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Thread: Road Etiquette

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    Road Etiquette

    I've been wondering about this recently and wanted to know what the online cycling community had to say about it.

    When I first started riding, i had a very "me versus them" kind of attitude. kid in basketball shorts and a t shirt against the "training for the tour de france at the cherry creek reservoir, but not really" crowd. It didnt take long for my attitude to change because I started to see how open accepting and helpful the biking community is; after all we all at least have one thing in common so why not show some love? I now make a particular effort to smile and nod at any passing cyclists that i see on the road or trail(like many others do)

    but the other day i was riding along having a good ol time when 2 people going the other way rolled by(both wearing the same jerseys, helmets and sunglasses by the way) and as i nodded and smiled, they both looked over started laughing and shook their heads like im some kind of *******

    I DONT GET IT!

    whats the deal with some of these people and do you make any special effort to acknowledge other riders you see on the road?

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    This has been discussed many times before.
    Some folks are friendly and wave or nod and some are so wrapped up in their idea about a "real cyclist" that they don't bother to wave or nod. It has happened to many of us. Just ignore them and enjoy the ride.
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    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    They are defective people who happen to be riding bikes
    What is bicycle touring?
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    Senior Member tntyz's Avatar
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    That just sounds like rudeness to me.

    I admit, though, than I wave less than I used to.

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    Newbie, sort of Oreamnos's Avatar
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    Bad karma will catch up with jerks like that eventually. I continue to attempt to acknowledge each and every other cyclist I encounter, despite occasionally encountering those who don't seem so friendly. And for those who are blatantly UNfriendly, I've developed a very quick middle finger response.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STEVEtheEMT View Post
    I've been wondering about this recently and wanted to know what the online cycling community had to say about it.

    When I first started riding, i had a very "me versus them" kind of attitude. kid in basketball shorts and a t shirt against the "training for the tour de france at the cherry creek reservoir, but not really" crowd. It didnt take long for my attitude to change because I started to see how open accepting and helpful the biking community is; after all we all at least have one thing in common so why not show some love? I now make a particular effort to smile and nod at any passing cyclists that i see on the road or trail(like many others do)

    but the other day i was riding along having a good ol time when 2 people going the other way rolled by(both wearing the same jerseys, helmets and sunglasses by the way) and as i nodded and smiled, they both looked over started laughing and shook their heads like im some kind of *******

    I DONT GET IT!

    whats the deal with some of these people and do you make any special effort to acknowledge other riders you see on the road?
    Might have been Borg...
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    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    I have noticed a few other cyclists in my area. I make it a point to acknowledge their presence.
    Sometimes they reciprocate,sometimes they don't.
    Ain't always about me.

  8. #8
    billyymc
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    Steve - I know exactly what you mean. I ride in MTB shorts, a double layer of wicking t-shirts and/or Hind bike shirts, a MTB helmet, and usually a backpack. So to the serious roadies I look like...well, something foreign I guess. Everyone waves or nods except the serious guys (and ladies) but I wave and smile anyway.

    I passed an older gentleman on my commute the other day -- he was riding a hybrid type bike, cruising along in the light rain, and I shot him a quick "hi - how are you" as I passed -- and he cheered me on!! He yelled "GO FOR IT!!" -- it was great, and a few miles down the road I wished I'd slowed up and said hello and chatted for a few minutes before moving on. Next time.

    I'm not out to prove anythign when I ride. I pass some people, but it's only a matter of time until someone flys past me like I"m coasting uphill -- no biggie, I do my best, I love riding whether I'm riding fast or slow, and the best part is that my wife and kids ride with me sometimes (and more all the time).

    Keep waving.

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    Retro-Direct Fan TwoShort's Avatar
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    I've certainly encountered plenty of snobby roadies. You've got to figure it's insecurity. They don't want to be pleasant for fear of implying some comparability with you. Most roadies are faster than me; the ones who are radically so are usually quite friendly.

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    Senior Member GTALuigi's Avatar
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    yes, unfortunately there are many people that have this superiority complex.
    it's rather irritating sometimes, you wave or nod at them to be friendly, and they treat you like you are some sort of "whatever"

    however there are others that don't smile back, or wave back because you can clearly see they are having trouble keeping their eyes and hands on the road.

    but most riders with experience that are not worried about hitting something, usually wave or nod back at you cheerfully.

    i see all kind of them in my every day commute.

    there are people you see every day that either goes in the same direction, or on the opposite direction in the same route.

    some times is funny when either one is late for work, and you know and they know, and you both smile.

    'cuz either you are more on their start of their ride, or they are more in your side of the ride.
    if both comes out on time to work, we usually meet right in the middle of our routes
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STEVEtheEMT View Post
    but the other day i was riding along having a good ol time when 2 people going the other way rolled by(both wearing the same jerseys, helmets and sunglasses by the way) and as i nodded and smiled, they both looked over started laughing and shook their heads like im some kind of *******

    I DONT GET IT!

    whats the deal with some of these people and do you make any special effort to acknowledge other riders you see on the road?
    They probably didn't even notice you at all. After all, they were wearing sunglasses so you don't know what their eyes were looking at. And they were probably laughing at some joke one of the cyclists told.

    Some people go through life thinking that everyone is staring at them and noticing every little thing they do. Reality is, hardly anyone notices us or anything we do.


    And no, I don't make any special effort to acknowledge other riders I see on the road anymore than I wave and smile at other pedestrians when I'm walking.

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    Around here the worst are the middle-aged men, dressed up like insects, riding brand-new carbon whosits - riding very poorly I might ad. I say hello. They ignore me. I hope to see them later - amid the wreckage of their $10,000 status-symbol.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

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    I have no idea. Some of the friendliest folks I know are roadies. There are jerks in every group. Plus, nice folks can have a bad day. I tend to be friendly while riding a bike but occasionally on a bad day will start snipping everyone I see with my lovely comments.

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    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panthers007 View Post
    Around here the worst are the middle-aged men, dressed up like insects, riding brand-new carbon whosits - riding very poorly I might ad. I say hello. They ignore me. I hope to see them later - amid the wreckage of their $10,000 status-symbol.
    They probably ignored you because they need all the concentration they can get just to stay upright...
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    If I nod or greet another rider, regardless of kit/lack thereof, and they blow me off, I just cuss them under my breath and go on, they're forgotten in less than a minute. But i have issues w/ people who laugh at me. Probably from childhood....

    My sister & her hubby looked at each other one night and laughed about me complimenting them on an exceptionally good meal. Since then, I don't bother saying 1 f'n word about what's cooked. You laugh at me, you're off the courtesy list.

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    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

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    I'm the typical "serious roadie" type that you guys all deride. Lately I've made it a point to wave at everyone and say hi when I pass. All the commuters and random people ignore me and the only people that respond are the other roadies (even when commuting in normal clothes). So I figure it's just human nature to identify with others that are the similar to yourself. Bottom line some people aknowledge and some people don't but it doesn't really matter and anyone who gets their panties in a bunch because they didn't get waved at needs to grow a pair.

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    Que CERA, CERA jefferee's Avatar
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    I don't generally expect strangers to wave at me, and don't generally wave at them either. I prefer to keep my eyes on the road and my hands on the bars.
    Quote Originally Posted by MajorMantra View Post
    Cycling (taken to the typical roadie extreme) causes you to cough up your own soul as every fibre of your worthless being sings in choral agony. Once you embrace the pain everything is dandy.

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    TIMMAY
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    Well I generally knod at the person of flick my fingers up off the bar for a little bit. People may think I am a snob because i try to concentrate on the road and my surroundings. My head doesn't generally move side to side while riding. But you can bet I look with my eyes and acknowledge other riders. Even people walking I acknowledge....If someone is serious and doesn't ackowledge me then I take it as they are paying attention to what they are doing. If they would laugh at me, I would get off my bike and go get em!!!!.. J/K I would just keep moving along and enjoy my ride!!!!

  20. #20
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    most of the time the only people that will acknowledge a finger flick or nod are roadies...the other people on bikes seem to be oblivious. I acknowledge people a lot of the time...but sometimes I really don't feel like it because I've...ya know...been riding. Just don't let it bother you.

    I wonder if motorcyclists talk about the same thing. "That meanie on the expensive Harley didn't wave to me....I feel so hurt. I want others to acknowledge me when I'm riding...Does anyone else have similar experiences?"

    and sometimes...people just don't notice you. People really aren't looking at you all the time. In fact, nobody is usually.
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I learned this the hard way. They say that experience is the best teacher, but I would have been preferred to just read about it on the internet.

  21. #21
    billyymc
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    Quote Originally Posted by nahh View Post
    I wonder if motorcyclists talk about the same thing. "That meanie on the expensive Harley didn't wave to me....I feel so hurt. I want others to acknowledge me when I'm riding...Does anyone else have similar experiences?"
    Motorcyclists mostly wave to each other. I ride a vintage scooter (think Vespa) when I"m not biking, and people on "real" motorcycles pretty much all wave. Occasionally some insecure youngster on a crotch rocket won't wave, or an accountant posing on a hog -- but 9 out of 10 riders or more will shoot me a wave. I usually mimic the harley salute, but if I"m feeling goofy I'll sit straight up and give them the Forest Gump wave : )

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    Senior Member GTALuigi's Avatar
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    several times on diffent occassions i've got greetings from the least expected sources.
    Motorcycle riders. (mainly because i keep catching up to them at every red light, and i always ger the head start on greens, but they usually catch up in the middle and drop me, only to repeat the same cycle at every intersection.) LOL
    Bus drivers. (same as the above, but at every bus stop and red light)
    Senior Car drivers. (where did you get that package? do they sell it like that? those are most commond questions i get. this is mainly because the car drivers always gets dropped during traffic, and by the time they catch up, I'm long gone again on a green light)
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    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    I've been around quite a few pros and plenty of amateurs, and believe it or not, most of the pros are friendlier than the amateurs.

    It could have something to do with their job being a public relations spokesperson as much as an athlete.
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    Hard to tell about motorcyclists: Generally I am ignored, some nod or wave, and some yell "Get the the f*** off the road!"

    As for bicyclists, I only acknowledge those on 'bents...........
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    Had a bus driver tell me I was quick today after I followed him on part of his route. We ended passing each other for several miles.

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