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As a young lad growing up in a Cycling Family,I was schooled in the etiquette of all things cycling.Jioned my first club in my early teens,Time Trialed with parental consent,and loved the whole cycling atmosphere.Now in my middle 60,s,I get annoyed by quite a few of the wannabee cyclists,who have jumped onto the bandwagon since 2012.I am pleased that our sport has grown and continues to grow,but there really are some ignorant people out on the roads,and some of the bike handling needs sorting out.Now my season is over I enjoy riding 72 inch fixed wheel,right through to the end of winter,rarely venturing onto gears.Last Saturday I was out in the Nottinghamshire lanes and sensed someone behind me,I had to ask him to back off,nearly rubber to rubber,tried to explain why,but to no avail,didnt even understand fixed wheel riding.The other thing that gets up this "Real" cyclists nose,is the ignorance of many ,who when you wave and say morning ,or whatever,not so much as a smile.It simply is the done thing to wave and speak to passing cyclists,it does not cost anything.I would say to those people who stick their noses in the air,go and join a Cycling club,the CTC,British Cycling,etc,and learn how to get by on the road.

26 comments

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Super Domestique [1609 posts] 3 years ago
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Not sure you are grumpy tbh.
I have posted the same. Sometimes I get 'nods' then other times not.
I get irritated when it's the same people and it varies which bike I'm on.

I grew up in a cycling family, as you know, but not really competitive or club members, just cyclists.

I went through bmx (early doors there) then started mtbing in mid-80's. Always had roadie mates and did some good rides with them.

I got my first new road bike in 2010 after coming back to cycling after a car hit me and left me with an enforced lay off (plus a few months if not walking!). I guess that makes to recent for some, but then I have followed the Tour (for eg) since the late 80's.

Now I'm more roadie than mtber but still just ride bikes.
Sadly carrying too many injuries to be as good as the bike on many occasions. Guess that doesn't help my 'acceptance' always.

Although FWIW not all club members seem willing to greet these days! .

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pdows47 [103 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm a recent convert, having only started properly last year, but I completely agree about people not letting on being annoying, and personally I find it downright rude. That said, I am still learning the 'proper' way of doing things, but I don't get what's wrong with just being polite on the roads....

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foxyloxy [49 posts] 3 years ago
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Nice one SUPER D,I was out this morning down near the River Trent,spoke to all passing cyclists,about half replied,it,s really a shame.Keep getting the miles in.Foxy.  103

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foxyloxy [49 posts] 3 years ago
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Hope you get as much out of cycling as I have had,pdows,keep your head up,and if passing riders dont answer,they are the ignorant ones not you.  1

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Super Domestique [1609 posts] 3 years ago
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foxyloxy wrote:

Nice one SUPER D,I was out this morning down near the River Trent,spoke to all passing cyclists,about half replied,it,s really a shame.Keep getting the miles in.Foxy.  103

Doing my best sir!

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Kapelmuur [348 posts] 3 years ago
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It's my experience that riders wearing club jerseys are the least likely to return a greeting, especially when there are several of them.

I've participated in many sports in my time and have always joined a club, which I intended to do when I started cycling. However, the arrogant and unfriendly attitude of local club groups I've encountered has made me a confirned soloist.

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Gman59c [58 posts] 3 years ago
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My experience is exactly the opposite. I joined the local club and they could not have been more welcoming. I frequently see many Glasgow South cyclists on the road and they always acknowledge you. It's the solo riders that seem a bit rude to me. I thinks its more an age thing, young and old alike seem to be friendly, it seems to me that it's my own age group, this around 40 that can be the rudest.

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bashthebox [752 posts] 3 years ago
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If someone doesn't wave back, I like to assume they're so shattered they can't even lift their hand.

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sm [394 posts] 3 years ago
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As a London cyclist I find most other cyclists will raise a hand, give a nod or return a hello, but only outside of the M25. Within it we're all enemies it seems!

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NickK123 [93 posts] 3 years ago
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Like others have said, they are the ignorant ones not you! Reflecting on my training runs in the Chilterns, I am not sure there is a generalisation. Indeed, during/after a hard session of intervals, I am not sure that I am up to much apart from a garbled morning!

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Leviathan [2334 posts] 3 years ago
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I give an almost imperceptible nod or raised fingers to someone going the other way, just in case they don't reply. If someone gives the nod first I am more responsive.
Meanwhile some guys say 'hey' as they over take me. I translate this as 'I am f***ing beating you sucka, eat my dust.' So I tend not to say anything when I overtake someone so as not to rub it in (cause I iz beatin thems, yeah, me!)

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foxyloxy [49 posts] 3 years ago
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That is strange,crosshouses,maybe youve not actually spoke to many club cyclists.My own club are very welcoming,and get non-members riding the tuesday evening 10 mile TT,s,and also run,a shorter slower club run at weekends to help new riders settle in,it is actually advertised as such.Last year I had a bad crash,and another club,s member brought my TT bike back to my house the next day.To me it does not matter what club etc a rider belongs to,but I have many pals in local clubs,some just into the sport others much older than me,if we meet we have a twiddle and a chat,even if we are all training hard,slow it down a bit pass on pleasantries at the parting of the ways,get back to what we were each doing.Works for me,try it.  41

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foxyloxy [49 posts] 3 years ago
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Glad to see you enjoy your club cycling Gman,it is always good to learn about the club scene elsewhere.I will always make time to speak,or offer help if I see a cyclist with a mechanical,or puncture.Some weeks ago I was in the Vale of Belvoir,and caught another cyclist,who is a Paramedic of long service,who rides to keep fit,and as we rode along he asked me how long I had ridden bikes,he then told me his name,and it rang a few bells,he is the Uncle of 2 well known yorkshire cyclists,we enjoyed some miles of quality chat,and no doubt if our paths cross again,we will enjoy riding together.  103

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Yorkshie Whippet [563 posts] 3 years ago
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I think it really depends on how the other person is feeling. I try to at least nod to those heading in the opposite and mumble a hey or raise a hand to those passing or being passed. However there are times I just in my own little world of pain and so focused on the road and traffic around.

As for clubs, I'll never forget the 20 or so club riders who all stood on the otherside of the road as I lay there bleeding with my front wheel buckled. Not one of them came over to see how I was. Thankfully, I had a friend who arranged recovery back home. Nor will I forget those who I've met up mid ride, chatted for a while and parted never to see again.

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pants [239 posts] 3 years ago
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Well, Cycling is the new golf, and everyone knows people who plays golf are c***s.  1

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foxyloxy [49 posts] 3 years ago
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No need to use the language is there  102

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daddyELVIS [656 posts] 3 years ago
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I always nod, or raise the fingers from the right-hand brake hood, or say "hiya", "morning" - whatever seems appropriate really.

I'm usually in full roadie gear, but will great anyone on a bike that is passing by.

Some reply, some don't - If they don't I usually mutter "ignorant ****" under my breath - makes me feel better.

My problem is - how many nods / waves are deemed acceptable when a club-run peloton is passing by? Is there a ratio I can use to quickly compute the requisite number required, as nodding perhaps 20 times in a matter of seconds seems a bit overkill?

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drfabulous0 [409 posts] 3 years ago
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I nod only to the guy at the front setting the pace, but if the group has split I will nod to the guy at the front of each group.

I always enjoy a nod and a quick chat but if i don't acknowledge you I am not being rude, I am concentrating on not becoming a stain on the tarmac, or avoiding RSI because I pass hundreds of cyclists coming the other way on my commute.

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foxyloxy [49 posts] 3 years ago
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Nice one Daddy,I do the same as you but not under my breath,as for passing a club run,if I know the club I always shout morning,and the club name,that usually suffices,but as a locally and wider known rider it throws me a curve ball,when a rider near the back shouts my name,I cant ride by without a reply.  21

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700c [985 posts] 3 years ago
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Cycling is less of an elite club nowadays, some people struggle to accept that.

Yes, new people are not as clued up on etiquette as others but that's only to be expected. Most will learn.

Personally I think the rise in cycling's popularity has more advantages than disadvantages.

As for acknowledging others, I find the vast majority do nod or wave, have not found it get worse, but then I don't live in London or Surrey!..

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Jack Osbourne snr [572 posts] 3 years ago
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My bugbear is if a group comes past and none of them says a word.

I was out a few months ago and though pootling due to my mate struggling with back pains we were doing an acceptable Audax pace when a small club run came past us. My greeting was met with stony silence.

I fizzed for 30 seconds or so and then chased them down, passing them as they fell apart on an incline. I said hello to every one of them individually as I overtook.

What I really wanted to say included the words ignorant and arrogant plus several expletives.

I can concur with the southside of Glasgow being somewhere where generally most folk say hello although you do get the occasional nob. With these, I find that team kit is a good indicator, where the bigger the team the greater the chances of the wearer being a git.

Commuting I would say is a different matter though where it's very rare to greet or be greeted. A nod whist waiting at the lights is usually as far as it goes.

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Colin Peyresourde [1780 posts] 3 years ago
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I normally say 'hello', give a nod (more likely when I'm in traffic and anything I say is less 'audible') and a smile, or all three, almost regardless.

Some people don't respond, but then they are usually the ones that just look like they're just trying cycling out for size. Sometimes I do miss out those that look like they only use the bike to get a pot of jam or something from the shops.

The tricky one is cyclo-sportives. If your route is going the other way it just doesn't make sense to nod your head, smile and say 'hello' to a train of 50,000. In fact half the people barely respond anyway.

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foxyloxy [49 posts] 3 years ago
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If you read my post,you will see that I am chuffed to bits that the sport is enjoying so many new participants,and this one is happy to pass on any bits that might help to set a new rider on the right track.I dont live in London or Surrey either.been out this morning and met plenty out and about,some I know well,and others Iv,e never seen before,all spoke or waved,but some times I can be out,and hardly get a response.I just HOPE that all this expensive carbon,titanium,etc,is not a waste of time for some people,one really bad grovel,caused by lack of food,not enough fluids,or just trying to hard over too long a distance,and the bike gets dumped in the garage,awaiting a spot on Ebay.57 yrs and still love it.  21

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700c [985 posts] 3 years ago
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Foxy, I did see you mention you were pleased with increase in popularity, but also that you were 'annoyed by quite a few of the wannabee cyclists,who have jumped onto the bandwagon since 2012'..

To me, that did smack a bit of elitism, and an attitude that's unlikely to encourage newcomers to take up the sport

That said, your follow up post suggests you're not intolerant of newcomers after all.. I'm glad to hear you share the benefit of your experience with others..

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foxyloxy [49 posts] 3 years ago
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Having cycled since age 9,now 66,I have plenty of time for those who really want to get involved,and enjoy our sport.Coached in the past,and had some good results from one youngster,who years ago in his first 10 mile TT,did a middling 23mins,at 16 years old.There I will leave it,so this Grumpy old git is hitting the rollers for an hour.  29

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700c [985 posts] 3 years ago
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@Foxyloxy, I don't really understand the point of the thread any more: what started as a moan about newcomers into the sport and 'wanabee cyclists' turned into a testimonial to your credentials as a 'real' cyclist and mentor, which, believe me, I am not doubting..

On the point of etiquette I honestly think that it can be quite daunting to newcomers and I think a bit of leeway is reasonable. Even some experienced and pro cyclists fall foul of 'the rules'!