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The demise of the cyclist's wave

fuzzdogfuzzdog Posts: 194
edited June 2015 in Road general
Okay... Maybe it's just me but this is something that has been bugging me for a while now.
I have always cycled but I guess I became a "serious cyclist" in the eyes of other cyclists when I first bought myself a pair of lycra shorts some 3O years ago. From that day on I unwittingly became one of the gang because other blokes on bikes in similar attire started to wave, nod, or just generally acknowledge me when they passed in the opposite direction or heaven forbid if I was ever overtaken by someone they would probably say good morning or maybe even offer some words encouragement to ease the pain of being passed in the first place. Either way these simple acts of camaraderie would serve to lighten your mood, lift your spirits and generally make you feel that you were part of something great.
I moved to London, got married and had kids about 12 years ago and was not able to find much time for cycling at all. However a few years ago I moved back out to Surrey and took it up again. I've really enjoyed getting back into it and have taken on a few big challenges recently. There are so many more cyclists around now. Inspired I guess by the Olympic and tour de France successes. However. with the growth in numbers there seems to be a certain lack of that camaraderie that was once so prevalent when I first started out. With a few exceptions pretty much nobody ever acknowledges me back when I raise a hand in passing. And I'm not just talking about main roads here. Country lanes and the sleepy back waters of Surrey and Sussex when we are probably the only two people for several miles and yet most riders will not even bother to glance in my direction. Surely it's just common decency to acknowledge someone in that situation weather on a bike or not. Maybe because it's Surrey quite a few of them might be lycra clad, midlife crisis , £6000 Pinarello Dogma riding Bankers who have no respect anyway, but whoever they are it seems just rude and it hacks me off no end and leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I'm not as fast as I used to be and I can't tell you how peed of it makes me when some git overtakes me without so much as a sideways glance.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that our sport has taken off in such a big way. I do think however that this lack of respect for each other is such a shame. I hope the "cyclist's nod" doesn't die out all together in years to come.
If you have been cycling for a while have you noticed this? Or if you are one of the newbie riders. Why the lack of camaraderie? Lets all be part of the gang again.
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  • GrahamsjzGrahamsjz Posts: 50
    I spend my spare time cycling in Surrey Hills and see the opposite. I find almost everyone in the other direction nods and of the people who pass me about 50% say a good morning.
  • fuzzdogfuzzdog Posts: 194
    Yes. That's true, I was there last weekend and did notice that it seemed a bit more friendly there than where I normally ride which is round the Haslemere area. Nearer to Dorking seems almost like a cycling park, especially on Ranmore Common and round Box Hill.
  • bob6397bob6397 Posts: 218
    It is odd - having not experienced this "before.." - I was a little young then to be riding out on my own - I find something similar up here in Yorkshire..

    I find that arounf 70% of mountain bikers will return your wave (or say good morning) if you are on any kind of bike, around 60% of road bikers will return but only if you are on a road bike - if you go in the opposite direction to someone on a road bike when you are on a mtb it's like you're scum... And that's not even how they look at you when you overtake them - up a hill, with them on a racer and me on my big huge mtb..)

    It's odd, it really is.. :)
    Boardman HT Team - Hardtail
    Rose Pro-SL 2000 - Roadie
  • fuzzdogfuzzdog Posts: 194
    I'm aware of the Roadie/ MTBer divide but I will say hi to everyone even old ladies on shopping bikes whether they are are going in the opposite direction or going past me ( not the old ladies hopefully). The lack of responce in my area anyway gets demoralising after a while.
  • bob6397bob6397 Posts: 218
    I know what you mean.. I make a point of waving to everyone - unless going up a really steep hill and I'm out of breath or if waving would probably make me fall off.. :)
    Boardman HT Team - Hardtail
    Rose Pro-SL 2000 - Roadie
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,351
    Two weeks ago I was passed at the bottom of a hill by a mamil on London Dynamo kit... I said hello, he didn't even acknowledge my existence. His problem was that as a climber he wasn't as good as he though, so I passed him and dropped him dead... once at the top of Ranmore common, I went at my relaxed pace and he caught up and passed me again, I said hello again and again he did not even acknowledge me.
    He was clearly a rude imbecile.
  • fuzzdogfuzzdog Posts: 194
    Yes!! That's exactly the sort of thing I mean. Unfortunately whenever it happens to me I have not been able to repass anyone yet. God knows I've tried. I have shouted at a few people who didn't respond to my greetings as they passed. "Oi, what's the matter? Cat got your tongue." At which point I feel like a bit of a knob.
    Then I start to wonder if it's because they don't deem me worthy of a response either because they think my bike is just not expensive enough or perhaps I'm so slow that I can't possibly pass as a proper cyclist.Neither of which is a good reason or even true.
    Yesterday I managed to catch and pass a MAMIL on what I consider "My hill" I could see he had an expensive bike and was kitted out in all the best colour coordinated fancy cycling attire. He was struggling slightly and I could see he was listening to music on his headphones. Being devoid of all sense of hearing while cycling seems foolhardy to me but I still said hi with a BIG wave, he wouldn't have noticed me otherwise. Once again no response.
  • feistyfeisty Posts: 160
    Live in London and cycle at weekends in Kent (Brasted, Toys area). I find nearly everyone smiles, or nods. Waves a little tricky on the potholed roads around here....
  • fuzzdogfuzzdog Posts: 194
    Right. I'm starting to think it's just my area then and thinking it's because it's the stockbroker, merchant banker effect. They get the whim to take up cycling and their first bike is a Dogma. They are all the same on the train in the morning. I don't have to wear a suit to work and they wouldn't give me time of day.
    Oh dear, I'm sounding quite bitter aren't I. :lol:
    A year or so back my employer decided to change the pay date to the end of the month to be in line with everyone else. People were paid twice monthly to help with the transition. However because of my hefty train fair that meant that one of my pay packets was actually minus money. On the day I got a minus money pay packet I sat next to a guy on the train who decided to check his pay slip for the month. I was given an insight into how the other half live. He was earning more in a month than would normally get in a year. He had a deduction for a car that was more than my normal monthly payment. So I suppose if I were him I would go out and buy a Dogma too. Oh well, I think I digress. :) I would still wave though. Perhaps even more heartily.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Round our way most cyclists are very friendly and if you have stopped check you are OK. I do notice the road bike effect if out on my mountain bike and the miserable think they are pro team kit riders but mostly very friendly.
  • IShaggyIShaggy Posts: 301
    When I drive down the road I don't flash my lights or wave to all the oncoming cars. Same thing when cycling in the Surrey hills these days. It's like being caught up in a sportive going in both directions. I gave up acknowledging the oncoming riders as I felt like a nodding dog. I now cycle in the north wessex downs and if I see 10 other riders it's a busy day. I wave and say hello to everyone. Don't miss the Surrey hills in the slightest.
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    Perhaps when we've finished this subject again we can return to a good old helmet debate.
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,443
    Seriously, you shout at people for not waving and can't stand people passing you? Your rides sound like a barrel of laughs. :lol:
  • OkarnillOkarnill Posts: 20
    Most cyclists around the bedfordshire area seem to be very friendly, I got a few words of encouragement whilst struggling along on a BSO and a lycra clad guy on a very nice bike came zooming past and chatted for a short while before the speed of his real bike took him beyond earshot lol. I now marginally less struggle on my secondhand giant mountain bike and nearly everyone I meet says good morning or afternoon or - if in the middle of an uphill bit at least does the 'I'd use actual words but - you know - no breath!' wave.

    If it's any help exactly the same thing has been noted in horse riders, and we pass a lot slower than cyclists. Must be a culture thing but I agree - it is somehow a less bright world .
  • fuzzdogfuzzdog Posts: 194
    I have done Rob. On a couple or occasions. Not in an aggressive way you understand. Just so as to be heard. And maybe the ride would be a barrel of laughs if some people were more friendly. When people are more friendly it makes a difference.
    When you cycle around Ranmore there are so many cyclists that it can get a bit much but imagine the scenario of a long straight road, no cars, no anything apart from you and the other guy, you see each other coming from a mile away. as you near each other you go to wave and the other guy looks blankly at the road ahead......
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,351
    fuzzdog wrote:
    I have done Rob. On a couple or occasions. Not in an aggressive way you understand. Just so as to be heard. And maybe the ride would be a barrel of laughs if some people were more friendly. When people are more friendly it makes a difference.
    When you cycle around Ranmore there are so many cyclists that it can get a bit much but imagine the scenario of a long straight road, no cars, no anything apart from you and the other guy, you see each other coming from a mile away. as you near each other you go to wave and the other guy looks blankly at the road ahead......

    Even in the south east, the majority of people are nice enough... you get the occasional imbecile in full kit who thinks he's too PRO to say hallo, but they are a tiny minority.

    Isolated cases
  • dodgy wrote:
    Perhaps when we've finished this subject again we can return to a good old helmet debate.

    :lol::lol::lol:
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,038
    Get out riding now,,, the wavers are all out on the Sunday cafe run , missing you already.
    Seriously, just lighten up out there.
    I can guarantee if you have a mechanical by the roadside, you will still get offers of help if people pass you by.
  • debelidebeli Posts: 583
    Most road users are lovely, in my experience.

    People who are waved at wave back.

    People (car and bicycle) stop to see if I'm OK when I'm standing on the verge with a wheel off.

    Most motorists are considerate when backed-up behind me on a twisty climb.

    My daughter even had a French-style "Courage!" in Cornwall when she was suffering up a big climb.

    Sometimes I forget to wave (more likely nod) when waved or nodded at. It's not me being mean, it's probably that I have some excellent music in my left ear and I'm quietly imagining that I'm Iggy Pop or David Byrne.

    My apologies to those few at whom I've neglected to wave back. It is Iggy's fault. Most road users are lovely.
  • fuzzdogfuzzdog Posts: 194
    Don't worry. It wont stop me riding, or waving for that matter. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
  • fuzzdog wrote:
    Don't worry. It wont stop me riding, or waving for that matter. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

    Next time there is a Sportive in your area, ride in the opposite direction to them and see how many wave.

    HTH
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Yay it's the waving thread again. Must have been hours since the last one.
  • disgruntledgoatdisgruntledgoat Posts: 8,957
    Here in Belgium waving is quite rare. I still do it, but I think it's about a 25% wave back ratio. Even if you're stood at the side of the road with a puncture nobody will stop and make sure you're ok. Yesterday, I did a self administered time trial and ended the ride chucking my lunch up at the side of the canal path. Not one of the 20 or so cyclists who passed even asked if I was ok.

    However, the pros seem to be the most reliable for waving back around here. De Gendt, Keisse, Farrar, Devenyns will always wave back. Van Avermaert and Vanmarcke never.
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • robbo2011robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    In Switzerland we are a friendly bunch, I would say that I get acknowledgment from over 90% of fellow riders
  • Here in rural North Buckinghamshire I find that most people wave or say hello,etc. On the odd occasion I have had a puncture, I have had other riders ask if I'm ok. I do the same if I see a rider stopped on a country lane, but have not had anyone ask me to help them yet - but I'm not quite sure what I could do for another broken-down rider that they could not do for themselves.

    But a couple of months ago, I was out in the dark on a lane between two villages when my freewheeling hub on my rear wheel went leaving me stranded. Tried to call my wife but she couldn't pick me up for a couple of hours, so I started the couple of miles walk to the nearest village in my cleats pushing my bike. I had my lights still on so cars could see me. Two guys then came past me cycling together and completely ignored me -it would have been nice if they had asked if I was ok even if only for moral support. Did they think I often went out for a walk in the dark wearing cycling shoes and pushing my bike?!
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    I dont think its area specific, everyone seemed very chirpy and chatty on yesterdays ride,I always seem to be going in the opposite direction to which ever route everyones on that day, so after the umpteenth nod and wave your enthusiasm can dwindle but even car drivers seemed happy people and waved friendly greetings too.

    compared to some rides on the same routes, even in winter/cold where everyone seems in a right grump and completely ignores you.

    it is a cliche but the only ones who consistently ignore you tend to be the ones who think they are way too uber cool to be conversing with you & ultimately who cares what they think 8)
  • capt_slogcapt_slog Posts: 3,807
    I say hello to anyone riding in the opposite direction, and in common with a lot of the comments I find that there are a snobby few that won't acknowledge me.

    As for saying hello when overtaking someone, that depends on the relative speeds. If I'm flashing past someone (a rare event I'll be the first to admit) I can be too busy to say hello. I find there's enough to do; making sure the traffic behind isn't going to clean me up, dodging the potholes etc to be shouting friendly greetings.

    If it's a slowish pass, I'll say hello, but I often feel as if the other person might think I'm taking the piss somehow.
    That's not the case of course, unless I break off whistling for a moment to say hello :lol:


    The older I get, the better I was.

  • Smokin JoeSmokin Joe Posts: 2,706
    I stop and perform oral sex on every rider I meet.

    I never go out when there's a sportive in the area.
  • RideOnTimeRideOnTime Posts: 4,712
    OMG
  • Dodger747Dodger747 Posts: 305
    Here in Belgium waving is quite rare. I still do it, but I think it's about a 25% wave back ratio. Even if you're stood at the side of the road with a puncture nobody will stop and make sure you're ok. Yesterday, I did a self administered time trial and ended the ride chucking my lunch up at the side of the canal path. Not one of the 20 or so cyclists who passed even asked if I was ok.

    However, the pros seem to be the most reliable for waving back around here. De Gendt, Keisse, Farrar, Devenyns will always wave back. Van Avermaert and Vanmarcke never.

    Agree with that. When I moved out here I waved but got very little response so I don't bother now. It doesn't bother me in the slightest...
    VO2 Max - 79 ml/kg/min
    W/kg - 4.9
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