I commute to work two or three times a week and like to get out over the weekend for a ride and have noticed something interesting when it comes to greetings between cyclists.
I ride a flat-bar road bike (commuter) and notice that everyone on a similar style bike and also mountain bike riders always say hello and sometimes have a chat (especially whilst struggling up the veloway). I've also noticed that only some people on road bikes say hello, or even nod the head. Quite a lot, even after receiving a greeting don't even seem to want to acknowledge you're there.
Is there a snobbery to bike riders? It feels like there's some sort of hierarchy in place here with the road biker at the top and the rest below. Or am I just feeling paranoid or jealous of the lovely road bikes?
Anyway, the more I get ignored by road bikers refusing to simple say G'Day and the more friendly I find MTB and flat-bar riders to be, it only makes be less likely to enter the road bike 'world'.
I've never understood the whole cycling group hug/say hi/wave thing. Do we all wave at other car drivers when we are driving, or say hello to every pedestrian we pass?
Exactly. I at first felt a little snubbed at times. Then realised there are times when someone may be distracted - by road glass, or a funny sound from the BB, or the chat they are having with the guy they are riding with.
So I nod, or flick a wave. If they don't nod back, see above. Or if they are that snobby, then they are the ones missing out.
Saturday morning along the coast or going up Nortons or whatever - sometimes there are so many cyclists you'd go dizzy trying to nod at 'em all. I think that's my discrimination.
I've nodded at MTB-ers and flat bar-ers on the road, got an odd look in return (that 'does that guy think he knows me?' sort of look). Eh…
I had a loan bike from bmcr (flat bar roadie) and noticed 3 things.
1) - It was heaps quicker than my tandem/cargo bike.
2) - It was nowhere near as comfortable.
3) - A lot more roadies indicated a 'G'Day'.
So in my limited experience, yes there is considerable snobbery on the bike paths! Stuff-em I say, there are also lots of really nice people too!
So after reading the responses to your post, do you think there is etiquette?
I have often pondered this question too but was afraid to say it.
I was a flat bar road cyclist for the best part of a year before I got my proper road bike. When I was on my flat bar, roadies rarely acknowledged my existence on the road. It didn't bother me, but I made it a point to either nod or say hi regardless of what they rode. More often I would get smiles and a hello back from other flat bar riders, which was nice to see, roadies ignored me or just nodded and rode on.
Now that I ride a proper road bike, there is one thing I have noticed, nothing has changed. My style of acknowledgement has not changed, I still make it a point to say hi or a nod regardless, because that is who I am, and I like to be friendly even if others are not. I may get the attention of passing riders but they look at me like I am high on drugs a ride on.
Do I want credit for what I do? No, I actually don't care, because I am happy to be out on the road riding and enjoying myself and am not letting others etiquette (or lack there of) sway the way I feel when I ride. It's nice for some to return the niceties you give, but it shouldn't be the difference between enjoying your ride or not. At the end of the day, they are the ones with the problem, not you. Just feel free and enjoy what you do.
In saying all this, we should be encouraging more people to getting in cycling for health and economy reasons than establishing some form of snobbery based on what you can afford to ride. The 'head up the backside' attitude some display is nonsense.
I wondered if you noticed we still didnt wave to you....
haha. I love waving to myself.
Lots of people don't acknowledge you as you go past. Its not just riders, lots of people off bikes as well.
I always make a point to say Gday as often as I can on a shared path, to be firendly and share the love.
Im lucky to get a hello or grunt back half the time.
On the road I'll usually try a nod or a lift of a finger regardless what bike is coming the other way. Not really fazed if I get one back.
I'm a bit of a cycling slut... I nod, wave or say hello to anyone coming the opposite direction and haven't noticed any difference in responses according to the bikes they are on.
Hahaha ,, I'm a cycling slut too ,, I've never met a bike that I didn't want to ride ....
Soem really interesting points and observations so far. And I thank you all for that. Seems that there's some form of etiquette but just a bit and it can be very easily dismissed as a gross generalisation. So, I'll keep riding, and keep saying hello and not concern myself with anyone who doesn't want to reciprocate.
I failed to mention earlier but does anyone else see a different level of responsiveness based on whether you are wearing casual clothes or jersey and knicks?