Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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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, 7:06pm

Mike Sales wrote:Where I live people greet each other in the street. I see this as normal human sociability, not anything demanding.
Spot on.
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby Spinners » 27 Aug 2019, 7:07pm

thornie1543 wrote:I cycle naked,everyone waves.

You owe me a new keyboard!
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby Spinners » 27 Aug 2019, 7:23pm

It's not just road cyclists :?

Whilst I would appear to a 'roadie' (well, on most days I ride my road bike) I am actually a cyclist. I greet every cyclist I meet and probably get a response about 70% of the time. Some roadies look right through you (normally the ones on their own) as do the MTB'ers and triathletes. One of my regular routes is on the bikepath to Swansea University and some of the middle-aged cyclists going back and forth on that route (I can only assume they are lecturers) only very rarely acknowledge you :?

Some of the nicest responses are from ladies(normally just two) cycling together on their step-through hybrids simply happy to be out in the fresh air and getting fit.
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby pete75 » 27 Aug 2019, 7:47pm

Most of them are born again or new born cyclists who've decided the type of bike used by a road racing cyclist is the right sort for them. They lack the racers levels of fitness and leg strength. They still have to turn the same big gears and it knackers them so much they don't have enough breath left to say hello.

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

Postby Polkey » 27 Aug 2019, 8:08pm

I've noted where I live (North East Scotland) I get blanked far more often than I ever have, mostly by the trendy Rapha wearing types, and those wearing Deeside Thistle colours for some reason.

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

Postby al_yrpal » 27 Aug 2019, 8:30pm

Rode 20 miles this afternoon. Didnt see any other cyclists, so no waving :?

nb Its the hills...


Around here you only see Roadies on the sparse flat bits. I am electric...

IMO, its narcisisist fitness freaks that dont wave.
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby soapbox » 27 Aug 2019, 8:33pm

CyclingMike75 wrote: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.


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

Postby gbnz » 27 Aug 2019, 8:38pm

Oldjohnw wrote:

You must see the same people as me. I am 5 miles west of Berwick.[/quote]

To be honest rarely get up to Berwick by bike. Would like to, the Tweed valley looking superb, but dominant South Westerly winds invariably lead to me heading South when out for a full day. As do the "lumpy" 30 miles of road I'd have to navigate at the end of a full day on the bike.

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

Postby Psamathe » 27 Aug 2019, 8:51pm

We used to get quite a lot of Team Sky cyclists training round here (easy to recognise from their tops) and they'd never acknowledge you. No hello, no wave, nothing. Unsociable. Don't see them these days.


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

Postby Tangled Metal » 27 Aug 2019, 8:56pm

Because they're balls out going deep trying to beat their best strava segment while wearing the latest roadie lycra and having spent a lot more than what they need only to be overtaken by a chav on a full suspension bike with the brand name stynger or similar who's probably between bags and is on his way to score a bit more!

Sorry for being obnoxious above.

Seriously did people really say hello in the past? I've been riding bikes man and boy for 40 years or so. I do not remember all those cyclists saying hello on rides. I remember the days when cycling had a bit of a fillip in the days of the milk race (it's height). Used to live near Southport a regular venue for part of that race. Used to see roadies come out a lot then and still never got hellos.

Serious question. Do people remember things accurately or through rose tinted glasses from the days they feel were the best?

PS the first statement read written before the sky team comment. Aimed at normal roadies but the elite cycling gods of one of the best cycling teams out there.

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

Postby Syd » 27 Aug 2019, 9:03pm

I maybe chat, briefly, with other cyclists if we are stopped at the same set of lights. At the time of day I commute it’s seldom more than one or two others. As for whilst riding along its rare that a ‘hello’ or any other acknowledgement is passed; I’m happy about that. I am notoriously antisocial.

I only ever chat with others i know from work, such as an anaesthetist who has an office on the same corridor, or when I happen to be out on a ride with Ed Clancy who likes to come alongside for a chat whilst climbing a hill in Wales

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

Postby Paulatic » 27 Aug 2019, 10:19pm

Most E2E nders I come across are pleased to see a cheery smile or wave and if I’m going in the same direction a bit of conversation. There are some I come across who don’t acknowledge and I can live with that and yes usually the type of bike and clothing can give an advanced warning of that. I usually make some comment about them but I doubt they hear.
What I do find hard to live with and I had one yesterday is on an empty road on approaching he purposefully looked away to avoid any eye contact. shifty b****r eh?
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Re: Why don't road cyclists say hello anymore?

Postby LollyKat » 27 Aug 2019, 10:27pm

Chats at lights, yes, and quite a lot will nod or wave. Last week I was riding home from a gig, 1980s tourer, ordinary clothes, panniers, and violin on my shoulder, when a young roadie out training overtook me with a cheerful 'Hi!' I was rather touched, and of course I returned his greeting. :)

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

Postby Jamesh » 27 Aug 2019, 10:33pm

Also what is the accepted wave?

Round here (Yorkshire) it's the nod and a flick of the wrist on the hoods!

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

Postby PH » 27 Aug 2019, 11:12pm

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

Everyone waves
Reporting from the 1950s
This story is as old as me, there’s always been reports on how a bygone age was friendlier, I’ve never known it. People acknowledge those they consider themselves to have something in common with, which will vary between individuals. It’s mostly on a subconscious level, so nothing to get upset about.

I was not expressing any views, still less upset.
I think it might be interesting to try to gather data on regional differences, and perhaps, whilst we are at it, on the sort of road where riders wave, and the sort of rider who waves. It might move the discussion on a bit.

I was gently suggesting the question in the OP is no more than a hypothesis and before we can address the why, we'd need to establish the if. As for any idea that you could gain any usable data from the anecdotes of a handful of cyclist from a very narrow section of the cycling population on a forum... it wouldn't stand up to any sort of scrutiny. Even if you had the time and resource to gather large amounts of information, how would you analyse it? If I waved at every cyclist the percentage that returned the greeting would be higher in Derby than in Amsterdam, what would you conclude from that?
As I said this story comes up again and again and has done so for decades, so before asking why they don't, I'd like to know when they did.
Here's a previous discussion on this forum, from ten years ago, so obviously at some point before then.
I could show you minutes from the local DA's AGM's where people are complaining about the lack of etiquette from new riders, that was in the 1920's, really nothing changes.
These threads usually just offer an opportunity for people to trot out their own prejudices*, it isn't even a specifically cycling theme, I read a very funny piece about which VW campers acknowledged others it wasn't any different.

* I have my own of course :wink: