Whenever I spot another cyclist or runner I always make some kind of a friendly gesture: perhaps a "hi there!" or a nod, maybe a nod or whatever seems right at the time. Sometimes the other person will make the first move and I'll always respond in a friendly kind of way.
And yet, I am often astonished at the response. The range is quite remarkable and ranges from an enthusiastic greeting coming back through to, well, just a blank look or even not to even bother to look across the road. Perhaps it's a micro version of life, with there being such a wide spectrum of people. Of course, I do recognise that running and cycling are great ways to just get out there and be on your own without having to bother with other people and all the complications that can bring but it doesn't hurt, does it, to just give some kind of acknowledgement?
I've also wondered what could lie behind this indifference. Is it some thing I've done wrong? Do people think I'm some kind of a weird person who is sending a greeting across the road with some dodgy motive? Perhaps it's because I'm not in the right gang with the right gear? What would happen if I was in the middle of nowhere trying to repair my bike, or got injured in some way. You'd like to think someone would stop and offer some kind of assistance.
There are probably some factors that might influence this whole thing. Some of these could be:
- What kind of bike you're riding: MTB, road, tourer, hybrid etc
- How you're dressed: scruffy, casual, Lycra, fashionable team kit etc.
- Time of day
- Local cultures
and so on.....
For now I am not sure there's any common thread. For myself, I'm just going to carry on with those smiles, nods etc regardless. Today I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity of a few hours cycling, I'm going to make a mental note of the response from each cyclist I spot!