I learnt in-the-saddle etiquette from my peers at Elgin Cycling Club, back in the late eighties. Whenever we, either as a bunch or in small groups, passed another cyclist we’d give a wave and/or (depending on our oxygen requirements) say hello. We’d even offer these cheery (cheer was weather dependent) greetings when the other cyclist was a complete stranger, and a complete stranger who was also a member of a rival club.
|Waving Cyclist poster from: cafepress.co.uk|
I am still in the hospitable habit. I’ll greet pretty much any ‘proper’ cyclist I encounter — young, old, in lycra or baggies, on carbon or rusty steel. I only switch off my social skills during the weekly commute (it would require far too much waving), otherwise I’m an amiable sort.
The same can’t be said for most of the roadies I encounter around Edinburgh. The friendly types are becoming something of a rare breed. I’d estimate that around half of my greetings go unheeded. From those cold types the best I get in return is a glare or disdainful eye cast over my old and trusty (once re-bonded) Scott.
Perhaps these uncivilised sorts are too busy saving energy for the next Strava segment, or too engrossed in their dreams of Tour success to be polite? Perhaps waving, nodding and saying hello are old-fashioned habits and I’m a fogey stuck in my ways? Perhaps, but I’m going to carry on.
What’s your policy on politeness? Does it breed camaraderie among us two-wheeled types or is it a waste of precious energy? Let me know in the comments below (or just ignore me and ride on by).
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