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No head nod or wave?

Old 08-17-11, 08:32 AM
  #1  
SteveSGP
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No head nod or wave?

Anyone else notice this?

I commute most days on my '79 Raleigh and see a lot of other riders and although I try to give a cordial nod or wave as we pass each other I'm amazed how many don't respond or even seem to notice other riders.

It's not all of them, I do get a few that nod or wave before I do or in response to mine but the vast majority don't.

What's your experience?
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Old 08-17-11, 08:36 AM
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I live in a fairly friendly area. There aren't many people around who do ride; those who do seem to always wave. On a mountain ride on a local trail last week we encountered two other riders and ended up talking twice at different stopping points.

Can't say I share your experience regarding other bikers. Motorists are a different story.
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Old 08-17-11, 08:38 AM
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There are too many of us here to wave to everyone. I do say "nice bike" or whatever if I see someone with a particularly cool bike. When I lived in California, most motorcyclists waved to each other, but on the east coast it seems less common.
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Old 08-17-11, 08:43 AM
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About the same as your experience, except for long distance rides.

I constantly get a thumbs up or a wave when we are out of town on country roads.

We meet the nicest folks on day trips, which is precisely why I am refocusing my riding time in this area.
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Old 08-17-11, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by FORDSVTPARTS View Post
Anyone else notice this?

I commute most days on my '79 Raleigh and see a lot of other riders and although I try to give a cordial nod or wave as we pass each other I'm amazed how many don't respond or even seem to notice other riders.

It's not all of them, I do get a few that nod or wave before I do or in response to mine but the vast majority don't.

What's your experience?
The same topic is often discussed in the motorcycle community, with the twist that there is often a "brand" recognition element involved. (probably analogous to the appearances of bicycle commuters/roadies/freds/CX)

Don't let it bring you down or take it personally -- if you want to greet others, do it without expectation of reciprocity.

Enjoy your ride!
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Old 08-17-11, 08:44 AM
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The situation in the Detroit area isn't much different than what you describe. However, I make it a point to say "hello" or wave. I don't care if others respond. I'm just glad that riding. Thankfully, most people respond with greetings.
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Old 08-17-11, 08:45 AM
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Some do, some don't. Don't take it personally.

Bicyclists seem to categorize other bicyclists into us/them categories based on equipment, clothing, riding style, &c, and then ignore everyone in the "them" category.

I make a point of waving at anyone I've seen before.
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Old 08-17-11, 08:47 AM
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Where I ride, always a head nod at least.
My favorite is to get a "God bless you" from a rider.
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Old 08-17-11, 09:41 AM
  #9  
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Out on the open road it is rare in this area to see another rider. In that case we acknowlege with a nod or wave. I've pulled off to answer my phone (I'm often on call for juvenile probate work) and had a guy pacing up behind me. As he went by he turned to call out, "everything ok??".

That was cool. I like that. It's lonely out here on the open highway.
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Old 08-17-11, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Out on the open road it is rare in this area to see another rider. In that case we acknowlege with a nod or wave. I've pulled off to answer my phone (I'm often on call for juvenile probate work) and had a guy pacing up behind me. As he went by he turned to call out, "everything ok??".

That was cool. I like that. It's lonely out here on the open highway.
Yes, that's good form. Good on him. Whenever I see a cyclist who seems to be having an issue, I also slow down and ask if they need help. I'm usually carrying a ridiculous pile of tools and what-not, so if they need something I probably have it.
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Old 08-17-11, 09:52 AM
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Yeah not everyone responds but I make it a point to try every time, and I try to wave to motorcyclists and drivers I encounter as well =) I was riding one day and a cute couple on a Vespa gave me the "beep beep" and wave, that made me smile.
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Old 08-17-11, 09:52 AM
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I had a motorcyclist give me the "low sign" that they all give each other day while I was out on my ride. I thought that was pretty cool.
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Old 08-17-11, 09:55 AM
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I get equally acknowledged and ignored by all types of riders. It's nice when it happens, but not heartbreaking when it doesn't.
Sometimes there's a good excuse for not reciprocating. rough road, group ride, traffic, rain, etc...or they didn't see you
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Old 08-17-11, 09:58 AM
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Where I am (sunny Southern California), on the dedicated bike paths I frequent it is more common to receive nods or waves from ordinary folks out for a Sunday ride (95% of the time) that for racer or wannabe racers (25% of the time) outfitted in their flashy lycra kits. I wave, nod, or say hello to everyone but it seems that once one thinks of one's self as a racer, a stuck-up attitude develops. Oh, and by the way, I always wear my colorful flashy lycra outfit on the bike paths.
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Old 08-17-11, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
Yes, that's good form. Good on him. Whenever I see a cyclist who seems to be having an issue, I also slow down and ask if they need help. I'm usually carrying a ridiculous pile of tools and what-not, so if they need something I probably have it.

Its been a while...
https://www.bikeforums.net/www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eCdIe0wdvU For my money nothing delivers more smiles per mile than a bell. Even the hardest Triguy out doing intervals will smile when you ring a bell.
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Old 08-17-11, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Soma Roark View Post
Yeah not everyone responds but I make it a point to try every time, and I try to wave to motorcyclists and drivers I encounter as well =) I was riding one day and a cute couple on a Vespa gave me the "beep beep" and wave, that made me smile.
Same experience here. I try to wave, even though it's not always reciprocated. (I've discovered that the non-responants are usually the "serious" cyclists - the ones who are all kitted out in racing gear and logos and CF bikes; perhaps they're a bit too self-absorbed to notice anyone else on two wheels.) It sometimes makes me a little sad because I think of the cycling community on the whole as pretty tightly knit. But I do my part and acknowledge other riders... and try not to worry about those folks who are, frankly, missing out on the best part of being a cyclist: the camaraderie.
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Old 08-17-11, 10:06 AM
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GEt a bell. A bell is a very familiar and friendly sound - and I use it a little like the Hawaiians use aloha.

If a lycra clad or otherwise 'too much in a hurry' biker on the road (or especially on multi-use pedestrian paths) zooms by without announcing they are "passing on the left" or ringing their bell, I salute them a few bell rings. About half the time they slow, look over their shoulder, and give me a "WTF stupid look-on-their-face like what did I do wrong??" It's my Pavlov's Biker Experiment. If a commuter approaches that I see daily, I'll ring and wave and usually get the same back. If I approach a path biker with a kid buggy, I'll slow, and ring the bell which will usually get a big smile and laugh out of the toddler and a smile and wave from the parent. If I happen to be at a stop light or on a traffic island with a biker that has a really cool vintage ride... THEN I'll give it a look and tell them " really nice ride!" and maybe take a wild guess at the model/make. If the light is long enough or we are feeling not in a hurry, we'll kill a couple signal cycles chatting and then move on.

If bikers approach and pass and pay no mind to me, I feel that is their style and don't fret.
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Old 08-17-11, 10:08 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Sigurdd50 View Post
GEt a bell. A bell is a very familiar and friendly sound - and I use it a little like the Hawaiians use aloha.

If a lycra clad or otherwise 'too much in a hurry' biker on the road (or especially on multi-use pedestrian paths) zooms by without announcing they are "passing on the left" or ringing their bell, I salute them a few bell rings. About half the time they slow, look over their shoulder, and give me a "WTF stupid look-on-their-face like what did I do wrong??" It's my Pavlov's Biker Experiment. If a commuter approaches that I see daily, I'll ring and wave and usually get the same back. If I approach a path biker with a kid buggy, I'll slow, and ring the bell which will usually get a big smile and laugh out of the toddler and a smile and wave from the parent. If I happen to be at a stop light or on a traffic island with a biker that has a really cool vintage ride... THEN I'll give it a look and tell them " really nice ride!" and maybe take a wild guess at the model/make. If the light is long enough or we are feeling not in a hurry, we'll kill a couple signal cycles chatting and then move on.

If bikers approach and pass and pay no mind to me, I feel that is their style and don't fret.
I love it!
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Old 08-17-11, 10:09 AM
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People have been posting similar comments for as long as I have been a member here. Therefore, it think it is fair to say this isn't a recent phenomenon. I am frequently engaged in other thoughts while on a ride and ignore other riders. However, I will never ignore another rider who is stopped on the side of the road. I frequently stop and ask if they need help when I am in a car. I guess this is a remnant of my years of driving SAG.
To be totally honest, I am not really sure why some people feel that it is mandatory to wave at all passing bikes. The odds of you recognizing that person at a later date are pretty slim. However, I do usually lift 2 fingers off my bars and give them a Peace Sign.
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Old 08-17-11, 10:09 AM
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Eh this topic always comes up. I usually wave or nod, but sometimes I'm just all about the ride. I probably see 20 people bikers everytime I commute on an MUP to work, but when I take that on a long ride, I'll see double or maybe triple that. It gets tiring.

I do like chatting up the girls with nice bikes though.
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Old 08-17-11, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
There are too many of us here to wave to everyone. I do say "nice bike" or whatever if I see someone with a particularly cool bike. When I lived in California, most motorcyclists waved to each other, but on the east coast it seems less common.
+1. There are a LOT of cyclists here. It's not like we're some special, rare brotherhood where I feel the need to give the mason handshake. If someone waves, and I notice it, I'll wave back if convenient, but I don't feel obligated to either. If someone has a cool bike I like, I'll make a comment. Otherwise, you're just another commuter.
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Old 08-17-11, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975 View Post
I had a motorcyclist give me the "low sign" that they all give each other day while I was out on my ride. I thought that was pretty cool.
A good bet would be is that he is a motorcycle and bicycle rider/commuter like many of us. And truth be told, more than once I have even forgotten I’m riding a bicycle and have waved to a motorcycle

When I'm out on the road on my motorcycle and I see a bicycle rider on a particularly tough or long climb I give them a thumbs up sign.

However, when on either type of vehicle on a busy summer weekend I don't wave to anything. Reason being, there are so many where I live you just give up. It is much like the difference between walking and passing someone going the other way on a trail or path with almost no one on it and passing hundreds of people walking in a crowded down town area. One you say hi or nod the other you act like no one else exists.
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Old 08-17-11, 10:16 AM
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Sunday was my first ride out on my 1980 Raleigh.

No waves from other cyclists I encountered. More looks of shock. Maybe it's the creaking mattress saddle...

I saw some friends walking - that was nice to chat for a little while.

I was at the bicycle co-op with some good people while I repacked the headset and changed tyre tubes. A girl who was there earlier was walking by later and we waved.

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Old 08-17-11, 10:16 AM
  #24  
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Maynard Herschon once ran a "wave to each other" column when he was writing for some bike mag or other. He said he got more response (pro, con and from other galaxies) fro that article than anything else he wrote. And he thought it was something of a throwaway.

Here in SF Bay Area, waves or nods are pretty common, maybe a little more so in the East Bay than on the Peninsula or in Marin.
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Old 08-17-11, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by gomango View Post
About the same as your experience, except for long distance rides.

I constantly get a thumbs up or a wave when we are out of town on country roads.
I can generally say the same but on a recent 3 day tour I especially noticed a lack of acknowledgement. It wasn't until about the tenth rider we encountered that we got a wave back and I found that a bit odd.

My experience has generally been a lack of response from "roadies" and I agree with rhm that it is an us vs. them attitude and I usually appear as a "them" based on my older equipment. They also don't seem to appreciate bike tourists at all.

It doesn't really bother me and I always give a wave or nod and hello. Heck I'm just glad to see another cyclist out in the rural areas.
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