Author Topic: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?  (Read 10347 times)

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Offline LexieCali

Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« on: July 26, 2011, 01:41:31 am »
Do you acknowledge other cyclists? Passing a fellow cyclist on a path, I used to do OK. Tip my helmet, smile, wave a hand to an especially gorgeous fellow…that is until yesterday when a spandex-clad roadie blew past me screaming “keep-both-your-hands-on-bar(handle?stool?)”.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a man in spandex ;)…but his reaction got me wondering…is there a special cycle greeting etiquette that I am missing on? Any thoughts? Suggestions?

As always, thanks for sharing, and Happy Riding to All! 8)

Lexie

FredHiltz

  • Guest
Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2011, 06:52:53 am »
... a spandex-clad roadie blew past me screaming “keep-both-your-hands-on-bar(handle?stool?)”. Don’t get me wrong, I love a man in spandex ;)…but his reaction got me wondering…is there a special cycle greeting etiquette that I am missing on?

I assume you were not wobbling all over the road like a teenager plugged into her iPod. I think you found one of those wannabe racers who think they are better than anyone who rides slower than they do. No doubt he would keep quiet when Andy Schleck and his team blow by him on a training ride. Have you ever watched the pro teams training? They slap each other on the back, pass water bottles around, give high fives, etc. whenever they relax. Some of those training videos catch it.

I'd shrug him off like any other rude loudmouth.

I almost always wave, and most riders respond. Gottta admit, though, that after the 40th encounter my wave becomes a nod. On the other hand, after a few hours in the vastness of North Dakota, spotting another loaded bike usually results in many minutes of chatting and comparing notes.

Fred

Offline tonupgilly

Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2011, 07:42:35 am »
Fred's right - a wannabe racer.  Here in the UK there are very many cycling clubs, both racing and otherwise.  I used to train with my club, just me and about forty lycra clad male racers (bliss) and we would see members of other clubs on the road all the time, always a nice greeting or a bit of friendly teasing of the rivals.  Occasionally I would be training alone and would invariably come across these wannabe racers, who do not belong to a club (they don't want to be inferior) and who would nearly always make some scathing comment or try to tell me how to set up my bike, at which point I would up the pace and drop them.  The sad fact is that if you were male, it probably wouldn't happen. 
Keep waving, or calling "Hi" - real cyclists appreciate others.

Offline DaveB

Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2011, 01:25:33 pm »
Courtesy is never a mistake but bike paths tend to be narrow and are often used by walkers and riders who seem to think that since there are no motor vehicles, the path is perfectly safe.   They relax and pay little attention to those sharing it with them.  If you were riding a predictable line and just being friendly, ignore the jerk.  If you were riding with no attention to your line or other users, maybe he had a point.

That said, a bike path is no place for fast or competitive riding unless you are well away from all other users.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2011, 01:45:05 pm »
Lexie, My experience cycling tells me most, if not almost all, female cyclists are health conscious, fit, and good looking too. I, for one, would not blow past you and yell out to you how to hold your bike on the move. There is no telling why this cyclist did that. Perhaps he just came up from behind you, saw a gorgeous woman riding her bike, became suddenly enamored, lost his cool, and blurted out the first thing that came to his mind. Who knows really?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2011, 02:20:48 pm »
The "why didn't he wave" question is a rabbit hole, so much so that the question itself has become an inside joke in many online cycling forums. There are a dozen good reasons why somebody doesn't wave. Don't try to figure out which one applies. Just assume the best.

Offline LexieCali

Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2011, 07:23:25 pm »
Lol. Thank you for lovely responses. Note to self:
Rude cyclist is:
wannabe racer with delusions of grandeur, or
smitten by my womanly shapes, or
mistook bike path for a velodrome, or
never seen a woman on bike, or
should be forgiven if looks hot in lycra  ;)

I agree with everyone - I never felt that courtesy is a wrong thing to do!


Offline whittierider

Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2011, 11:25:02 pm »
Quote
Rude cyclist is:
wannabe racer with delusions of grandeur, or
smitten by my womanly shapes, or
mistook bike path for a velodrome, or
never seen a woman on bike, or
should be forgiven if looks hot in lycra

When I'm going a lot faster than someone else ahead, I call ahead, "Passing!", then "Thankyou" as I go by after they got (or stayed) out of the way.  I say "hi" to cyclists I pass in either direction, or wave to those going the opposite direction.  If someone appears to have a flat, I call before I arrive, "Have everything you need?" and the answer is almost always, "Yes, thankyou!"  If I find someone riding approximately my speed when it's not one of my maximum-effort days, I like to meet them and talk to them.

The bike trail is a "bike-bahn" with no speed limits though, and it's not a sidewalk.  When the tailwind was strong, I've gone 35mph for 5 miles at a time.  Our local trails have the bike logo on them (they're technically not multi-use paths) and some have signs that say "bike only."  Pedestrians are welcome only as long as they stay to the side, out of the way.  I am not competition-minded, but I am very fitness-minded and I'm usually trying to raise my average speed a little further on my usual training routes and not let my heart rate below about 175.  I'll slow down if I have to, but I shouldn't have to.  Part of what I look forward to in light credit-card touring is having lots of energy and the fun of going fast for long periods.  I'm glad to see anyone out there who's doing what the trail was designed for, but I do like for them to stay on their side and be predictable.  I don't expect beginners to act like they have the experience and skill that they don't have yet.  I know it takes time.  And it's wonderful to see women out there doing something good for themselves instead of thinking that cycling is a man's sport so they lead a sedentary life and get fat and get their cancers and so on.  I would never want to discourage her from riding.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2011, 08:50:07 am »
The Boise River Greenbelt is a fabulous resource here in Idaho. There are sections near or in town that are packed with folks who do not care about bicycles at all; they're out for a stroll to enjoy the river and the parks and the sun. We, of course, must share the pathway with everyone.

Out of town things change a bit as traffic drops off and one's speed can increase. It has taken a long time but most of the organized riding groups realize the Greenbelt is not an appropriate training facility and they have moved off onto the adjacent highway where they can paceline and go as fast as they want.

The rest of us who are out for some exercise and pleasure try to use bells and cheerfully call out "On your left!" as we approach and overtake walkers, skaters, and slower bikers. It's the iPods that interfere with that effort but we still must be wary of inexperienced and unskilled pathway users who are likely to drift into my vector as they look over their shoulder to see who's yelling or dinging at them.

rant off.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline rjones35

Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2011, 04:16:44 pm »
I try to wave or at least give the "finger wave" from the hoods.  Yeah it sounds like that guy passing you was taking it way too serious!!  There have been times when I'm struggling up a hill or something like that, when I know I don't do a great job waving or saying hi, but I think I do a pretty good job.  And when somebody doesn't wave back or yells at me, I just blow em off as either 1 - an idiot or 2 - they were in the moment and focused on riding.  I try to put a positive spin on it, but sometimes they're just idiots!!  I suppose some of the female riders could have been totally smitten with my manliness and were just tongue tied!! Probably not, but maybe!

Offline LexieCali

Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2011, 04:32:15 pm »
When I'm going a lot faster than someone else ahead, I call ahead, "Passing!", then "Thank you" as I go by after they got (or stayed) out of the way.  I say "hi" to cyclists I pass in either direction, or wave to those going the opposite direction.  If someone appears to have a flat, I call before I arrive, "Have everything you need?" and the answer is almost always, "Yes, thank you!"  If I find someone riding approximately my speed when it's not one of my maximum-effort days, I like to meet them and talk to them.
Whittierrider,
I looks like you appreciate the true meaning of "share the road". I respect that.
I have been riding for 21 year - my dad put me on a 2-wheeler when I was 5. Whenever possible, I try to be accommodating to those less strong or less experienced riders than me - we have all been there once. In-city bike paths are used by all level of riders - leisure, family, fitness, competitive. I think there is plenty of place for everyone.

Offline LexieCali

Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2011, 09:12:04 pm »

I assume you were not wobbling all over the road like a teenager plugged into her iPod. I think you found one of those wannabe racers who think they are better than anyone who rides slower than they do. No doubt he would keep quiet when Andy Schleck and his team blow by him on a training ride.
Fred

Lol. Thanks Fred. Nope, no wobbling, not plugged into my ipod either. There are bullies on the road just as anywhere else, and yes, I think Andy Schleck and his team blowing by would have a certain quieting effect.

One question though - I love your blue stars. How do I get those? ;)

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2011, 10:19:05 pm »
I try to say hi especially those I'm passing who might be less into cycling than I am. I also try to say "nice bike" to little kids no matter how ratty the bike really is. They love it, and I hope it gives them a boost to keep riding.

FredHiltz

  • Guest
Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2011, 10:53:28 pm »
...One question though - I love your blue stars. How do I get those? ;)

Hah! The number of stars is just a measure of the number of posts you make, and I have been here a long time. Unlike the generals of the Army, they do not signify rank <grin>. My stars turned blue when John appointed me a moderator. Being a moderator means you get paid twice as much as others who post!

We also get to spend some time each day removing spam. If you spot some spam and click the Report to Moderator link, an email brings it to our attention sooner than we would otherwise catch it.

Fred

Offline LexieCali

Re: Cycle greeting etiquette mystery?
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2011, 11:10:50 pm »
Hah! The number of stars is just a measure of the number of posts you make, and I have been here a long time. Unlike the generals of the Army, they do not signify rank <grin>. My stars turned blue when John appointed me a moderator. Being a moderator means you get paid twice as much as others who post!
Fred
Oh well, maybe one day I get to a be the moderator. Wait a moment...I get zero to post here, you get double...does it mean you get double zero? ;)
I do try to click on report to moderator whenever I see it - spam is sooooooo annoying. You guys do a good job though - I barely see any spam on this forum.