Saturday, August 11, 2007

Do Lycra and Aerobars Make One Mute?

That's the thought that went through my mind this morning on my ride to work. I had just had yet another "Serious Cyclist" whiz past in the opposite direction, with not even the slightest acknowledgment that I was there.

Now, I understand training and discipline and all that, but when one after another these folk zip on by, with not even a flicker of recognition of another human being... another cyclist, it just bothers me. I don't expect them to break their cadence, sit up and give me a high five as we pass or anything. A simple "hello", or even a nod of the head would be nice. And I know there's nothing that says they have to react to me in any way... it just seems like a decent and human thing to do.

I say hi or some other greeting to just about everyone I see on the trail, and I like to think it might brighten someone's day now and then. I don't know... maybe most folks think "who the heck was that and why were they talking to me????" But I find a simple "hi" or "good morning" is nice, when it happens. And a fair number of folk do at least respond in some manner. The older man on his 70s road bike, the woman walking her dog, the couple just enjoying a morning stroll... those are the people who at least say something or nod.

It's the lycra crowd that pretty much universally acts like I'm not even there. Not a word is uttered when we pass in opposite directions, not even a glance my way. And don't get me started on how many times a "go-fast" rider has overtaken me and zoomed past, without even a word or sound of warning to let me know they were about to pass. THAT really annoys me... not just because it sometimes startles me, and is rude to me, but because it is the type of behavior that makes other path users resent cyclists as a whole.

Oh well, no matter. I will keep cheerfully calling out a greeting, even to those who stare right through their Oakleys past me. It costs me nothing, and I think it might even make a person or two feel better about their fellow humans now and then.


"You sure have a way with people", Harold said as they left the amusement park and walked along the pier.

"Well," said Maude, "they're my species."

Colin Higgins, Harold and Maude

1 comment:

davison said...

It is for this reason that I wear my lycra cycling shorts underneath my regular shorts and refuse to wear a jersey. I get by with a t-shirt from Crazy Shirts just fine. When I approach a pack of these rainbow colored arrogant two-wheelers at a stop light I usually stay far enough behind so I won't be mistakenly associated with them.

If your lycra cycling dudes are anything like the ones we have on the west coast, you have my sympathy.