Monday, September 20, 2010


When you ride a bike, you cover a lot of ground.  Unless you're riding underwater or riding across the Australian outback, you're likely to encounter a lot of people too.  Some of them may even be cyclists, but most will just be walking or driving cars.

Here's the thing.  The general public HATES us.  They think we're a bunch of assholes who run lights and get in the way of their miserable commutes and don't pay taxes.  Except for the last one, they're mostly right.  So it would go a long way in cyclist-everyone else relations if we were to simply wave as we passed.   Not like a "hi we're friends and I want to talk to you" wave, but more of a "I respect your right to be here and hope you would do the same for me" wave.  Wave at cops, wave at pedestrians, wave at 60 year olds on hybrids.  Especially wave at kids.  When they hit 16, they really need to know that we're humans, and our lives have slightly more value than that text message they just received.

So wave.  Let them know we're people too, and that we aren't all douchebags.  We have a lot of bad relations to atone for.  Don't be a douchebag.


  1. Fully agree, but in NYC, this kind of waving might not have the intended consequences ("look, there's a douchebag cyclist off his lithium").
    But I try other hand communication, hoping to reduce the hate. Simply signaling a turn is one. A "thank you" wave when a car takes me into account before turning or pulling over. And a "sorry, I fucked up" wave when I, well, fuck up through some unintended misjudgement.
    Now I will give you my "over-posting" wave.

  2. Totally agree. It definitely takes the edge off things a bit.

  3. I agree also. I would also add that when I see other cyclists behaving like assholes and thereby undoing all this 'bridge building', when possible I calmly point out to them what they're doing wrong.

  4. @mikeweb:
    of all the mobile beings in and around these roads, it is those on bicycles that piss me off the most, present company excluded.
    Have a good EFNY.

  5. @xyxax,

    Agreed. and Thanks - ru doing EFNY also?

  6. I planned to, but a sudden inescapable committment has supervened. probably for the best, though, as I haven't found anyone to fix my flats en route.
    So I will ride around PP 30 times with a muffin in my mouth.

  7. Hey JTM,

    I thought you might enjoy this video from Sprinter del la casa's blog. His first cat 2 race, apparently.