Friday, September 3, 2010

September is National Wave and/or Say Hi to Another Cyclist Month



Now that August is out of the way many of you may be sad. The riding seems to be nearing an end, the nights are getting short, and many of us are facing the grim thought of either riding the trainer or getting fat or both. The truth is, September is a great time of the year to ride. You might think the lemming is going to pontificate about the crackling of leaves and pretty colors and adorable squirrels hurriedly gathering acorns for the winter slumber, but no....

September is the time when most, if not all, charity rides are over. Not only that, but most CTS coaches have their athletes "cross training" at this time. This means that the cyclists you see out riding now are hopefully out there because they are loving it, not necessarily because they've been guilted in to finding at least $300 worth of pledges, wore out their welcome with friends, paid most of the pledges on their own, then fired up the old bike to ride the amount of mileage most of us ride just for fun. By the time the charity ride season commences, most charity riders are overtrained with the amount of fundraising they had to do and no longer riding, letting the bike hibernate until next season, sort of like this blog often does. And on the other end of the spectrum, CTS athletes are rollerblading, hiking, and doing "unstructured" workouts right now, anything but riding their bike.

What does all this mean? Well, charity riders might be some of the friendliest riders out there, but more hardcore riders seem to shun them as "freds" and really don't wave or say hi to them. In the context of a training ride it might be hard to distinguish a "fred" from another rider, or even to distinguish a CTS athlete from another rider. What happens then is all friendliness shuts down. No one waves, no one says hi, everyone is too stuck being way more hardcore than the next guy to even think about giving someone the decency to wave at them and acknowledge someone else loving the sport. It creates a "perfect storm" of unfriendliness.

But in September, with those two groups taking time off, you can wave or say hi to another cyclist and probably get a happy response, maybe even strike up a conversation with someone who shares the love the bike, here's how:


1) See another cyclist approaching

2) Remember what the lemming says, this is probably a friendly

3) Lift hand off handlebar and try to smile

4) Wave

5) See other rider's reaction


Don't be alarmed if not everyone waves at first, it might take some time for others to release their inhibitions. Don't worry, in the lone month you have to do it you won't overtrain your arm or grow unusually large muscles, that's a myth anyway.

If, by chance, you stop at a light with another cyclist, here's a great way to say hi.

1) Pull up to light with another cyclist, or see one pull up by you

2) Look at other cyclist

3) Say hi, or nice weather out today, or I like your Y-Foil

It's that easy! Some of you may not believe me, I've posted pictures of cyclists waving to prove that it indeed does happen. These do not look photoshopped, but then again, I'm no expert.

17 comments:

Steve A said...

Humbug! I'll try it for the Lemming, however.

Andy Brickell said...

It amazes me that people walking on the street around here are more friendly than fellow cyclists! Anyway, I'll keep waving...

Bob said...

I'm waving right now, too bad you can't see me.

bluechair84 said...

Not sure where you are, but in England there's a secret pact between cyclists - even those odd roadie types and us 2.5" types. We always give a knowing nod to one another, the kind that whispers, 'Your alright'...

Bike Lemming said...

That would be nice, there definitely is not that secret pact here. Motorcyclists have one, Jeeps have one, but not cyclists.

Ben said...

I didn't know it was "say hi to a bicyclist" month in September, but you know what, I waved anyway. I make a point to wave, and help! And I'm not stopping my rides in the winter...stay tuned at my blog if it pleases you! Ben

Susan Tomlinson said...

Ah, Lemming. I do enjoy your blog.

Paul Kramer said...

Your post (and the National Wave Month declaration) were unknown to me when I wrote the "Introduction" to my October issue (RidersCollective.org). Too bad I hadn't known...I would have made it September's introduction instead. But, in any event, I'll keep nodding (like the Brits, as opposed to waving...never did learn how to ride one-handed). November's note is about bike locks. Is November National Lock Your Bike Month?

hector said...

It's a nice feeling to see people smile you back or wave their hands if you approach them. Nice photos!

the original big ring said...

Dang! I am sorry to have missed September . . . people are brutal around here for waving to each other. Especially the 'roadies'. I laugh at how elitist they are, but still continue to wave and smile at them. I make it a game - see how many will actually acknowledge me.

cheers

Garmin 500 said...

I have to remember it for this year, wasn't aware of it, thanks!

mary Westmacott said...

I shall be waving a lot more now, used to drive a mini and they same system worked well, lots of hoots and flashing went on! thanks for your posts, love em, keep posting. x

Recumbent bike said...

oh.. its a memorable month. really i enjoy form this post. thanks.

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John Aulrich said...

Glad to read about cyclist and even the appropriate bike for such adventurous sport. It's a reality that it's more fun if you're using the best gear or equipment.
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Student Inspector said...

I had no idea there were different kinds of bikes for every bicyclist. I have a mountain bike, but I wonder if it’s the best bike for me...smh, you learn something new everyday!.