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Old 03-30-08, 08:47 PM   #1
duff1301
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Drop bar snobs

I'm starting to wonder if guys with fancy bikes tend to be road snobs. I ride a Trek 7.7fx with flat bars not a cheap bike by any means. But when I'm riding and pass a guy with a fancy bike (drop bars) and I give the friendly wave or hand gesture he sees my flat bar bike and never even acknowledge me. Not that I really care but it's something I'm starting to notice more and more. I ride over 2000 miles a year and consider myself a decent cyclist. I ride some group rides and really love dropping those snobs on the hills, yea they pass me again on the down hills but I wonder if anybody else that ride flat bar bikes or hybrids notice this.
Thats not to say it's all fancy bike guys but its more that I can remember from years past. We are all cyclist enjoying our sport so a friendly gesture seems decent. Oh and if I see your in need of help with a flat or something you can kiss my flat bar ass goodbye I'm not stopping.
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Old 03-30-08, 09:51 PM   #2
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I think that's been commented on before. Incidentally, there's no telling why they are like that- you assume it's your handlebars, but could be that no matter what bike you rode or what you were like, the result would be the same. Incidentally, are you friendly when they pass you as well? If they say "left" or "on your left" or whatever, I try to give a "thanks" back as they pass.

Riding my very unstylish bike, I find quite a mix of reactions- some people ignore you, some are kind of curt, some are downright friendly. Of course, if they're going too fast, they don't hardly have time to say "Hi" as they zip past. On the other hand, a fellow from one of the bicycling clubs in Plano was very nice, rode along and chatted with me a minute, invited me to come up and ride with them sometime, before he zipped on off.

I found years ago when hiking in Colorado that when you were down near the trailhead, you could say "hello" to people and they wouldn't even answer- it was like saying "hello" to strangers in a mall. But when you got about 8 miles from the trailhead, everyone you met was willing to stop and chat a minute.
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Old 03-30-08, 10:07 PM   #3
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So you're saying that your self-esteem on the bicycle depends on whether or not a cyclist, who you perceive as better than you, waves at you???

Do you honestly think that the person riding a road bicycle cares what you're riding, or even notices your handlebars? (IMO - that's a bit of a ridiculous assumption)

Have you ever thought that maybe the person riding the road bicycle is focussing on a training ride and doesn't see you? Perhaps that person is climbing a hill and is concentrating too hard to raise a hand. Maybe that person is lost in their own personal thoughts, and doesn't particularly notice you. Or maybe that person is wrapping up a 600K brevet and is too worn out to react to you. Have you ever given those possibilities any thought???
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Old 03-31-08, 12:46 AM   #4
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Or maybe half his family is seriously ill and he has a demanding job and an hour on the bike is his only respite which he prefers not to share.

This has been beaten to death and what it comes down to is that not everyone has the time nor feels the desire to wave at a random stranger just because he also happens to be on a bike. To assume it is out of a "snobbish" attitude is as arrogant as you presume him to be.
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Old 03-31-08, 01:30 AM   #5
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Or maybe he got snubbed by the last three cyclists, and got tired of the whole thing.
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Old 03-31-08, 06:54 AM   #6
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Or maybe it is the handlebars (I couldn't resist)
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Old 03-31-08, 07:48 AM   #7
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When you go to the gym, do you walk up to some guy halfway through a set of benchpressing and start a conversation with him, then call him a snob if he chooses not to respond much?

Personally I say Hi to everyone I pass, but if I pass another roadie and they dont respond, i figure their concentrating, out of breath, etc. Or maybe their ipods turned up too high and he couldnt hear me.

Some are just unfriendly, regardless of what type of bars your using.
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Old 03-31-08, 08:22 AM   #8
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Maybe he had a flat, last week and you told him to kiss your flat bar ass.
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Old 03-31-08, 10:32 AM   #9
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There may dozens of good reasons for not acknowledging a greeting but I'm not buying them. Most of the riders I encounter do not look like they are going flat out, finishing a 600k, training for the Tour de France or any of that. None of them look like they are training any harder than I am and I can dig deep into my suitcase of courage and muster enough energy to nod, say hi, or wave. I've been riding drop bars for forty years now and I wave to nearly every cyclist I encounter regardless of their type of bike.

I do have a theory. I encountered a college team all in matching jerseys and said hi and waved to every group of them as they passed going the other direction. They were not racing, on the rivet, dropping the hammer, or dialing up 400 watts. A couple of them managed a nod but none could get a few fingers up off their bars or get an audible greeting out except for the last one in the group who managed both. He had gray hair. The only conclusion I can come to is that the others were unable to wave or say hi because they did not have enough experience to do that without losing control of their bikes.

So when someone with drop bars does not acknowledge your greeting you know that they are probably novices to biking and incapable of riding one handed or talking and pedaling at the same time.

Last edited by MKahrl; 03-31-08 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 03-31-08, 10:42 AM   #10
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I dunno about that -- if they are riding in a group, any sort of meander might set off a chain reaction of crashes. If I were to ride in a close formation, I wouldn't move my hands either. Then again, I don't ride in close formations--requires too much attention I think, always worried about clipping their wheel.

As for saying "hi", I'm amazed at how much wind noise I get while riding. I wouldn't have though that 15mph would be so loud, but I have to ride with some sort of ear protection. Ok, it's just a headband--but it's not helping hear anyone.
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Old 03-31-08, 10:51 AM   #11
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This same complaint is posted every couple of weeks, if not more often. I greet cyclists, pedestrians, joggers and even some motorists. Some acknowledge the greeting, some don't. Some use drop bars, some don't. Some go out of their way to avoid making eye contact. Maybe they are shy. Maybe they just have poor social skills.

Why would I let a non-greeting upset me? Why do you? I'm going to enjoy my ride whether someone says hi or not.

Do you apply the same standard when you are walking through the mall, down the sidewalk or driving through a neighborhood? Do you greet every other shopper, pedestrian or motorist? I know I don't, but even when I do, some don't respond. And I'm not going to get worked up over it.

Just enjoy the time on your bike.
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Old 03-31-08, 10:57 AM   #12
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Please...read the OP.

Quote:
Not that I really care but it's something I'm starting to notice more and more
He isn't upset just pointing out a fact that is mentioned so often it has to be accepted as truth. There is a lot of snobbery in the cycling world..some folks feel special and more important than others.

It most often not caused by any of the myriad of excused offered up..it's just that there are a lot of a holes in cycling.

It's just something you have to deal with and not make a big deal out of it.
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Old 03-31-08, 10:57 AM   #13
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I just ride my fixed gear, my eyes closed, and am in my own little world. The OP's observation is true and very common. I may sometimes not acknowledge a greeting, but overall I'm a nice person.....someone you would like to invite over for dinner.
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Old 03-31-08, 10:59 AM   #14
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As long as people aren't yelling at me or trying to run me off the road/trail, I couldn't possibly care less what anyone else thinks of me or my bike. Worrying about what others think of you is a waste of time.
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Old 03-31-08, 11:19 AM   #15
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Please...read the OP.

Not that I really care but it's something I'm starting to notice more and more

He isn't upset just pointing out a fact that is mentioned so often it has to be accepted as truth. There is a lot of snobbery in the cycling world..some folks feel special and more important than others.

It most often not caused by any of the myriad of excused offered up..it's just that there are a lot of a holes in cycling.

It's just something you have to deal with and not make a big deal out of it.
Then the OP is not being honest. He/she obviously cares enough to be sure and NOT help a stranded cyclist. Or at least not help a cyclist who doesn't have the "right" kind of bars. Who's the snob now?
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Old 03-31-08, 11:35 AM   #16
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I just ride my fixed gear, my eyes closed, and am in my own little world. The OP's observation is true and very common. I may sometimes not acknowledge a greeting, but overall I'm a nice person.....someone you would like to invite over for dinner.
you ride with your eyes closed??
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Old 03-31-08, 11:41 AM   #17
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you ride with your eyes closed??
You know, once you settle in, you're on auto-pilot.
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Old 03-31-08, 11:55 AM   #18
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If I am feeling grouchy or tired then I am a snob?
Excellent.
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Old 03-31-08, 12:07 PM   #19
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In addition to a lot of the perfectly reasonable explanations above, there are always those people that just don't want to acknowledge the presence of other people. Not just on bikes. I guess its some kind of silly social thing, I dunno; I don't really get it.

I think you're just trying to convince yourself that you need another bike.
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Old 03-31-08, 12:33 PM   #20
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^^^ also cultural...
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Old 03-31-08, 01:14 PM   #21
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(EX) mountain biker and on the trails- or roads- all mountain bikers acknowledge each other.- On the road- Most Roadies(The ones with drop handlebars and lycra) acknowledge each other- But roadie to MTBer- or flat bar rider- only about 50% of the time. But there is the 3rd type of rider- the recreational type. They rarely recognise or acknowledge ANYONE. As a Mountain biker- I acknowledge every one. As a Roadie- I acknowledge Roadies- but give up on the Other riders- because I do not get a reply back from them.

Perhaps they are in awe that a roadie does give them a wave and are in shock.
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Old 03-31-08, 03:17 PM   #22
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Do you wave and say "Hi" to everyone when you walk down the street? Do you wave at everyone when you drive your car? I certainly don't ... so I don't see the need to wave at other cyclists when I ride.

But there are other reasons I don't wave ... the ones I mentioned in my first post, for example.

Quite often I am concentrating and I don't see other cyclists. They blend into the background, into the non-potentially-dangerous scenery. I may notice them out of the corner of my eye as they go by, but it's too late to wave then.

And I have had incidents where I have not waved when I'm coming in from a long, hard brevet or double-century, and I just don't care who is out there anymore. Often people tell me I look fresh when I finish these things, but I feel exhausted ... so you just never know where the other cyclist on the road has been and what sort of ride that person is in the middle of or wrapping up.

If I'm climbing or descending a hill, you can be guaranteed there will be NO WAVING going on. I won't even acknowledge your existence. I'm concentrating ... both climbing and descending are difficult for me, and require both hands on the handlebars, and my brain occupied with the task at hand.

Sometimes I just don't feel like waving. You might be another roadie, someone on a mtn bike, a person with drop bars or a person with flat bars, I don't care ... I just don't feel like waving ... not in the mood. This can happen when something has not gone well at work, or I've gotten a low mark on an assignment, or I've had an argument with a friend, or something, and I'm out there riding to burn off my bad mood and work some things out in my mind. I'm focussing on the situation at hand, and on any potential dangers (traffic, potholes, etc.), but another cyclist is the least of my concerns just then.

And here's another thing ... I rarely wave at male cyclists. I may give them the tiniest nod, or maybe, if there is a group of them, I'll raise two fingers off the bar, but that's it. I just don't feel it is appropriate for me to be giving a big "Queen Elizabeth" wave to male cyclists. Could it be that the OP, and others who are insulted by those who don't wave don't notice the subtle "waves" .... could it be that they are not well versed in cycling signals?
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Old 03-31-08, 03:27 PM   #23
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When I'm on the road bike, I'm a snob to those who aren't.

When I'm on the mtb, I'm a snob to those who aren't.

Just gotta goooooooooo with the flooooooow.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Just kidding. I honestly think more than anything is that a lot of people are out there to train. Sometimes the riding is their therapy.

On a leisure ride, I wave or nod my head to anyone else who seems as if they are on a leisure ride as well.
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Old 03-31-08, 03:29 PM   #24
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I run up and hug everyone. Unfortunately, I keep landing in the slammer.

Seriously, Machka covered it.
That and I think the OP is over thinking things.

It also appears to me that despite the OP saying he doesn't really care, his diatribe says the opposite.
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Old 03-31-08, 03:39 PM   #25
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I'd rather not take my hands off my drop bars when there's a lot of skittish people around me and I'm going over 25km/h. Usually I just give a nod or a smile if I notice it, but otherwise death grips. Even if I do wave, you'll only see my fingers move.

Just because they don't wave back, it doesn't mean much, you're taking it too personally.
I'm not even going to touch the part about being snobbish with "I beat you to XXX point".
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