Road etiquette

by Cycle_Jim   May 5, 2013  

I passed a local group of cyclists today and as I was passing them I was wondering what is the 'social rules' as far as passing/saying hi and any other etiquette/rules etc are concerned.

I passed a few on a climb said hi to a couple but didn't want to be that dickhead who says "Hi how are you" completely not out of breath Devil whilst your slugging it out and dying a death. (It's happened to all of us admit it) All that you think is "what a knob" Angry .

When we got to the descent I sat on the wheel of a person as I didn't deem it safe to pass, when we got to the bottom of the road straightened out I picked up the pace, as I was alongside said hi how are you and other pleasantries, complemented a couple of them on the bikes (a nice cannondale in team colours and a steel framed model that was very nice) and then got up to my usual speed, leaving them behind.

So...are there any other rules? Thinking What do you do when you pass an older gentleman on his sunday social ride who is dying on a hill? Is it 'rude' to put the hammer down?

The local group are more of a beer club that likes cycling than a cycling club that likes the odd beer (nothing wrong with that obviously)

20 user comments

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Seems good enough, If you wanted to be a knob, power up the climb to the top, then stand there shouting....come on, nearly there Devil

But yeah, just a hi, nice bike, you been out far. Something like that

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9024 posts]
5th May 2013 - 14:30

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"Nice bike" would make me feel like they're mocking me, especially if my bike is better than theirs.

"Passing left/right." Only words I speak out loud, and I don't even do that often with the bell on my bars doing most of the talking.

[custom] '12 Cannondale CAAD10 - Rival

badkneestom's picture

posted by badkneestom [129 posts]
5th May 2013 - 15:14

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Ha yeah "nice bike, what does that weigh 9kg? pfff" well I genuinely meant it as I was going to buy a cannondale and am partial to a bit o' steel but I can see where your coming from.
I think passing might be something I'll need to use to avoid any accidents *touches wood*
HAHA next time I'll wait at the top Devil

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
5th May 2013 - 15:28

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It happened to me this morning but on the flat. I had just climbed a very steep Cotswold hill (other rider hadn't) and was resting. He didn't say a word as he flew past. I just wanted to catch him up and explain the reason for my lack of speed. He got about 50 yards ahead and maintained a similar speed to me until he peeled of at the next set of lights.

I often find I slow down if I'm catching another cyclist or group. I don't want to be seen as showing off. I don't think I have that killer instinct.

posted by harragan [31 posts]
5th May 2013 - 16:23

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Hello and on you go. Simple. My pace is my pace, I'm not going to apologise for it whether I'm overtaking or being overtaken!

Last week I overtook one old boy who was pootling about and then decided to pick his pace up considerably to do some wheelsucking for a good few miles. Fair play to him.

The Human Cyclist A blog. Try it, you might like it...

sm's picture

posted by sm [355 posts]
5th May 2013 - 16:48

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If I am catching a group of riders, I go out of my way to power through, up into the 52/9 and power up. Then I get some funny looks as my trike goes flying past, only for them to catch my up when I'm spinning 30/34 on a little uphill Devil

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9024 posts]
5th May 2013 - 17:39

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Normally I just give them a shove them off the road.

Seems to work.

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
5th May 2013 - 18:10

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Maybe I should get point elbows and drive them off the road shouting "HARDEN THE FUCK UP"...

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
5th May 2013 - 20:31

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Lol this thread made me smile, im not in a club so have not learnt the 'rules' as such yet ,been on the roads on my MTB for just under a year now and generally everyone on the road is polite as they fly by me and im polite back whilst thinking 'you wait till i get my road bike laddo!' But as long as im overtaken safely its all good fair play to ya.
Yesterdays 35 miles was an example single cyclist pulled along side up a hill said hello ,he realised my grunt was an attempt to say hello back to which he said' i wouldnt wanna be lugging that weight up here! (presume he meant the bike!)before saying have a good day and motoring off.
I then overtook 3 younger lads on racing bikes on my last mile said hello (they looked slightly embarrassed Smile )We had a quick chat before one of them said he needed the loo so they were stopping so again a pleasant encounter. I've yet to meet any knobs yet and like the kindred spirit out there.

posted by skitza [16 posts]
6th May 2013 - 6:35

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I started off road cycling on a mountain bike, always got a little kick out of passing people on roadies!
I once had a mechanical and a lovely chap stopped and gave me a hand, it was very early on in my cycling life and I thought what great comradeship!

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
6th May 2013 - 13:45

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Rules? They're in the Highway Code.

Otherwise just be polite, treat others as you'd wish to be treated yourself. It's no more complicated than that (except for morons that worship Velominati's silly 'Rules').

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2047 posts]
7th May 2013 - 10:57

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It's simple jst be polite

posted by issacforce [206 posts]
8th May 2013 - 21:09

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Simon E wrote:
Rules? They're in the Highway Code.

Otherwise just be polite, treat others as you'd wish to be treated yourself. It's no more complicated than that (except for morons that worship Velominati's silly 'Rules').

Really, you don't think cycling has any rules ? It must be a unique human endeavour then, because I'm struglling to think of anything that involves groups of people which doesn't have some sort of rules or expectations, whether codified or not.

What about not jamming on your brakes when riding in a bunch.. calling out Passing... indicating turns and obstacles... not sitting in for 20kms and then sprinting ahead... are they in the Highway Code ? Do unto others is a little bit non-specific IMHO.

When people ask me why road cyclists shave their legs my response is always that it shows you are part of a culture.

This is why we have such rules - not just to dictate behaviour but to indicate compliance and membership.

There is a large element of trust in riding with other people. If you turn up to a ride and you and your bike would pass Velominati inspection, it's just shorthand for saying "I know how this all works, you can probably trust me."

That's not to say that people who don't choose to follow the rules are incapable of being good and trustworthy riders, but they don't have the prima facie evidence to support them, and you have to work it out along the way.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [566 posts]
9th May 2013 - 7:35

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abudhabiChris wrote:
Really, you don't think cycling has any rules ? It must be a unique human endeavour then, because I'm struglling to think of anything that involves groups of people which doesn't have some sort of rules or expectations, whether codified or not.

The so-called 'rules' you mean, made up by some young men with time to kill, have no bearing on how you should behave while riding on the road. It's a silly game that you can choose to play. The rules you need to obey while cycling on the road are in the Highway Code.

Quote:
Do unto others is a little bit non-specific IMHO.

With good reason - it applies everywhere. There is no time or place where it is inappropriate.

Quote:
When people ask me why road cyclists shave their legs my response is always that it shows you are part of a culture.

Some roadies shave their legs because they race (they copy pro racers, they don't really know why it's done). Others like to imitate racers because they think it's cool. There is no reason for most cyclists to shave their legs. If you shave because you like smooth legs that's fine; if you do it to 'comply' with some made-up rule and join a clique then it suggests you are gullible and easily led. I fucking despise cliques - they exist only to make pathetic, weak individuals feel smug and superior.

Quote:
If you turn up to a ride and you and your bike would pass Velominati inspection, it's just shorthand for saying "I know how this all works, you can probably trust me."

If your bike is roadworthy then it's perfectly adequate. It may have drops, flat bars, fat tyres, thin tyres, panniers, mudguards, tatty bar tape.... You don't need 23mm tyres at x psi, matching (but non replica) jersey & shorts, colour-coded bar tape or the other bollocks in those 'rules'. Audax riders, for example, do loads more miles than most roadie poseurs but they couldn't care less about those stupid 'rules'. They ride. Lots.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2047 posts]
9th May 2013 - 9:40

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And you think Audax doesn't have rules ? They have exactly the same shorthand. Turn up on a Roberts or a Mercian with 28mm tyres, full mudguards, a Carradice saddle bag etc and you will be immediately recognised as someone who has consumed their fair share of peaches and rice pudding.

How do you tell an extroverted audaxer... he looks at YOUR shoes when he's talking to you.

And just to be clear, in case you had a bit of trouble understanding, there are rules with a small 'r' which are the general expectations of a group, and what the OP was asking about.

The sort of examples I gave were just rules about riding in groups, but maybe you don't do a lot of that if the only thing you care about is the highway code. I would offer to show you but I doubt I could keep up, because I just pose my way through 8,000 miles a year.

As for your idea about who created The Rules, you are so far off the mark. The guys behind it are neither young nor idle and they have a genuine passion for cycling and riding. If you take it all seriously then the joke is on you.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [566 posts]
9th May 2013 - 17:33

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abudhabiChris wrote:
And you think Audax doesn't have rules ? They have exactly the same shorthand. Turn up on a Roberts or a Mercian with 28mm tyres, full mudguards, a Carradice saddle bag etc and you will be immediately recognised as someone who has consumed their fair share of peaches and rice pudding.

But no-one will be disparaged if they arrive on something else or eat curry and rice cakes instead.

Quote:
If you take it all seriously then the joke is on you.

No, it's YOU that appears to have missed the point. I have no issue with someone who creates a website and has a laugh. Unfortunately gullible individuals take these things as standards to dress and behave by. They think that following (and quoting) those 'rules' give them access to some kind of inner circle or clique. It's a bit pathetic, really.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2047 posts]
10th May 2013 - 8:42

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Simon E wrote:
I fucking despise cliques - they exist only to make pathetic, weak individuals feel smug and superior.

I hate to put a downer on your argument, but it all your refutations sound a little smug and superior in themselves Wink

I don't think I've ever heard the Velominati Rules quoted with any degree of seriousness. They're a fun thing to have a giggle with. Let's be honest - those of us who put a decent number of miles in know that we've earned the right to take the piss out of ourselves and the other lycra clad berks we overtake or get overtaken by.

So, Bash's rules for the road:
1. Seriously, if you're a bit out of shape, don't squeeze into XXL pro team bibs. Please. Just don't.
2. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

posted by bashthebox [647 posts]
10th May 2013 - 9:01

1 Like

bashthebox wrote:
I hate to put a downer on your argument, but it all your refutations sound a little smug and superior in themselves Wink

Confused Confused

If you knew me you'd know I'm not in the least bit smug or superior.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2047 posts]
10th May 2013 - 9:11

1 Like

That escalated quickly...

"When my legs hurt, I say: Shut up legs! Do what I tell you to do!"

- Jens Voigt

posted by lball9 [12 posts]
14th May 2013 - 15:44

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lball9 wrote:
That escalated quickly...

Don't know what would happen if someone threw in a Rapha comment Big Grin

The so called 'The Rules' as per Velominati, are to be taken as a bit of fun.

http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/

Keep at your usual speed, be polite and say 'hello'.

posted by wwfcb [70 posts]
14th May 2013 - 17:36

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