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Just seen this come up on another thread and I'm curious - who thinks it's acceptable to spit (or snot rocket) whilst out in public cycling?

I'll lay down my cards first.

Nothing wrong with it, providing you aren't being stupid. Personally, I find that sometimes, when out on a cycle I'm left with little choice - either spit and clear my throat/mouth of gunk - or swallow it and probably choke to death.

Obviously, I would avoid doing this on the high street of a quaint country village, but I see nothing wrong with departing with it into an unassuming hedge, away from built up areas.

I would also argue that what comes out the back of cars is far, far more disgusting and polluting than what comes out during a snot rocket (though neither is particularly pleasant!).

Thoughts?

 

- Please don't take this too seriously, it's meant to be a bit of fun  10

30 comments

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sergius [438 posts] 1 month ago
9 likes

Only really required when I've got a cold, and I don't see any distinction spitting out a load of gunk into a hedge and having a quick slash in the bushes.  Both of which I'll do when no-ones about.

 

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StraelGuy [956 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

I'll spit if there's no one around and I need to clear my throat, hard exercise causes expectoration and it needs to be gotten rid of. I wouldn't do if there were any 'civilians' around though, I'd wait until I was on my own.

 

Snot rocketing is f*cking discusting though. I was on a sportive a couple of weeks ago and a bloke did it right in the middle of a group which included me. Utterly revolting, stop and blow your nose if you need to, don't cover other people in it.

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Mungecrundle [803 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

I do suffer horribly from allergic rhinitis and am a veritable mucus factory. But there is a time and place to void one's sinus or buccal cavities. Personally I do make an effort not to expectorate when it may offend others. Even whilst spitting when no-one is around, it can be an entertaining challenge to try and get it down a drain grate as you pass.

However on last weekend's rideout after a sneaky concealed snot rocket, one of the following riders did comment that they thought it might be coming on to rain, bless.

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ClubSmed [343 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
guyrwood wrote:

I'll spit if there's no one around and I need to clear my throat, hard exercise causes expectoration and it needs to be gotten rid of. I wouldn't do if there were any 'civilians' around though, I'd wait until I was on my own.

 

Snot rocketing is f*cking discusting though. I was on a sportive a couple of weeks ago and a bloke did it right in the middle of a group which included me. Utterly revolting, stop and blow your nose if you need to, don't cover other people in it.

sergius wrote:

Only really required when I've got a cold, and I don't see any distinction spitting out a load of gunk into a hedge and having a quick slash in the bushes.  Both of which I'll do when no-ones about.

 

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To my mind there is the difference between being outside and being in public. If you are out cycling and there are people around then you are in public, otherwise you are just outside.

So taking this definition it looks like both posters so far agree that it shouldn't be done in public.

Whenever I have nearly been hit by such a projectile from the cyclist in front that I am approaching, I have never seen them look around to see if there is anyone around. So therefor I conclude that they do not care about doing such things in public.

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don simon [1160 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

No problem at all. This is why I urge a wheel suckers to announce their presence.

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Yorkshire wallet [1252 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Ride on my own most days so I don't give a hoot about it. Probably would try and refrain if I was going through a town centre or something but once on the open roads anything goes.

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Duncann [1046 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

on the open roads anything goes.

I'm sure there was a story here the other week about Wiltshire police looking for a cyclist fitting that description... 

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Sevenfold [66 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Yes, generally when I have half swallowed a fly...

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Ush [932 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

You have to make sure that you do a proper gorge-cleaning, gargling and choking sound first in order to follow etiquette strictly. Personally (as I say to people in many other situations) I would prefer that you swallow  1

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700c [1130 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
guyrwood wrote:

I'll spit if there's no one around and I need to clear my throat, hard exercise causes expectoration and it needs to be gotten rid of. I wouldn't do if there were any 'civilians' around though, I'd wait until I was on my own.

 

Snot rocketing is f*cking discusting though. I was on a sportive a couple of weeks ago and a bloke did it right in the middle of a group which included me. Utterly revolting, stop and blow your nose if you need to, don't cover other people in it.

As you say, exercise often brings it on so there's no difference whether it comes out of your mouth or nose, surely. It's the same stuff.

Always check you're not doing it into path of another rider or vehicle etc.

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kil0ran [400 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Just swallow it, its not poisonous and means you recycle some fluid/protein. Do it enough and you'll get by with one less gel per ride  3

 

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BehindTheBikesheds [503 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

One just needs to know which side is on, if the right nostril needs clearing out then ensure to be in primary/outside if two/three abreast, if it's the left nostril then on the inside.

Etiquette dicatates a left nostril vacuation is done thusly;

Visual check for busybodies whom will frown upon your vacuation, if a neighbour/A.N.other you don't get on with is in the vicinty proceed as normal. check for other cyclists, if unwanted wheel sucker in vicinity, proceed as normal.

final wind direction check, no point going through if wind direction will likely mean a face full of flob and will ID you as a newbie to the world of flobbing on the go to others.

Turn head left and down, raise elbow forming an arch with your arm to give plenty of room and reducing chances of flob/goz from landing on you, press robustly against the right nostril (certainly don't want any blowback from right nostril!!), inhale and blow for all you're worth.

Note size and direction of excretion for future analysis on stravawanker, ensure to check for any stragglers around nostril to be wiped by glove (you are wearing gloves right?), casually take sip from bottle.

However, bonus points are awarded for braking, gear shifting, making acute turns/avoding potholes whilst in the act of vacuation, double bonus points if you break with etiquette and manage a full on flob onto the side window of any lowlife moton that you caught up with that razzed you not 30 seconds previous.  Triple bonus points if you get it through an open window, actually get it through a narrowed gap and hit said moton you get a free tommy tank off one of the fat slags from viz comic and a packet of haribo.

 

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drosco [313 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Never have, never will. Just gross.

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madcarew [373 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Kind of belongs in the "you know you're a cyclist when..." thread.

And yep. Any time. 

Did snot rocket one time and got the wing of a BMW that was passing. The driver wasn't happy and stopped and 'asked' if I did it on purpose. I asked him if he meant to pass me less than an arms length away on purpose. 

Pro tip... do it under your arm and it will land just outside of your pedal. Can be safely done just about any where then.

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Al__S [1227 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

into a hedge from the back of the group? Really can't see what the problem is. If you've got phlegm, it's usually better out than in

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LastBoyScout [236 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

I don't have a problem with it when it's necessary and done as discretely as possible into the gutter - bonus satisfaction for hitting the drain plate - or hedge.

I'd try to avoid it when there's any spectators and hold on for somewhere quieter.

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wellsprop [244 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Seems opinion is very polarised but mostly in support of spitting!

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OldRidgeback [2776 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I get hayfever pretty badly from May-June in particular. I don't set out to spit in public but sometimes I do because I'm coughing up a lot of phlegm. Keep it discrete and as a previous post said, aim at a drain if you can.

Many moons ago I was riding behind a mate when he did a nostril evacuation. It wasn't very pleasant. But there are worse things.

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esnifador [40 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

I've absolutely never felt it necessary in any form of exercise I've ever done, and really don't understand why so many people feel the need to. I appreciate it may be different if you have hayfever or another condition, but otherwise, just swallow it!

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dottigirl [686 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

From the original thread:

dottigirl wrote:
ClubSmed wrote:

When did it become acceptable to spit in public?

When you've inhaled a fly? When you're rinsing your mouth with your drink? When you've just got an awful taste you want to get rid of?

There are perfectly valid reasons to spit in public, although it may not be the done thing 'polite company'. Certainly, I wouldn't do it when I wasn't exercising. 

I often spit the first mouthful of water out if I've not drunk from my bottle for a while - think of all the shit that would gather on there, especially if it's a particularly wet or dry day. 

A guy I've cycled with back in Wales ended up in hospital after swallowing some cow muck, so 'I never spit!' is total crap. Sometimes, you don't want to swallow shit.

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Lincolndave [34 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Yes I do, I think most cyclists do, I also wipe my nose on my gloves especially in winter 

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Simontuck [163 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

There is a difference between spitting and snotting.

Spitting is only really neccessary if you need to clear your airway from a blockage, for example a fly or some phlegm, maybe a little bit of sick that just came up because either you overdid it on that last climb or you just got snotted on! It definitely doesn't need to be done repeatedly.

Snotting, I don't see why. Wipe your nose on your glove, or carry a tissue tucked in a pocket if you have a problem with a cold or hayfever. Certainly upsets me if I'm at or near the back to pick up stragglers and the same bloke keeps snotting every couple of minutes for 100km! I've not seen a woman do it, maybe I just know a better class of female cyclist?

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HLaB [88 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Ive done it (spitting) but I'm not one to do it often mainly from fear of having it blow back in my face

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Simon E [3046 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Spitting and snot rockets (and even dribble and snot down your chin) are a fact of cycling life if you ride hard enough. Though I'd avoid doing either near other people. There was a time when it was very fashionable...

The quantity of mucus you produce can sometimes be reduced by avoiding dairy products, particularly milk and cheese.

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700c [1130 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Simontuck wrote:

There is a difference between spitting and snotting.

Spitting is only really neccessary if you need to clear your airway from a blockage

No difference if you have exercise-induced rhinitis. You obviously don't suffer from this. Is just very watery mucus in the air passages (nose, throat whatever) and needs to be cleared. Respectfully of others of course.

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peted76 [657 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

If it's got to come out, it comes out, generally out of my nose.. I do try and wait until I'm on the back of the group.. however I think I'm sort of getting used to being snot/spittle'd on.. I think at least once per ride is about normal, obviously I ride with animals, but frankly when I'm on the limit,  I couldn't care less. 

Social rides are far more considered, lots of waiting about to get into position before expelling said mucus.

I do have a pet hate for anyone on a bike seen spitting or snotting round town though, that's just uncouth.

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ClubSmed [343 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Do the people who consider it ok to spit and snot whilst out on a bike also do the same whilst on the indoor trainer or at the gym? If not why not?

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Grahamd [545 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
ClubSmed wrote:

Do the people who consider it ok to spit and snot whilst out on a bike also do the same whilst on the indoor trainer or at the gym? If not why not?

I thought that was what spittoons were for.

 

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matthewn5 [1036 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Lincolndave wrote:

Yes I do, I think most cyclists do, I also wipe my nose on my gloves especially in winter 

Sleeve is better, you can wash armwarmers/jersey better than gloves (at least, those with real leather)

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don simon [1160 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
ClubSmed wrote:

Do the people who consider it ok to spit and snot whilst out on a bike also do the same whilst on the indoor trainer or at the gym? If not why not?

I don't carry a tea towel while out on the road.