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Greeting etiquettes - newbie question

Old 11-03-16, 01:59 PM
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hcgaloi
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Greeting etiquettes - newbie question

Hello,

Before I ask the question, please, let me provide background info. I'm a 50 year old male, and I have recently started to bicycling for fitness. So far I have ridden around 200 miles after stop biking when I was a kid. Currently I only ride around Miramar lake in San Diego, California between 6:30-8:30am on weekdays. There are about 20 regular bicyclists that I see There. At first, I would say "Good morning" whenever I met one in the parking lot or on the route. I often received a blank stared look ahead, but only 4 that would greet back. So now I limit greeting to those four.

I have noticed this only happened to bicyclists because when I greet other walkers, runners, or roller bladders everyone would greet back. Because of my limited experience at one locale and roughly 20 other bicyclists, I'm not sure if this is a lone-wolf or "group-clique" sport. And, I'm interested in what your experiences in other communities. And, what is a proper greeting etiquette for bicyclists? Eventually when I gain enough riding skill, I will venture out to different bike routes to see it for myself

Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences and kindness to help another newbie

Note: Based on some replies, I would like to make a clarification. I'm not offended at all when other cyclists doesn't reply. Because I'm new to the sport and make an observation at one location, I just curious to know how it is at other locations. Thanks again

Last edited by hcgaloi; 11-03-16 at 03:02 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 11-03-16, 02:25 PM
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There is no proper greeting etiquette for bicyclists.
Nothing wrong with being friendly and communicative, as you seem to be.
Perhaps the non-responsive cyclists you've attempted to interact with have not yet had their morning coffee.
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Old 11-03-16, 02:27 PM
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IT's 50/50 around here, some wave or say hi, others are so focused on whatever KOM they're shooting for while stretching spandex to the limit of human imagination they don't notice anyone else lol.
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Old 11-03-16, 02:40 PM
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The flaw in your thinking lies in supposing that bicyclists are members of some sort of group that either welcomes people in or rejects them as outsiders.

If you just consider them as people, you're open to all kinds of other reasons why they may not return a greeting. One may simply be that they're too focused on their endeavors at the moment.

Walkers tend to be more open to greeting people because walking is slower paced, and rather than needing focus, invites distraction to fill the time.

My advice, stop worrying about others, and be your own person, greeting or not greeting as the mood strikes you.
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Old 11-03-16, 02:41 PM
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I popped extra just in case.
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Old 11-03-16, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post


I popped extra just in case.
In that case.

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Old 11-03-16, 02:44 PM
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was on an unpaved trail in the woods last weekend & mostly saw ppl walking. almost all of them made direct eye contact & said "good morning" it was really weird. on a a more urban paved trail I frequent w tons of ppl no one ever says anything or makes eye contact. so, I wouldn't worry about it - just follow you instincts & intuition, & kinda do what others are doing so you fit in

Last edited by rumrunn6; 11-03-16 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 11-03-16, 02:47 PM
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I nod at every cyclist I pass. There may have been very few times that I did not but usually it's because I am concentrating on something like not trying to hit a pot hole or a car.
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Old 11-03-16, 02:50 PM
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When I am on a ride and see someone I know, I will usually wave and say "Hey." Just as I would if I were walking down the street. But I don't wave at every random person who happens to be using the same mode of transportation as I do. Nor do I take it personally if I wave and the other person doesn't wave back, especially early in the morning when many riders are commuting, training, or both.

The one etiquette rule that I do adhere to is that if you come along to a rider stopped with a mechanical, you must at least slow and ask if they need a hand. 95 times out of 100, the answer is "Nope, I'm good. Thanks." But occasionally, you might be obliged to lend a tube or pump.
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Old 11-03-16, 02:51 PM
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Never thought of it. I need more time before I can take a stand on this one.

Do you use a bell?
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Old 11-03-16, 02:52 PM
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There are many different personalities in the world, whether on these forums, biking, business world or in church. Some are over enthusiastic, some under and neither are right or wrong but I am of the mindset that if someone says hello to me, I should offer one back. I call it being polite and others may call it exercising their rights to shun any contact. I feel especially sorry for those people but again, they are not wrong in keeping to themselves.
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Old 11-03-16, 02:55 PM
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I think what you will find as you begin to ride more is that if you greet everyone you see while on your ride, well, that's all you will get done doing. You're likely running into experienced riders who have a set amount of time to get their workout in. Waving/greeting everyone really isn't time consuming, but, it does take away from focusing on the task at hand. I don't think it's anything personal, they just want to "giterdone" without any distractions.

I ride a regular route or two quite often (local rural roads) and many people will tell me, "I waved at you but you didn't wave back." I've found that my attention needs to be on the road if I don't want to end up as roadkill. Taking a hand off the handlebars can really be life threatening should I hit a rock or a stick and drift into traffic. Just my two cents'.
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Old 11-03-16, 03:38 PM
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I try to at least nod to the majority of the riders I see, but I mostly get a nod in return from the casual riders. Maybe it is because I ride a hybrid or because I have reflectors in my wheels.

I have had a few roadies stop and ask if I needed assistance when I was checking something on the bike though. I do the same if I see others pulled over.
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Old 11-03-16, 03:54 PM
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San Diego is a lot different , than Oregon, Miramar is a big military base , for one.. Navy Town ..

people are from all over the country .. are sent there ... I was in Navy Basic, there 12/66.. from Nor-Cal..


plus you have some Quite wealthy people there, maybe friendly in private, (and having met their level)

but on the streets riding a bike, is not that place.

Quite various responses from the many cycle tourists passing thru here in the summer.. FWIW..




Last edited by fietsbob; 11-03-16 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 11-03-16, 04:10 PM
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When riding on the greenways in NYC I would often extend my left hand down when approaching another oncoming rider to give me a low-five. Some people seemed scared, though that was rare. Most people ignored me but every so often I'd get an enthusiastic slap of the hand. It was fun.
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Old 11-03-16, 04:17 PM
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I just give 'em a nod. Either they nod back or they don't. Some say hi, some wave, some look at me like I'm some sort of freak. It doesn't matter.
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Old 11-03-16, 04:44 PM
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Relax. It only seems as though you are not being greeted. They're "serious" cyclists, remember. Although it may not be obvious to you, they are greeting you with a one-finger salute. Only, in their heads. To do otherwise would mean to seriously jeopardize their precious Strava readings.

Glad to be of service.
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Old 11-03-16, 04:52 PM
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FYA, there is a current thread on the Commuting Forum, I'm Determined to Get Them to Say, "Hello!," by a cyclist trying to get a group of high school students at a bus stop to reply to his greeting. I posted,
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Yeah, Bassmanbob, why?

Personally, I do wave, except where there are loads of cyclists, such as my early morning commute in downtown Boston. I’m not put off by a lack of response either. I do have a seemingly unique greeting. Besides, or in addition to a wave. I yell a hearty “YO.” It’s an easy syllable to shout, and IMO expresses a crusty comeraderie, yet does not expect a reply. Maybe you couldtry that.

A couple years ago on the Wall Street Journal morning news program on the radiowas a feature segment about runners and cyclists greeting each other. The most significant reason to do so, as I recall was that both participants in such an encounter face the same dangers on the roads and MUPs.
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Old 11-03-16, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by hcgaloi View Post
what is a proper greeting etiquette for bicyclists? Thanks again
It depends on the "type" of cyclists. If they are roadies, (colorful, tight fitting costumes, racy bikes) then a couple of quick ass slaps is appropriate. Do it correctly if you want to fit in.

https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...n-roadies.html

Yes it's an older thread, but the technique still applies.
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Old 11-03-16, 05:06 PM
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Oh, great, another "wave" thread....

FWIW, road cyclists are out for exercise , speed, distance, cadence, etc, and they are NOT paying attention to whomever is waving at them. Also, road cyclists as a rule ignore people on hybrids (except to see if they are blocking the way, or maybe cutting in front of them). If you want a sport where people stop doing the sport to socialize, you should consider curling, or maybe cricket.....
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Old 11-03-16, 05:17 PM
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Oh, goody! Another variant of the waving thread(tm).
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Old 11-03-16, 05:22 PM
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Speak when spoken to

I may not initiate a greeting, but I will respond. Just seems like proper etiquette to me.
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Old 11-03-16, 05:28 PM
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I would go with Godin's Tribes. If I recognize you as being in my tribe I'll say hello. Just because you are on a bike doesn't mean you are my tribe. Hikers, more of an automatic because there are so few, but even them - some look like outliers, i.e wrong tribe.
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Old 11-03-16, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
I would go with Godin's Tribes. If I recognize you as being in my tribe I'll say hello. Just because you are on a bike doesn't mean you are my tribe. Hikers, more of an automatic because there are so few, but even them - some look like outliers, i.e wrong tribe.
I do not know of Godin's tribes. They must be terribly inbred, no? If they won't even nod at 'outsiders'.
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Old 11-03-16, 05:38 PM
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Remember the old saying, "the riders that don't wave or say hello have their saddles too high and haven't shaved their legs in a week". It explains a lot.
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