Today I went for a fun ride of 25km in the  Spring heat.  The feathery greenness that currently permeates the Essex landscape, the blossom & the light wind made for a very pleasant ride indeed.

A while back someone on Twitter was having a moan about other (mainly) cyclists  not returning the greeting that he offers as their paths cross.  He keeps a score (e.g. if he says “Hi” & the other cyclist doesn’t then it’s “1-0” to him).  This interested me-anecdotally I felt that most people do return my “Hi”  & most acknowledge my “Thank-you” when they make space for me to pass along the Flitch Way.  Today was a public holiday in the UK so  I decided to keep a similar score.  I thought that I may come across a number of cyclists out on the back roads, like me enjoying the mid morning sunshine.

Almost as soon as I got started a couple of road cyclists whizzed down the Dunmow road in the opposite direction.  I tipped them a nod and smile and said “Hi” but they either didn’t hear on the busy road or were too important to notice me heaving myself up the rise. Within 15 minutes, I was 4-0 up & wondering what the hell was up with these people? The sun was out & it too was warm to be serious about things!

My wife offers the excuse that they may be so in the “zone” that they don’t notice but I think that’s a poor excuse-all the cyclists who are good enough for that are in Italy right now or on an alternative racing circuit.  Anyway, as I passed a variety of traffic, I decided to include walkers/hikers, horse traffic as well as others on 2 wheels.

The end score was 12-7 meaning that from 12 encounters, only 7 people offered a reply or said “Hi” before me.  This included a person on a horse who let me past on the road and a couple of walkers.  As a cyclist, I consider myself friendly & accommodating (except for taxis-they’re trash because they think that the road belongs to them) & am disappointed that this snap poll shows people who cycle as the exact opposite.  I will continue to perform this poll in future and report back-it may be because those out today were “in the zone” or don’t know of this etiquette that exists in my world.  I’m pretty sure that etiquette DOES exist because I must’ve learnt this behaviour from somewhere…

So I wonder how it is in other countries or other parts of the UK.  What is the etiquette when on the road/track passing other cycling traffic?  Do you nod, wave, say “Hi” or do something else that acknowledges a likeminded individual?

About biking2work

Sometimes bad tempered Dad to 2 sons who break things. Use the 2 wheels to get from A to B when I can
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1 Response to Hi/Thank-you

  1. bgddyjim says:

    Michigan, USA – now I live out in the country but everyone says high and returns them here… Easily 15-14 if not a straight 15 for 15. In fact, I had one of our ringers pull up along side me in his truck and wave. I’ve even had kids who I didn’t say high to because I figured they were too wrapped up in themselves say hi… It is truly cool where I live… Maybe one or two jerk motorists a year. The vast majority are fantastic even waving me through intersections when they have the right-of-way.

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