Monday, 7 June 2010

Cycling Courtesy

The past few times I've been out cycling its struck me that as a general rule other people are less 'friendly' than I am.

For instance, when I'm on a track or path and pass someone going the other way, whether they're on foot or on a bicycle I will always either say "good morning / afternoon" to them or nod at them. I'd say that less than 10% return the greeting, despite clearly having heard or seen me.

If someone moves out of the way for me I will always say "thank you" and yet if I move out of the way for them I rarely get a reply.

Is it something to do with the part of the country I live in? Perhaps its to do with age, although I get the same from equal ages it seems. Do I look like the Grim Reaper? Personally I think I have the face (& attitude) to make most feel at ease, even at a glance.

When I used to ride a motorbike in my youth, and later on when I drove my VW Beetle it was more uncommon for someone not to signal "hello" with a wave or a raised hand when passing another motorcyclist or Beetle owner. Its part of what made the driving/riding of those vehicles a real pleasure. So what is it about bicycles - surely the most eco friendly and open form of transport that seems to alienate passers by?

Don't get me wrong though; there are some cyclists such as those we were briefly passed by yesterday who will call over a few cheery words as they zoom past on their carbon fibre lunicycles. Not for them is there any 'class' barrier between us slow MTB'ers and their sleek racing bikes. To those guys & gals I salute you. We have never really met and yet I know you are people who I would willingly share a pint with.

Unfortunately Ben, who used to follow my lead and say "hello" to other cyclists & hikers has decided he doesn't want to bother any longer as they are 'too grumpy & not worth the effort'. Can't really say as I blame him.


  1. I get teh same feeling as you....I always nod and say high......The rest of the world are a load of grumpy old B*stards :-)

    Either that or they are pissed of that I can still speak when I am flying along :-)

  2. Human Beings, crap design mate.

  3. I don't bother waiving when i'm commuting, but I do when i'm out on a lesuire ride.

  4. ahh I dont do commuting rides as I work too far away to ride, so yeah I was only talking leisure riding. Even so there are so few cyclists really that Id have thought the more grown up ones would have a sense of comraderie (sp?)

  5. Yeap, I say hi, and usually salute every bicyclist I see too. Or at least a head nod if I am really crank'n it.

  6. I always go out of my way to acknowledge other cylists, and I always say morning / afternoon to walkers and stuff - common courtesy.

    Phill has a theory about this - very interesting.

  7. I get the same as you, I make a point of nodding saying Hi to other cyclists or indeed peds if they happen to be in the way, so rare is it I get a reply, but I carry on none the less!

  8. Courtesy in general, I have to say is a thing of the past, whether it be among cyclists or any other "oddballs", out there. I very rarely get a hello from other cyclists, and sadly, get frowned upon and even sneered at by the lycra brethren, who firmly believe they are the chosen ones. Overall, I'm with Ben, why bother.