Ok, so I love to ride my bicycle. I love riding in a group of bikers and the feeling of camaraderie you get with other cyclists - whether it's on a team, or just a leisurely training ride with some buddies.
Needless to say, besides keeping my fat butt in shape, the community aspect is one of the reasons I've stuck with cycling for a number of years.
But, here's what I don't get. Why don't other bicyclists wave to each other when they pass on the street or on a trail? Why are we all such a surly bunch when our bikes aren't all pointed in the same direction?
Look. I'm not looking for a big, outlandish, Richard Simmons style wave proclaiming your exuberance for seeing another cyclist on the road and leading to a potential crash as you get tangled in an overhead tree branch. But, heck is it too much to ask for just a flick of the finger or an acknowledging nod of the head?
Just give me something. Some simple acknowledgement that I exist and that hey - cool - you and I are both either masochistic or stupid enough to be braving all these cars that want to run us over just so we can get a few training miles in. That's cool and it deserves some type of acknowledging fart in my general direction - don't worry I'll return the favor - I'll probably even initiate it.
I'm a motorcyclist also, and in that community waving is standard. For Pete's sake, Jeep Wrangler owners wave to each other all the time. Are cyclists saying that driving a 2000 pound Jeep is more community forming than riding a 21 pound bike through traffic? Maybe so, and I'm cool with that. I'll just repress my friendly side and keep to myself next time I pass you on the trail or road.
Or, maybe I won't. Maybe, right as we pass each other on the trail next time, I'll turn and yell "HEY, HOW'S IT GOING!!!!" so loudly that you end up with some "extra" padding in your shorts. Hardcore friendly. Maybe that's what the community needs.
I know, you're probably in a lot of pain, your legs are burning, and your head is swimming. You're also probably not trying to get run over (no excuse here for those of you I pass on the trail) and that's why you don't wave - the pain is too much, and you don't have the energy.
But, here's what I think, if you're pushing yourself so hard that you can't raise a finger (and not the middle one mind you), you probably need to drop your heart rate a bit anyways.
Some of you are probably saying it's a control thing and I understand that too. But, last time I checked your head didn't control any aspect of the bike, so give it a little nod. Or better yet, if nodding is too much, just use your lips and form a smile. That'll do just great.
So, I'll stop there. But here's what I'll ask since you read to the end of the article. Next time you pass another cyclist on the road or trail, give 'em a little nod. Who knows? Maybe they'll nod back and won't that make you feel good - you just started forming a little community.