Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby nomadicsoul » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:52 pm

Hi everyone
Fairly new rider here. Went on a good casual trip from Rhodes along Cooks River via Mascot, to Central Station on Saturday. (see it on Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/70083752 )

My friends and I passed many cyclists and started discussing - what's the etiquette when passing another cyclist? Curious what you all do. If someone smiled at us, we smiled back, a friendly hello. If someone looked like they were on a mission we just stayed out the way and didn't bother them. Sometimes we would pass someone and think, were we rude to not acknowledge?

Similar to how bus drivers give each other a little wave as they pass, what is the general consensus on greeting fellow cyclists?
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by BNA » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:58 pm

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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby joshnh » Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:58 pm

Might be a bit different for me as I live in rural Victoria, but a friendly smile, a head nod or a wave is the norm around here.
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby RonK » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:01 pm

As usual, good manners apply. Not everyone will respond but that is a reflection on them.
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby thecaptn » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:03 pm

Depends on where you are and what type of cyclist you may be. I ride in the country where people seem to be friendlier, probably because there's less riders. I normaly give a big wave and hello, generally works ok for me.
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby trailgumby » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:05 pm

A nod of acknowledgement, usually, if they're coming the other way. If I'm overtaking it will usually be a friendly comment about weather or traffic.

If it's the "serious" roadie, looking like they're not looking at you, it's best to leave them to their meditations on their awesomeness. :wink:
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby greatapoc » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:27 pm

I always say morning if a group is coming in the opposite direction. If I'm passing someone I'll say morning or afternoon to them too. If someone solo is coming in the opposite direction I'll either give them a nod or a little two finger wave with my right hand.
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby nomadicsoul » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:34 pm

I quite like the two finger wave or the nod - it's enough to greet but not enough to distract - I generally find the lycra clad 'serious ones' the most - irritable (probably because I'm just in shorts, t-shirt and sneakers haha!)
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby bychosis » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:51 pm

If you are wearing the full kit you will scowl at all comers, if you aren't, anything from a finger lifted from the bars or a nod of the head to a cheery vocal greeting is normal and entirely depends on your current free lung capacity, the need to use bicycle controls and the disposition of the oncoming/overtaken rider.
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby Mugglechops » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:46 pm

I got more of response from this horse than the typical roadie in Nowra :D

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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby g-boaf » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:39 pm

bychosis wrote:If you are wearing the full kit you will scowl at all comers, if you aren't, anything from a finger lifted from the bars or a nod of the head to a cheery vocal greeting is normal and entirely depends on your current free lung capacity, the need to use bicycle controls and the disposition of the oncoming/overtaken rider.


This is either poor humour, sarcasm or deliberate flame bait.

You can always at least manage a wave. Even if it is just a small lift of the hand and a nod of the head. It's not difficult to do. Even for those wearing the full kit... As I usually do.

nomadicsoul wrote:I quite like the two finger wave or the nod - it's enough to greet but not enough to distract - I generally find the lycra clad 'serious ones' the most - irritable (probably because I'm just in shorts, t-shirt and sneakers haha!)


I generally find the normal clothed ones who scowl angrily and refuse to acknowledge anyone who doesn't conform to their style and way of doing things. You can even say hello and they'll pretend they didn't hear you. :roll: I'm not suggesting that you do that (or maybe you do), but a hell of a lot do.

Even the obvious triathletes on the TT style bikes will nod back or wave. So what is the excuse for Mr Grumpy in the normal clothes on whatever bike they are riding?
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby nomadicsoul » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:45 pm

I think there needs to be a disclaimer for this not to become a lycra vs normal clothed war - I've encountered some unpleasant and some super friendly riders in both camps. A good example was during that cycle when a a normal clothes guy fell off his mountain bike - the lycra guys who looked like they were on a serious mission immediately stopped to help as did the group I was in.

That's why I like to say hi, nod etc thinking that if I ever get in trouble someone would stop to help me too (the cycle way code? haha!)
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby RonK » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:49 pm

I had some amusement this morning - riding my touring bike (in full kit) when a guy came zooming past without so much as a snarl. Arrived at my water stop and he came over asking advice how he could fix his broken seatpost to get him home...

Btw I must say that riding a touring bike with mudguards and rack in full kit and at roadie-like pace seems to confuse the hell out of a lot people - I often notice them do a quick double-take as they pass.
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby g-boaf » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:58 pm

nomadicsoul wrote:I think there needs to be a disclaimer for this not to become a lycra vs normal clothed war - I've encountered some unpleasant and some super friendly riders in both camps. A good example was during that cycle when a a normal clothes guy fell off his mountain bike - the lycra guys who looked like they were on a serious mission immediately stopped to help as did the group I was in.

That's why I like to say hi, nod etc thinking that if I ever get in trouble someone would stop to help me too (the cycle way code? haha!)


Exactly right. If I see someone who looks in trouble, I'll stop and see if they are okay.

I wave or say hello to nearly everyone I see. Unless of course I'm going through a curve at 50km/h - but that's sort of understandable. Self preservation and keeping a nice line away from the person going the other way is better for both of us. ;)

nomadicsoul wrote:That's why I like to say hi, nod etc thinking that if I ever get in trouble someone would stop to help me too (the cycle way code? haha!)


It is. :)

RonK wrote:Btw I must say that riding a touring bike with mudguards and rack in full kit and at roadie-like pace seems to confuse the hell out of a lot people - I often notice them do a quick double-take as they pass.


There are many differing levels of "roadie like pace". I'm certain you aren't thinking of the competitive riders. ;)
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby RonK » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:35 am

g-boaf wrote:
RonK wrote:Btw I must say that riding a touring bike with mudguards and rack in full kit and at roadie-like pace seems to confuse the hell out of a lot people - I often notice them do a quick double-take as they pass.


There are many differing levels of "roadie like pace". I'm certain you aren't thinking of the competitive riders. ;)


Perhaps there are differing levels - but most (all) of them would be faster than than the usual touring bike pace. :)
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby nailsaslegs » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:59 am

G'Day or hello, a nod sometimes, if I'm coming past them a good morning or afternoon. Be polite and courteous. Don't always expect it back though. :?
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:24 am

Many or most of us would be passing and being passed by far too many to say g'day to everyone. Certainly those riding on PSPs and RSPs.

For obvious reasons I don't get to pass many so I don't get to make the call anyway. By the same token hundreds pass me and I get dozens of acknowledgements.

I acknowledge many of those I am familiar with that come towards me and have, in the past, acknowledged me. It feels just a little rude or imperious not to sometimes. With face to face passing in opposite directions it is usually just a nod or a hand movement.

It is all a very inexact thing - do what you feel comfortable with and know that there will be no offence taken when you do pass with apparent indifference.

One thing to be cautious about when out on paths with lots of cycle traffic is slowing down next to a rider you know and having a discussion with him/her. Always be aware a little before of what other traffic is around. I know that many who slow down for a chat with me make it a little dicey without trying to. If you keep riding the same routes the occasions to have those chats may arise.
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby rdp_au » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:11 pm

Just as in other walks of life, you get all sorts. I always acknowledge someone I’m passing or who is passing me with a greeting of some sort. For people passing in the opposite direction, a nod or wave is usually all there’s time for. Waiting at lights, I’ll usually strike up some form of conversation. Had some really nice exchanges that way. Also had one chap who sat next to me for quite a few minutes during a long cycle of the lights, who refused to make eye contact or acknowledge me in any way. To each his own..
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby g-boaf » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:10 pm

Some guy shouted hello to me tonight actually in the dark. Couldn't see who it was - but he was on some sort of road-bike. Cheers to whoever it was. :)
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby nomadicsoul » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:01 pm

Thanks for all the great responses - makes me feel more confident in being a bit more vocal in saying hello to someone next to me, and discreetly waving to those who pass :)
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:15 pm

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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby bollo » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:54 pm

from someone that has come from 15 or so years of motorbike riding & noding my head at all who ride ( except harley riders ;-) ) when riding my push bike (roady) i not & wave to all & it still spins me out after a few years of riding that people are so caught up in them selves that they cannot acknowledge others & return the nod or wave , to say that they are hard at it & concentrating is a joke & i tend to think wonderful person but thats just my opinion
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby nomadicsoul » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:54 pm

bollo wrote: it still spins me out after a few years of riding that people are so caught up in them selves that they cannot acknowledge others & return the nod or wave , to say that they are hard at it & concentrating is a joke & i tend to think wonderful person but thats just my opinion


It seems to me many people seem to have a 'car mentality' when cycling - you are in your own little world and enclosed, so it's easy to ignore or deflect. However, on a bike you are completely exposed - I know when I ride I feel the only 'space' I have is really my body and just over my front wheel - that's it.
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby macca33 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:50 am

I wave and / or say G'day at every opportunity - always works on my country rides, not so much along Beach Rd....I've had people looking at me, then snap their heads away when they realised I saw them and I said hello. Strange.....

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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby nomadicsoul » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:18 am

I rode from Beecroft to Strathfield on Sunday and decided to make a point of greeting every single cyclist who came the other way, either with a good morning, a hello or a wave. Everyone except one person acknowledged it (2 lycra serious people, 3 casuals riders). One casual rider actually beat me to it and wished me a good morning first. The only person was a casual rider like me who didn't acknowledge my good morning even though I was riding right next to him. Quite an interesting experiment, but still, really nice to have that moment of - we're both on bikes and are awesome HI!
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Re: Etiquette for greeting cyclists

Postby MarkG » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:25 am

I usually just blow a kiss to oncoming riders
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