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Old 02-05-11, 05:52 PM   #1
Noahs Dad
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etiquette - acknowledging other riders

A quick search didn't help me find the answer so I thought I'd ask it directly...

When riding on a trail or on a narrow-enough road that you can look at an on-coming riders face, is there a generally accepted acknowledgement that their part of the riding community?

My frame of reference is with motorcycling. In general, any time you have an on-coming rider approaching you it's accepted that you'll drop your left hand off the bar and "waive". It gets a little less certain if you have a sports bike riding toward a Harley as the riders are part of different biking cultures but it still happens and is something you get used to doing.

So far I haven't seemed to experience any consistent acknowledgement and wanted to see if it just isn't part or the culture or perhaps I haven't learned the secret handshake yet.

thanks,
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Old 02-05-11, 06:06 PM   #2
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AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! The wave thread rears its ugly head already!!??!! This doesn't usually come out till April or so.

Can you do a search on "wave" or does it tell you that "wave" is too common?


Welcome here, and here's the thing:

1) You can wave if you want, but please don't expect waves back. Some cyclists may wave back, but others are focussing on their rides and may not notice you out there.

Don't get upset, don't feel like you've been snubbed, don't think the cyclist is looking down on you. Often newbies think that everyone sees them, everyone is looking at them, but in reality ... quite often other cyclists are thinking about other things, or focussing on something about their rides (heart rates, cadence, technique, road conditions, traffic or whatever). I've been on the road, dodging potholes and paying attention to traffic, and somewhere out of the corner of my eye I have an image that there's another cyclist going by the other way, but there's no time to wave ... and besides, I'm busy. I also won't wave if I'm climbing a hill. When I climb, I focus on climbing, and there's no waving going on.

2) If someone waves back it is usually very subtle ... so subtle that newbies often miss it. If there's a wave, it's usually a teensy nod of the helmet or the lifting of two fingers off the handlebar.

3) Every year we get heaps of this question ... it's kind of like the "Support your LBS or not" question or others that just keep getting asked again and again and again.
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Old 02-05-11, 06:11 PM   #3
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One thought that comes up is these other cyclists don't wave back because they're too uppity. What I've found is that the guys riding Walmart bikes down the sidewalk at 8 mph, if you wave at them, they're about equally likely to ignore you. So it isn't an uppity thing. It's just that if you and I were the only two cyclists on the planet, we'd wave every time we met, but if we drive cars with 100,000 other people in the same town, we don't.

I noticed in hiking in the past, that when you got about 8 miles from the trailhead, everyone you met was your friend, but down near the trailhead, people wouldn't even say "good morning" to you if you said it to them.
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Old 02-05-11, 06:28 PM   #4
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Yes, I did a ride along the Great Ocean Road about a year ago, and it seemed like there were thousands of cyclists out that day. I waved for a while, but then there were just too many of them, and riding along the Great Ocean Road is quite a technical situation that needs focus and attention (potholes, traffic, curvy undulating terrain, etc.) ... so I gave up the waving. Aside from which, the Great Ocean Road also overlooks very beautiful scenery and when I didn't need to pay attention to the technical aspects of the road, I wanted to look at the scenery, not other cyclists.
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Old 02-05-11, 06:31 PM   #5
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I wave on my motorcycle, I wave on my bicycle, I even wave to other pedestrians. Many don't wave back but it doesn't stop me from waving. The wave is more than just a wave, it means that we're in this together and if you need any help, I'm here.
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Old 02-05-11, 06:35 PM   #6
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I have a bell to ring..
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Old 02-05-11, 06:37 PM   #7
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Speaking of etiquette.... What do you do if you ride on a path, and two cyclists approach riding side to side leaving you no space? They clearly feel their conversation is more imortant that somebody else's safety. Is it wrong to kick them as they pass?

Well, I haven't done that. Yet. But I so wanted to!
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Old 02-05-11, 08:51 PM   #8
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I'm a waver but I don't get too worked up if I don't get a response. But as mentioned above, many (most?) times, my wave is just a finger or 2 off of the hood and/or a nod of acknowledgement.
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Old 02-05-11, 08:54 PM   #9
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Speaking of etiquette.... What do you do if you ride on a path, and two cyclists approach riding side to side leaving you no space? They clearly feel their conversation is more imortant that somebody else's safety. Is it wrong to kick them as they pass?

Well, I haven't done that. Yet. But I so wanted to!
Yes to the kick. My wife hates when I play that game at the mall when you have a group of people walking side by side and don't move when there taking up 3/4 of a isle oblivious to anyone else who might be walking. I just walk right into them. Years of hockey have taught me how to use my shoulders. Same applies in this situation. If you can Bruce Lee it, go for it. If they turn around pretend your defending the jersey.

As for the wave, who cares. Wave if you want too, not all will wave back. The only time it is odd for is when I am way out on an empty country road that I might ride on 100 times without ever seeing another cyclist. Then when I do come across another rider and they don't acknowledge you, I think that is odd. On a bike path which I rarely ride, I nod if someone nods/waves but really it goes old after you've been waved at 20+ times on a ride!
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Old 02-05-11, 08:58 PM   #10
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I always do the classic nod. I don't expect a response
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Old 02-05-11, 10:00 PM   #11
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I use to years ago, now bicyclists are just traffic to me. I ignore them.
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Old 02-05-11, 10:14 PM   #12
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I just flip them the bird and blow a snot rocket on them.
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Old 02-05-11, 10:17 PM   #13
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If I'm in the zone, anyone around me is on ignore. And chances are, unless I'm doing a casual ride through the park with my grandma, I'm in the zone.
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Old 02-05-11, 10:19 PM   #14
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By the way, both of my grandmothers are dead, so do the math.
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Old 02-05-11, 11:20 PM   #15
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ahhh, didn't search wave...just the etiquette search. My bad. Cool on all replies to wave, not wave, nod, no nod. Just wasn't sure so I thought I'd ask.

And as for asking in early Feb and not April...well it felt like April today in NorCal. Mid 70's and sunny.
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Old 02-05-11, 11:30 PM   #16
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If I 'greet' another rider, and get nothing, I just grumble, "*******", and pedal on; they're out of memory in less than a minute.

+100 on the shoulder check; I'd do it at work if I wouldn't get fired for it, cuz THOSE folks...........

As far as oncoming two-wheeled obliviots, pull a manual and put your front wheel on their bar.
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Old 02-06-11, 01:41 AM   #17
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Have found that Cycling types have their own separate Clique. Casual riders are down at the bottom and although they will get some acknowledgement from other groups- They don't often acknowledge other riders either. Mountain Bikers will wave at anyone and "Do" get a response from other Mountain bikers- but rarely from Road riders. At the top you have the road riders and they only respond to other road riders and that is often just a lifting of the fingers from the bars as an acknowledgement that someone else is using their road. They will wave and respond to other road riders providing they are on top rate bikes or bikes that are better than theirs.

But to be honest- If mountain biking in the wilderness- it is so unusual to see other riders- especially in winter- it is probably with shock that they greet other riders. Casual riders haven't learnt the Etiquette of riding yet and may be struggling to turn the pedals with the lack of fitness they have. And road riders are so concered with keeping the eye out for cars and trucks- that they Don't see other cyclists in any case.
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Old 02-06-11, 04:48 AM   #18
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My favourite trick is when I see two riders ahead of me riding two abreast is to overtake by cycling between them.

I often get a response.
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Old 02-06-11, 08:31 AM   #19
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Stapfam, where do touring cyclists fit into your hierarchy?
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Old 02-06-11, 09:15 AM   #20
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I've found that you're more likely to get someone wave or otherwise say 'hi' to you on a MUP rather than a road. On the road, you generally have other traffic to deal with and travel faster, as well as being further away on the other side of the road.

Interestingly, my old housemate had a motorcycle, and when riding pillion on it I noticed that passing motorcyclists would almost always wave at us.
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Old 02-06-11, 11:41 AM   #21
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I don't bother waving. No offense.

It's either:
1) We're all commuting, and nobody really feels like going "Hello, sunshine!" when they're going to work;
2) It's some training loop, and they're in too much pain to wave, "Hello, sunshine!" But, trading pulls can make for decent conversation to break the monotony, and waving to a cyclist right next to you is kinda silly (and risky).
3) There are too many others out riding, and I don't like riding one-handed for any length of time.
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Old 02-06-11, 12:04 PM   #22
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where I have been doing most of my riding in So Jersey (Mt Lauerl/Medford/Lumberton) it seems most cyclist are too busy training for the world championships to wave back.

I generally get passed more than I pass but I like Bob have a bell on most bikes. I give it a small ding or two well back and if I am lucky enough to pass I generally speak up and call out on you left.

BTW as for as the motorcycle wave thing.. I think in some places if you wave at a Harley rider from your Honda Rebel you get a different sort of wave in reply LOL
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Old 02-06-11, 09:08 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Speaking of etiquette.... What do you do if you ride on a path, and two cyclists approach riding side to side leaving you no space? They clearly feel their conversation is more imortant that somebody else's safety. Is it wrong to kick them as they pass?
Just move to the center of the path and slow down and wobble a lot and when they move just wobble and move again so you are going to collide like you are a noobie and eventually force the both of them to a stop by turning side on and dismounting really clumsily.
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Old 02-07-11, 03:55 AM   #24
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3) There are too many others out riding, and I don't like riding one-handed for any length of time.
Very good point ... bring rough road conditions and traffic into the mix, and I prefer to keep my eyes on the road and hands on the handlebars.
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Old 02-07-11, 06:48 AM   #25
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I don't wave to other cyclists when I'm riding for the same reason I don't wave to other shoppers when I'm pushing the shopping cart or wave to other urinators when I'm urinating at the urinals.
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