Did I miss the memo? (grumpy cyclist rant)

by Super Domestique   April 6, 2012  

Today I encountered so many grumpy, miserable or rude cyclists.

Did I miss the memo about it being unfriendly Friday or something!

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I was passed by a cyclist on a smart bike yesterday and then overtook him on a steep hill. He said 'fairplay' and I responded with 'cheers mate!' Its not all frosty out there!

posted by tomascjenkins [36 posts]
7th April 2012 - 17:59

1 Like

Really pleased to hear most here are of the friendly variety.

If any miserable riders read this then they will know who I mean if they spot my username on my top tube.

posted by Super Domestique [1695 posts]
7th April 2012 - 19:36


I apologise if I sound rude,


I'm going to wave at every Tom, Dick and Harry (Jane, Beth and Sally) tomorrow, whatever bike they're on.

Well done guys! Big Grin Big Grin

NB, its actually peer pressure, but it appeals to my better nature, obvs.

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
7th April 2012 - 19:59


come to devon, 95% wave apart from the singlespeed/fixie crowd. they are the ignorant part of cycling society.

posted by russyparkin [578 posts]
7th April 2012 - 20:38


Some drivers are pretty ignorant too.

I don't wave to them. Sad

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
7th April 2012 - 20:42


I always try and wave or say hello. I have commented to freinds before that people clad in a certain expensive brand of gear are v grumpy.

I now understand why I am looked down on when I am on a a straight bar bike. I laugh as I have two drop bars.

If for any reason I don't wave or say hello it's due to the pain I am in - sorry.

posted by IOM Paddy [38 posts]
7th April 2012 - 20:55


On the Essex roads it's mostly a wave and a nod, sometimes even a hello, sometimes a blank look. I make a point of saying hello to horse riders and going slowly, I always get a polite reply.

On a haywards heath sportive last weekend it was a mixed crowd, I needed to stop very early and sort out a loose bottle cage I'd fiddled with trying to sort out a creak. So I was passed by hundreds, then got back on and passed most of them again, especially on the stiff early hill. Most hellos were responded to, I like to think it is part of what makes cycling fun

Cannondale CAAD10, Condor Terra-X and an orange Brompton.
Ride for East London Velo

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posted by zzgavin [208 posts]
7th April 2012 - 21:01

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I think it's a density issue sometimes. Little towns or places where you don't see many other riders, you get a friendly response nearly all of the time. Places like Regents Park in London you'd get a pretty sore throat if you said hi to everyone you met training there.

Touring cyclists are usually brilliant; In 8 months of riding towards Oz I think we stopped for a full blown chat with every other pannier laden person we met.

One of the things we're aiming to do this year is get more touring in.

That's good to hear - let me know if you need a guest reviewer Wink

Philx's picture

posted by Philx [37 posts]
7th April 2012 - 22:01

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@IOM Paddy - don't mean Rapha gear do you? Smile kinda know what you mean, although while out in a Rapha top on Thursday i was overtaken by a fast lad in full Rapha racing kit on a black Condor - we both said hello. I'm inclined to think he was a pro or at least supported by RCS in some way.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3721 posts]
7th April 2012 - 22:01


I notice a difference between the weekend and weekdays. Weekday folk tend to be much more friendly, less so at the weekend. Living near Box Hill it does get a bit busier at the weekend for sure but I still manage to nod.

I guess though some people aren't used to it being new or have experienced the blank so often they don't bother.

Still, glad it's not just me Smile

jaunty angle: bikes and communications

ragtag's picture

posted by ragtag [184 posts]
7th April 2012 - 22:46


Not sure about the urban vs country thing. I live in a small town in the Cotswolds - three minutes or so in any direction and I'm out in open country - and I reckon one in two riders returns a wave. Vast majority I see out here are on road bikes, BTW.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [9492 posts]
7th April 2012 - 23:06

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Being friendly and saying hello isn't hard Wave
Just blooming difficult when you're out on your 'cycle to work' bike..
unfit and trying to breathe Wink

colhum1's picture

posted by colhum1 [98 posts]
7th April 2012 - 23:43


The other day I passed a fellah from another club. Smiled, said hi and as I pulled in he was on my wheel. Levelled up after a mile or so and spent a good chunk of the ride chatting before peeling off to finish our own loops. Made a pleasant day much more enjoyable.

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1184 posts]
8th April 2012 - 20:06


I'm so relieved to read these comments, I thought it was just me. Ive been cycling on and off for 20+ years but I have certainly noticed it more on this come back. Ive put it down to i'm a women, tubby and not quite conquered clipless yet,but obviously i've been too harsh on myself.I wave and smile to all cyclists geared up, roadie and the odd mountain biker on the way to the woods. If i dont get a response (I dont expect one on a busy road or on a steep hill climb) I now just snigger to myself as I almost feel that me being there has p**** them off. As i qouted on facebook recently "to the 5 people who ignored me this morning, don't panic I don't want to be your best mate I'm just acknowledging we're doing the same thing" I also think its a weekend thing as midweek cyclists are a lot friendlier.

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posted by kafylou [21 posts]
8th April 2012 - 20:48

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Interesting comments on weekday v weekend cyclists. Friday was a holiday which means weekenders out rather than the ones I spot in the week. The week day riders have been friendly by comparison. Normally I ride during the week leaving time with the kids at the weekend.

posted by Super Domestique [1695 posts]
8th April 2012 - 22:14

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I must've wish a "good morning" to 60plus people yesterday on the long ride I did here in Singapore, all with a nice "good morning" in response... I do try to limit it to one "hello" to groups of cyclists though otherwise it gets silly!

Interestingly here, as there is so little space to ride, people tend to get on well, but there are the usual idiots as in all places. Even the massive (50 plus riders) groups who take up the road like a critical mass event tend to be friendly, even it the car drivers don't like it too much!

As long as I can sneak past them of course, bugger being stuck on the back of that lot!

There is alot of money spent on bikes here too, but all the gear is not a precursor to an idiot in my experience, just wish I could afford to keep up with that level of disposable income.

Week days there are so few commuters, we have to stick together!

posted by CarbonBreaker [92 posts]
9th April 2012 - 2:38


i love a good hello/wave/nod. its polite and brighens up the day, its always great to spot a fellow cyclist, but i do hate it when they ignore you or give you a weirld look. theres just no need! ive found that in a rural setting, 99% of the cyclists you cross paths with are always friendly. whereas in a urban, bult up setting, ive found a large percentage to be grumpy, as if the hate life as if the wife has forced him out of his car leaving him to cycle the 2 miles to miles to work and now has a deep hatred for mankind.

David Clark- Competing in the 1st ever Global race, covering 18,000miles in over 20 Countries. 18th February 2012.
While trying to break the following world records at the same time;
- Fastest person to cycle the world
-Youngest person to cycle the wor

posted by David cycling t... [66 posts]
9th April 2012 - 15:07


Cycling newbie really, but always smile/nod/say hi depending where I am hill wise Confused

If I was in a city centre cycling to work i'm not sure it would be that easy, but just riding for leisure and enjoyment, so not an issue for me Big Grin

Beginner roadie, purely for pleasure. Loving those Shropshire lanes Smile Riding from London to Brussels via Amsterdam for charity in May. 2013

posted by lob [18 posts]
9th April 2012 - 19:40


Horse riders are extemely polite round my way. Oxfordshire. They appreciate it if you don't sneak up on them and spook the horses.

I would say 50% of fellow cyclists respond to a hello. I think if I am on my road bike, more road bikers say hello back, and if I am on my getting the train commuter hybrid, then more hybridists. Which is a sad reflection on cyclists, in my view.


posted by Edgeley [242 posts]
9th April 2012 - 20:37


If I'm hacking around Oxford I usually don't as I'd never stop saying hello. Exception is when I'm heading to the boathouse at 6:30am; anyone out at that time deserves a wave.

When riding at home (I don't have time for proper bike rides when I'm at uni) I try to wave/nod/greet to most I see.


posted by stewieatb [299 posts]
9th April 2012 - 22:08


stewieatb wrote:
Exception is when I'm heading to the boathouse at 6:30am; anyone out at that time deserves a wave.

Used to live down the road from Godstow, always used to be fun seeing the mini peloton of eight rowers plus cox go past Smile

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [9492 posts]
9th April 2012 - 22:43

1 Like

giff77 wrote:
The other day I passed a fellah from another club. Smiled, said hi and as I pulled in he was on my wheel. Levelled up after a mile or so and spent a good chunk of the ride chatting before peeling off to finish our own loops. Made a pleasant day much more enjoyable.

That made my decision to join my club. I was finishing a Sunday morning ride and overtook a lad in club kit on his own. He followed my wheel, and after a bit we got chatting. I joined the same club.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3721 posts]
9th April 2012 - 23:16


When I am head down on my long commute I do try to smile, but you have to remember that for some of us it's hard work and that grimace is actually a smile, but just doesn't look like it as I struggle with the headwind.

posted by roly [43 posts]
10th April 2012 - 10:27

1 Like

Strathlubnaig wrote:
True dat. I find that groups of cyclists are the most ignorant. I make a point of a wave/nod/greeting to all I see, but often times a small group will go past without a reply. Probably my SPD shoes make me unworthy of interest.


I am doomed! Not only do I use spd shoes but I am currently riding a t bar (although a rather snazzy one I have upgraded far too much).

I noticed when out on a ride with my friend with his show off drop bars Smile more people waved to him than me (I am blaming it on my bike and not my looks!

But this shall all change in the next two weeks - I will be finishing off a £4k self build bike with drop handlebar thingymabobs - I am expecting many a wave as I wobble up the hills. Even if I am keeping with the spd's.

posted by jonomc4 [26 posts]
10th April 2012 - 12:22


I mostly greet/ wave at cyclists or runners when running or cycling...it seems to me I normally get a better response from runners; however, if I am pedaling up a hill I need to keep both hands (the white knuckle kind)holding on for dear life and can't normally talk or smile!!!

Comrade's picture

posted by Comrade [194 posts]
10th April 2012 - 12:49


With this thread in mind, I kept score while I was out on Thursday. Only 2 other riders didn't wave/nod, and one of them insisting tailing me for th next 5-10 miles, alternating between drafting off me and yo-yo-ing off my wheel then catching up again. I do hope he found it tough!

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3721 posts]
14th April 2012 - 22:28

1 Like

Was out on Exmoor yesterday; I think there must have been a go to Exmoor and be nice to everyone memo. Not only did I see more cyclists than walkers even the walkers exchanged pleasantaries. The bird watchcers smiled. Was advised of a group of walkers further down the descent, very thoughtful. A great ride, great weather. Not everyone saw the memo though...the dog walkers in the car next to us ignored us at the car park, ignored us again on the moor when they saw us and ignored us again when they arrived back at the car park at the same time as us... The dogs were friendly though

posted by SideBurn [913 posts]
16th April 2012 - 11:17

1 Like

I've found that as a rule, people are generally quite friendly, although I seem to be the one that greets 1st. However, when I'm off to go camping or climbing, I've found that the same lot of cyclists find me invisible on my fat tyred flat bar with panniers. Seems a little stupid really.

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posted by mr-andrew [303 posts]
16th April 2012 - 14:48


Only saw 1 rider today on my lunchtime spin (other than my dad who joined me and is learning clipless and fell off at first junction!) today.

He had a club jersey on and acknowledged both of us individually as he passed.

Got me thinking, that little gesture of acknowledgment was a good advert for his club or team. Now how bad it reflects on teams or clubs when riders are aloof.

posted by Super Domestique [1695 posts]
16th April 2012 - 15:14

1 Like

There's an awful lot of arbitrary lumping of people into groups in this thread.

Fixie riders! Ignorant!
Horses! Toffs!
Expensive bikes! Arrogant!

Maybe we should all just accept that some people are friendly and some are not. Or even that some people are so out of puff that changing their grimace into a smile would cause them to wobble off the road? Who knows.

Carry on waving, I'll wave back. Lots of others will do too, lots won't. C'est la vie.

posted by bashthebox [764 posts]
16th April 2012 - 19:27