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Do you smile or 'handlebar' salute to other cyclomuters?

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Do you smile or 'handlebar' salute to other cyclomuters?

Old 07-09-09, 12:05 PM
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wunderkind
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Do you smile or 'handlebar' salute to other cyclomuters?

Maybe this bike commuting is still fairly new and novel to me. I tend to smile to opposite passing cyclists. But only a few ever do respond in smile. Most of the folks look so serious! As if it's some sort of century that they are on. They seem to look at me incredulously or WTF look.
So my question is.... is smiling and handlebar salute an acceptable etiquette for cyclists? Maybe they are concentrating on their cadence.
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Old 07-09-09, 12:10 PM
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I more often than not give a wave, smile or nod of he head to other cyclists and often the other cyclists do the same before I get to it.

so I see no etiquette issues.....
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Old 07-09-09, 12:12 PM
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I usually do, though I don't always see that many. So far most recumbent riders will wave, but the nicer the road bike the less likely they are to wave back. Maybe they're too focused on other things, I still wave when i remember though.
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Old 07-09-09, 12:13 PM
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If they look like a casual cyclist i'll probably lift a hand or at least nod. Commuters are rare.
If it's a kitted out roadie I usually keep an eye on them to see if they initiate communication, I'll wave back if they do. Otherwise i just keep to myself. Nothing against roadies, but i know most don't care, and honestly neither do I.
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Old 07-09-09, 12:14 PM
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I do. I don't see that many where I live, so I always try to wave. I try to wave at motorcyclists to, but they don't wave back.
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Old 07-09-09, 12:14 PM
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Generally yes, and particularly as I pass, but I don't give it another thought whether they respond or not. It's too petty to judge others based on that one moment.
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Old 07-09-09, 12:19 PM
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Around here waving is non-existent; people seem to prefer both hands on the bars at all times. The method of choice is a head nod.
For those that return a grim stare, incredulous, or WTF look, they are simply stressed out by their own insecurity and sizing you up to see if you are faster and stronger, kind of like a butt sniffin' dog.......
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Old 07-09-09, 12:26 PM
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I gave a to a roadie on my way home last night. He gave me a head nod back, so thas kewl. It's happened the other way, too. I especially enjoyed it once, last year, as I was pushing my Clyde self up what is, for me, a tough hill, when the roadie descending in the other lane shouted encouragement to me — Don't give up! Keep going!

This a.m. I didn't encounter any other riders, but I gave out with "Good Morning" to a few folks who were out walking or running. I hailed a lady walking her dog that way, and then inquired whether a certain street I hadn't ridden down before was a dead end, or could be used to cut through to the road I wanted to be on. I got some useful info.

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Old 07-09-09, 12:32 PM
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I always wave, smile or nod when I see another cyclist. Some respond, some don't. I don't lose any sleep over it either way. Roadies generally don't respond as often as casual clothed folk do.
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Old 07-09-09, 12:43 PM
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I'm always reading on this forum about being snubbed by roadies. That's sure not the way it is here. The fastest riders in this area always speak and wave, even though sometimes they pass me going so fast the wind makes my bike wobble The most experienced riders in my area have helped me fix flats and encouraged me as I tried to pedal my oversized butt up the hills.
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Old 07-09-09, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyF View Post
I do. I don't see that many where I live, so I always try to wave. I try to wave at motorcyclists to, but they don't wave back.
I seldom see other bicyclists when I commute, but on those occasions we almost always have a friendly nod or wave to each othetr.

I see far more motorcyclists on the highway, most wave at me if they can see me. 10 months a year my morning commute is in darkness.
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Old 07-09-09, 12:44 PM
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If you wave to me, I'll generally nod or give a finger wave back, but honestly, I don't appreciate having my solitude interrupted by someone's need for social attention. It's not all about you, ya know, some people just want to be left alone.
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Old 07-09-09, 12:47 PM
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I'll nod, mostly. I got a "good morning". Live and let live.
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Old 07-09-09, 12:48 PM
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It depends on how common cyclists are. For instance, in NYC, you don't have to turn your head to see one, so it's silly to say hello. Out here in the Noo Joizy burbs, we generally do it. But it's not rude NOT to do it, either. It's your choice.

I find a wave or a nod is best. It's not easy to see a smile when you're riding.

One odd thing is that I get a lot of smiles from pedestrians. I believe that when riding, my face looks like it's smiling when I don't mean it. It comes accidentally from the way I position my mouth for efficient breathing. But it's a happy unintended consequence. Let people think I'm smiling!
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Old 07-09-09, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
If you wave to me, I'll generally nod or give a finger wave back, but honestly, I don't appreciate having my solitude interrupted by someone's need for social attention. It's not all about you, ya know, some people just want to be left alone.
Completely understandable.
I'm in that camp myself much of the time, especially listening to music or audio books. But what you're talking about is different from the "icy staredown", which just makes me laugh.
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Old 07-09-09, 12:59 PM
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I always nod or wave (sometimes with the 'handlebar salute') and generally get the blank stare response.

I also say 'hello' and try to initiate a friendly conversation at long lights, if other cyclists are present. Commuters generally enjoy chatting, but I find most roadies are dismissive, as if a commuter isn't a serious enough cyclist to acknowledge. I find this a bit offputting, because I was a friendly roadie, even in my most serious racing years. Maybe they're just threatened by the fact that I reeled them in on a heavy, fendered, IGH bike with a rack.
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Old 07-09-09, 01:16 PM
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Too many cyclists 'round here. Can't wave at them all.

Out in the suburbs most cyclists are teens on sidewalks who certainly don't wave at anyone.

Out in the country, I'd smile/nod at people sometimes. Haven't been out on long country rides for a long time though...
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Old 07-09-09, 01:22 PM
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There are a bunch of other riders I see going the opposite direction just about every morning and we exchange nods or waves. Others may or may not, although I usually at least nod if they're looking at me. I also know of a couple that ride in the same direction I do and we'll ride together and chat if we happen to meet up.

I also nod, wave, or say Good Morning to the dog walkers, joggers, and other people I see on a regular basis. Ride the same route every day for a while and people will recognize you.
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Old 07-09-09, 01:24 PM
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When I see another cyclist, I put my head down and do my best to ignore them, I'm a roadie
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Old 07-09-09, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by MNBikeguy View Post
Completely understandable.
I'm in that camp myself much of the time, especially listening to music or audio books. But what you're talking about is different from the "icy staredown", which just makes me laugh.
Makes me want to chase them down and give them a wedgie.
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Old 07-09-09, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MNBikeguy View Post
Completely understandable.
I'm in that camp myself much of the time, especially listening to music or audio books. But what you're talking about is different from the "icy staredown", which just makes me laugh.
Obviously I don't know exactly what "icy staredown" you're talking about, but is it possible that you're reading too much into it? In your earlier comment you kind of got into psychoanalyzing the people who don't wave and say hi to you...really, you know that much about people just because they don't wave and say howdy? Maybe they're having a solitary moment, maybe they've got a migraine, maybe their mom just died, maybe they're on their way to work and just not the happiest of campers about that...could be all kinds of reasons that they're not bubbling over with joy and cameraderie and extroversion, that have nothing to do with feelings of inadequacy.
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Old 07-09-09, 01:33 PM
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I nod my head sometimes. I agree that it is rare to get a reply anything. Oh well.
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Old 07-09-09, 02:35 PM
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I tend to wait and see, if I get a wave, I'll respond. I'll also shoot the breeze with another rider going the same way if they're so inclined.

Some people aren't into for the community, that's cool.

Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
When I see another cyclist, I put my head down and do my best to ignore them, I'm a roadie
It's all good, I usually ignore the fact that you're intentionally avoiding acknowledging me and wave anyway.
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Old 07-09-09, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
Obviously I don't know exactly what "icy staredown" you're talking about, but is it possible that you're reading too much into it? In your earlier comment you kind of got into psychoanalyzing the people who don't wave and say hi to you...really, you know that much about people just because they don't wave and say howdy? Maybe they're having a solitary moment, maybe they've got a migraine, maybe their mom just died, maybe they're on their way to work and just not the happiest of campers about that...could be all kinds of reasons that they're not bubbling over with joy and cameraderie and extroversion, that have nothing to do with feelings of inadequacy.
My comment:
"For those that return a grim stare, incredulous, or WTF look, they are simply stressed out by their own insecurity and sizing you up to see if you are faster and stronger, kind of like a butt sniffin' dog "
followed by the tongue-in-cheek emoticon, was obviously a failed attempt at humor. There have been far too many posts here lamenting the lack of a return "howdy".
As a seperate issue, I have, on occasion nodded to be returned by the blank prolonged look which could be construed as the "icy stare." If they don't wish to return the greeting, fine. Just stop boring a hole in my head. It's kind of creepy. At any rate, neither I or the other rider will lose sleep over this.
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Old 07-09-09, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by wunderkind View Post
Maybe this bike commuting is still fairly new and novel to me. I tend to smile to opposite passing cyclists. But only a few ever do respond in smile. Most of the folks look so serious! As if it's some sort of century that they are on. They seem to look at me incredulously or WTF look.
So my question is.... is smiling and handlebar salute an acceptable etiquette for cyclists? Maybe they are concentrating on their cadence.
I mostly pass cyclists (going in the opposite direction ), when I'm running. I either wave, say hello (good morning etc.) or nod (if I'm fatigued). It's very rare that I'm not returned a response in kind. I do the same with people that are walking or running, too. I also stop to pet dogs and smell roses (or lilacs).

I do the same when I'm cycling.
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