Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
CyclingMike75
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Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby CyclingMike75 » 27 Aug 2019, 3:13pm

Road cyclists were, in the the most part, a friendly bunch. You would always get a wave and a hello whenever you passed one out on the road. An acknowledgement between fellow cyclists who understood the thrill of the ride, the pain, a love of coffee and affinity with lycra. Howevever, things are changing. On several rides over the last few weeks I said my usual 'morning' or 'hello' to every road cyclist I passed. The average response? One in six. Just one in six cyclists gave me a hello, a wave, or even a nod. I genuinely questioned whether to stop being so friendly, as we have all traditionally been, rather than look like the overly friendly oddball. But why the change?

Perhaps it was because a few years back we were few and far between? Now, with the ubiquitos nature of cycling perhaps we are such a common sight that our fellow cyclists dont feel the need to grace one another with any kind of acknowledgement at all?

I raised the subject with a local cycling legend and old hand who believed it was the rise of what he calls 'new cyclists'. Supremely fit, all the gear, but zero understanding of how to handle a bike, the traditions and culture of the sport, or of bike etiquette on the road. But I was once a 'new cyclist', 18 years ago though to be fair. I took the trouble and time to learn about the nuances and traditions of our sport, being friendly towards and supportive of the cycling community was one.

Whats changed? Or are most 'new cyclists' just ignorant???
Last edited by CyclingMike75 on 28 Aug 2019, 10:43am, edited 1 time in total.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby Oldjohnw » 27 Aug 2019, 3:32pm

What part of the world are you in? In the Borders where there is a confluence of six or seven national cycle routes we see hundreds of bike tourists from all over the UK and indeed the world. They are most friendly. They tend to share the pain, the thrill of the ride and a love of coffee. But lycra is pretty well absent.

Perhaps that is the problem, he declares with tongue firmly in cheek.
John

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Si
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby Si » 27 Aug 2019, 3:40pm

I've noticed this over the weekend....both rides out into the countryside

Saturday
Attire: tee shirt, baggy walking shorts, spd sandals
Bike: gravel bike...which looks just like a road bike from any distance
Maybe half the roadies I met said 'morning'

Monday
Attire: same as Saturday
Bike: flat barred hybrid with basket on the back
Maybe 10% the roadies I met said 'morning'

Of those who did say 'morning' it seemed that the older they were the more likely to be sociable they were.
There was a time when most would say "morning" to any other cyclist.

Samuel D
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby Samuel D » 27 Aug 2019, 3:45pm

Context matters. I often meet a hundred roadies on a ride. We’d spend all day riding with one hand if we were to wave at each other.

Saying “hello” has to be bellowed at the top of your lungs to be sure an oncoming cyclist will hear it over two to four lanes of traffic, bicycle noise, possible headphones, and, especially, wind noise around helmet straps. For this reason I am convinced many people who don’t get a response were simply not heard in the first place.

The other day I went for a ride in a sustained downpour and met only a handful of cyclists in 80 or 90 km. I did salute a couple of those because it felt appropriate in the horizontal rain.

There are many more road cyclists in the UK (and other places) today than there were a couple of decades ago. Therefore it has become less appropriate to say hello to everyone, just as supermarket shoppers don’t say hello to each other in shared commiseration of the suffering of supermarket shopping and support of the supermarket-shopping community.

Eyebrox
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby Eyebrox » 27 Aug 2019, 4:00pm

Even husbands and wives don't say 'hi' to one another these days. They communicate by mobile phone. Even as they sit next to one another on the settee. Sad ... but social media is killing off the arts of conversation and communication.

tatanab
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby tatanab » 27 Aug 2019, 4:20pm

It is not just road cyclists (why the distinction). I find that OAPs cycling to the allotment don't acknowledge me, neither do school children on their way to school. We are all cyclists according to some thinking, so why do they not wave. MTB riders and recumbenteers are just as bad. AS for tandem riders and tricyclists - -well! Makes me feel like some sort of outsider. Written very much tongue in cheek.

thornie1543
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby thornie1543 » 27 Aug 2019, 4:27pm

I cycle naked,everyone waves.

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yakdiver
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby yakdiver » 27 Aug 2019, 4:28pm

I get a wave from everyone on two/three wheels and I'm on a trike, they know a friendly face when they see one :wink:
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Mick F
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby Mick F » 27 Aug 2019, 4:29pm

Seen lots of cyclists today. 40mile ride ended up in Plymouth and took the train home.

All waved, I said Hi or Good Morning, and they replied similarly.
Roadies, MTBers, lady on a bike with a basket of shopping on the front, children on bikes on the Plymouth Hoe road ............. even pedestrians in the city, let alone people on the train on the way home.

Where the heck do you live that people don't talk to each other? :shock:
Mick F. Cornwall

Brucey
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby Brucey » 27 Aug 2019, 4:34pm

thornie1543 wrote:I cycle naked,everyone waves.


I had to read that twice. I thought it said 'everything waves'.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mike Sales
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby Mike Sales » 27 Aug 2019, 4:35pm

Mick F wrote:Seen lots of cyclists today. 40mile ride ended up in Plymouth and took the train home.

All waved, I said Hi or Good Morning, and they replied similarly.
Roadies, MTBers, lady on a bike with a basket of shopping on the front, children on bikes on the Plymouth Hoe road ............. even pedestrians in the city, let alone people on the train on the way home.

Where the heck do you live that people don't talk to each other? :shock:


Perhaps we should include in these posts reporting cyclists acknowledging each other, or not, an indication of whereabouts the poster is reporting from.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 27 Aug 2019, 4:44pm

My wave rate was either 100% or less than 1% yesterday, depending how you count it. Everyone I waved at etc acknowledged me; but that was only a select three people (one a laden tourist who stood out from the crowd, a group of three who'd borrowed my pump earlier* and one guy whose Raleigh Dynatech with Ti bonded tubes I was admiring outside a cafe) out of the huge numbers I passed.

In less crowded circs I do often wave but not that bothered if I don't get a response.

*Yes, they had no pump between the three of them. They did have gas canisters. They were going for a dip in the river.

mercalia
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby mercalia » 27 Aug 2019, 5:00pm

why should they just because they ride a bike?

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gaz
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby gaz » 27 Aug 2019, 5:01pm

CyclingMike75 wrote:Whats changed?

IDK, the issue has cropped up for discussion many times before. Whatever it is probably changed quite a while ago: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=35987
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Psamathe
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby Psamathe » 27 Aug 2019, 5:15pm

I've always found the "hello" or nod or wave or raise fingers on outside hoods to be variable.

Without having done any counting:
    1. Older folks tend to be better at greeting/hello. Cycle for transport a bit worse
    2. Lightweight bike, no gear leads of lycra tend to be worse but some are very friendly (in NL had one younger lightweight lycra-clad guy cycle along slowly beside me for 5 mins chatting away about where/what/why/when before zooming off, similar on other occasions).
    3. Cycle for transport are definately worse at greeting
    4. Families with kids rarely give any greeting or acknowledgement.
    5. Pretty much the same in near Europe as well

Ian