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Old 11-11-02, 07:25 PM   #1
roadbuzz
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Unfriendly cyclists

I saw this article at Bicycling.com and thought about the thread a couple of months ago about unfriendly cyclists (unsuccessfully tried to find the thread).

I don't understand it. I automatically assume a fellow cyclist is a friend I haven't met yet. If I'm not trying to avert some about-to-happen disaster, I always wave and smile, even if I don't stop and socialize.
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Old 11-11-02, 10:50 PM   #2
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I know the feeling. I've said hi or waved several times and been ignored. Now, I usually look at an oncoming rider and if they look over at me then I either wave or nod. If they are close enough, I'll say hi. If they won't even look over at me, then I just ignore them. If they say hi first or nod first then I always reply with a wave or a nod and/or smile.

The majority of ppl that ignore you are the lone riders in my experience. For me, I'd say about 25% will wave, say hi, or smile back at you, but I don't keep track really.

Pretty sad state of affairs.

PBW
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Old 11-12-02, 12:00 AM   #3
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I wave or nod to everyone i meet if i get a wave or nod back cool if not, too bad for them. I just dont worry about it
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Old 11-12-02, 03:45 AM   #4
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from the Bicycling article:
Quote:
The distinguished adventure photographer Galen Rowell wrote an essay about this; he called it "The Hello Factor," published in "Galen Rowell's Vision," still the best book I've read on photography. Basically, Rowell's point was that our joy in interacting with other humans is inversely proportional to our density. On a remote peak, we'll gladly stop and chat with a complete stranger, because we're the only ones around. On a crowded yak-route road loop in a city famous for cycling, we won't even nod, because it's just another cyclist. Sad, but true.
this is so true - both in the US and Europe.
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Old 11-12-02, 03:50 AM   #5
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For me, I'm a lone rider as well and don't initiate waving at other cyclists. Well, if they chat up with me, I'll just chat with them in a friendly manner. I don't think many people appreciate such stuff as a nod or a wave.
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Old 11-12-02, 05:50 AM   #6
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I too, am a loner, I do like to get a wave or smile from other cyclist. I would also stop and help any cyclist I happen to come up on that needs help, I hope all cyclist feel the same.
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Old 11-12-02, 06:19 AM   #7
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Hey - let's start all those nodding and waving threads from a few months back. They were fun.
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Old 11-12-02, 07:23 AM   #8
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Here's my approach.
If I pass another cyclist or even a pedestrian, I will raise the four fingers on my left hand as a sort of subdued wave, and I will say good morning. If they ignore it, so be it, maybe they didn't see/hear it. If they give me the "stinkeye" that the author referred to, I will close 3 of the 4 fingers briefly, and then move on. Thier problem, not mine. I find that, here in the relatively unfriendly South Florida area where I ride, the response is about 50/50. Half will respond positively, half will either not respond or flash the disapproving glance.

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Old 11-12-02, 08:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by roadbuzz
I saw this article at Bicycling.com and thought about the thread a couple of months ago about unfriendly cyclists (unsuccessfully tried to find the thread).

I don't understand it. I automatically assume a fellow cyclist is a friend I haven't met yet. If I'm not trying to avert some about-to-happen disaster, I always wave and smile, even if I don't stop and socialize.
My experience has been somewhat different. On the road, I'm always riding alone, and it's the exception to EVER see another rider. When I do, I always say hello and wave. The other rider generally reciprocates, but not always.

Now, on the single-track, there are a few more riders - but still not many. I may run into one group or one other rider on a typical ride. We always @ least share a friendly greeting, but usually we stop and have a chat.

There does seem to be a difference between road riders and mountain bikers - @ least in my area. The off-road demographic seems to be more of the friendly/granola type, while the road riders seem to be more of a yuppie/unsocial type.

Yup - it's a huge generalization, but that's been my experience!
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Old 11-12-02, 08:53 AM   #10
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I just feel odd saying hello or talking to another cyclist on the road, that I don't know. I can't really explain why. I will wave to everyone that comes the other way. I think I feel awkward because I wouldn't want to interrupt anything. (Except this one guy who had the same bike as me!).
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Old 11-12-02, 08:58 AM   #11
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I remember the thread here. It was the "non-waving snob" thread.

I wave and say hello to cyclists, kids on roller blades, pedestrians, and folks watering their lawns. Some respond, some don't. That's just the way it goes.

regards
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Old 11-12-02, 10:34 AM   #12
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My problem is I'm very shy and taciturn, so, I'm never one to make the first move. Please don't take it personally. If someone is kind to me then I may be able to muster a (barely perceptible) smile and a subdued finger/hand lift.

I certainly fit the lone rider stereotype. There's no hatred of anyone else involved though I just like being by myself.
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Old 11-12-02, 11:25 AM   #13
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Once, while commuting to work, I signaled a right turn with my left arm (bent at the elbow, hand up). Another cyclist coming the opposite direction "waved back." Nice that he was friendly, a little scary that he didn't know the hand signal...
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Old 11-12-02, 11:29 AM   #14
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I always give a nod or the wave of a few fingers and when close enough, a greeting. Generally, I pay absolutely no attention to whether I am acknowledged. I'm out for the ride only, not a meeting.
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Old 11-12-02, 11:50 AM   #15
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The distinguished adventure photographer Galen Rowell wrote an essay about this; he called it "The Hello Factor," published in "Galen Rowell's Vision," still the best book I've read on photography. Basically, Rowell's point was that our joy in interacting with other humans is inversely proportional to our density. On a remote peak, we'll gladly stop and chat with a complete stranger, because we're the only ones around. On a crowded yak-route road loop in a city famous for cycling, we won't even nod, because it's just another cyclist. Sad, but true.

I agree with Nathank, with probably 16 million cyclists its easier to play "just another cyclist"
And believe me, not every cyclist is your friend, there are some @$$H*LE$ out there!(indeed mostly the Yuppie type)

But we all ride bikes
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Old 11-12-02, 12:30 PM   #16
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I look at it like this, back in the 70's and on into the early 80's if you drove a Corvett you were part of a family that owned this great sports car and every one that owned one would give a nod or wave at another driver in a Vet. I look at cycling the same way. We are participating in a sport and every one who does is part of this great family of cyclist. A nod or wave is just indicating, in my mind, that you are recognizing what a great sport it is and how lucky we are to be able to participate in. No need for conversation. You don't even have to smile. Just an acknowlagement showing respect to other cyclist(granted there are those cyclist I would love to shove a stick through their spokes but they are not cyclist, just A**HOLE wannabes but that is another thread).
Especialy in mtbing, we need to stick together other wise all are trails will be closed and we have to become, dare I say, RODIES or "Outlaw bikers".
Why don't we just call our selfs Mountain Deamons and just go rip it up .

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Old 11-12-02, 12:39 PM   #17
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I've had lots of friendly encounters with other cyclists. Practically everyone going the other direction waves or says hello. The few who do not usually seem to be pushing themselves so hard they risk losing breath or concentration if they try to say hello or wave.
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Old 11-12-02, 02:27 PM   #18
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I never say hello or wave or nod,
or any of that friendly crap. I'm not your
friend, get over it.
I hate all other cyclists, I'm a yuppie
roadie snob and I'd prefer if all you
mountain bike types would just stay on
yer hills and keep off my roads.
And while I'm at it stay the hell off the
multi use paths. I aim for babies in prams,
kids on rollerblades and fitness walkers.
BTW my bike cost more than the GNP of
most small African countries.

There, don't you all feel better now?


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Old 11-12-02, 06:52 PM   #19
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Hmmm, I ride down the road on my single and wave at another rider. About 3/4 wave back. If they don't wave or nod no big deal.

But we take out the tandem and almost everyone waves back.

And women almost always smile at tandems...
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Old 11-12-02, 07:09 PM   #20
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Yes, I'm a loner biker too. I usually have friendly encounters, on both road and mountain bike trails. However, at times on the road, I frequently don't get wave backs from the more serious roadies. I once got into a heated argument on a mnt bike trail. The guy was upset because I didn't hear him coming behind me.

I don't let these things spoil my ride though.

I usually don't wave to rollerbladers, or the people that think it's ok to have a 10-foot dog leash.

Last edited by danr; 11-12-02 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 11-12-02, 07:46 PM   #21
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Max cannont understand why cyclists don't like him chasing their ankle. He just wants to be friendly!
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Old 11-12-02, 07:49 PM   #22
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HMMM. My attachment wouldn't work
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Old 11-12-02, 08:02 PM   #23
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HMMM. My attachment wouldn't work
hmmmm. Not gonna touch that line.
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Old 11-12-02, 08:23 PM   #24
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HA HA! Dirty ol'Man
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Old 11-12-02, 08:46 PM   #25
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I almost always wave. I find that most wave back, unless they're sort of focused and concentrating, or descending a hill (understandable). And some cyclists are unfriendly and snotty, but most are definitely not. The friendliest, I find, are older men, I mean older than 20somethings. They always wave and even chat. I find that many women are not terribly friendly, but some are definitely glad to see other chicks out on the road. Young men and very serious competitive types are often kind of unfriendly, but mountain bikers and crossers are very friendly and I always wave at them.
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