i’ve been much troubled of late with the issue of the wave. Whilst out riding this weekend I saw several groups of cyclists and the occasional lone wolf. It’s generally seen as appropriate to acknowledge the existence of a fellow cyclist.
The sport is experiencing an exponential growth in popularity, and whilst i don’t expect many of the newcomers to be fully conversant in the arcane and complex etiquette of cycling, i do expect them to be civil and lift a finger from the bars to acknowledge a comrade and the wider fellowship of the road. In days of yore, simply seeing another cyclist was an event worthy of celebration. These days I can’t escape the nagging feeling that cyclists are less welcoming than in the past. It’s hard enough coping with the reckless animosity from car drivers without drawing a blank from those sharing enjoying the limitless freedom of the bicycle.
I tend to nod, wave, or speak to any other cyclists I see. This even includes mountain bikers, although I have to be sharp and get the hello in early because the difference in speed is so big as to make the encounter fleeting and ephemeral. I sometimes vary the wave depending on how i feel, but it’s always there.
Yesterday and today I saw several groups out on the road. Many of these gave a nod. I even had a chat with a chap at the bottom of Cleeve Hill. However, several riders ghosted past, looked, but made no gesture of recognition or welcome. The main culprits have been those wearing the red and black of Bristol and District Triantelopes. If you’re wearing club kit then there’s even more of an imperative to wave and present the club in a positive light. I can give BAD Tri the benefit of the doubt. Triantelopes don’t wave. This is because they have to concentrate very hard on the various things connected with riding a bike and especially trying not to crash by pointing the bike in the right direction. Lifting a hand from the bars, even momentarily – may cause a catastrophic wipe out. It’s probably best they don’t wave.
It’s nice to see a triantelope attempting a new kind of dismount:
Or attempting to help one wounded triantelope back onto his bike with a gentle shove:
Anyway, from my inconclusive straw poll, Bad Tri need to wave more. It’s OK though, because triantelopes tend to contravene so many of the rules in such a spectacular fashion that waving is the least of their worries.