I’ve noticed over the last several years of riding to work that we aren’t the most friendly group on the road or on the trail. I understand about on the road–we’re all too busy trying not to get killed for small pleasantries. That don’t-fuck-with-me face is sometimes the best defense we have against the cars, trucks and buses swarming around us, especially given that spandex is as effective at protecting us against motor vehicles as a kleenex is at stopping a 9mm bullet.
But on the bike trail during commute hours, it’s just us and the occasional jogger. It wouldn’t kill you to crack a smile. In fact, it’s gotten so irritating how serious some of you are that for the past several months, I’ve made a point of greeting each of you with “good morning” or “good evening,” and I’ve got a few notes for you…
The first note is that you are not on Team Radio Shack or Garmin-Slipstream or Rabobank or whatever team you bought the clothes for, so lighten up. If you were that good, you wouldn’t have been riding on this suburban bike trail with me in July, you’d have been in the Alps, Pyrenees and on the Champs Elysee.
The second note is that it’s not like we’re strangers. I’ve seen you every morning and evening for the past several months.
The next note is that, although I’m not as prissy as Emily Post, when someone looks you in the eye and says “good morning,” the appropriate response is not to
- look down
- look away
- look away and spit
- look away and fire a snot rocket
- grimace and pedal harder (see above note about how good you aren’t)
The appropriate response is “good morning.”
You’re welcome. There’s no charge for that little bike etiquette lesson.