20
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Sounds a lot like common courtesy is just not so common any more.
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Old 04-07-06, 02:25 PM   #21
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The youngest guy in the shop says, "That's 'cause rude rules." He went on to give his version of why acknowledgement of another rider was not cool. So, does rude rule? If so, what's happened in the last 30 years?[/QUOTE]

I'm committed to being very UN-cool!
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Old 04-07-06, 02:25 PM   #22
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The youngest guy in the shop says, "That's 'cause rude rules." He went on to give his version of why acknowledgement of another rider was not cool. So, does rude rule? If so, what's happened in the last 30 years?[/QUOTE]

I'm committed to being very UN-cool!
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Old 04-07-06, 02:35 PM   #23
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Does anyone else remember in the Old Days in the United States, if you drove a Volkswagen Beetle, you flashed your lights at another Beetle? It was a way of acknowledging another member of the "club." Back then, of course, people who drove Beetles were considered nuts, since the car was small and simply functional. I miss those days!
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Old 04-07-06, 02:51 PM   #24
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Does anyone else remember in the Old Days in the United States, if you drove a Volkswagen Beetle, you flashed your lights at another Beetle? It was a way of acknowledging another member of the "club." Back then, of course, people who drove Beetles were considered nuts, since the car was small and simply functional. I miss those days!
Beetles are still small and are no longer functional. I used to have an Austin Healey Mk1 "Frogeyed" Sprite and I used to get upset when Mk2's or MG Midgets used to flash me.
Is this your dark past coming out now?- A closet Flasher. What are you going to do when you meet another couple of Huffers on your rides?


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Old 04-07-06, 02:55 PM   #25
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Beetles are still small and are no longer functional. I used to have an Austin Healey Mk1 "Frogeyed" Sprite and I used to get upset when Mk2's or MG Midgets used to flash me.
Is this your dark past coming out now?- A closet Flasher. What are you going to do when you meet another couple of Huffers on your rides?
I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow their bikes away!
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