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Cycling Weekly - "What cost a friendly wave?"

Yesterday I purchased a copy of Cycling Weekly, Thurs 11 March edition (the first time I have bought this magazine) and was dismayed by the Editor's letter (see below).

It starts off well enough, but when I got to the last sentence I was appalled! Why is it considered a mistake by many "proper" cyclists to acknowledge anyone who is considered to be a newbie? What makes these people so superior that they feel it beneath them to be courteous? Surely newbies are the very people who should be encouraged into the sport and not made to feel like something on the bottom of your shoe. This attitude is what discourages many new cyclists from joining a club in the first place and who's to say that anyone new to the sport isn't the next Bradley Wiggins or Lance Armstrong given the right encouragement?

Perhaps these "proper" cyclists just have such low self esteem that they feel threatened by everyone else - personally I think they are just plain RUDE!

I hasten to add that I am not implying that ALL cyclists are like this, but this attitude in a popular publication will do nothing to improve the perception that cycling is a sport which is elitist and cliquey (is that a word?).

There must be something about multi-sporters that appeals to friendlier people. I find triathletes on the whole to be a very friendly bunch and the same can be said of eventers in the equestrian world, so what is about single disciplines e.g. cycling, swimming, show-jumping or dressage that leads to this "superior" attitude? Perhaps multi-eventers don't have the time to have "attitude" as we are too busy trying to decipher the statistics on the latest gadget we have just purchased

OK, rant over - I feel a letter to the editor coming on...


  • It speaks volumes and doesn't surprise me. I was out on my road bike just last week and 3 individuals passed in the oncoming direction at various points of my loop and point blank ignored me. I've always known that true roadies think the sport is "pure" and because of that think they are a cut above anybody but the article is pushing the limits of common decency as you rightly say.

    Roadies get bad press and its not difficult to see why, you just have to try and overtake a bunch of them taking up the whole road to know how ignorant they can be to other road users not just "other" cyclists. Not mentioning any names Weaver Valley Cycle Club!!

    I wear my MTB gear when out on the road bike so I have no doubt that has everything to do with it. Pure snobbery and little else. I can't wait until I actually overtake a roadie just to see what reaction that gets
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    I read that last sentence in the context of the rest of the column as not being literal. He is saying this is how it seems now, but not how it should be.
  • LexLex Posts: 65
    Agree with Britspin, when I read this I got the impression he was complaining about the lack of friendliness, not endorsing it. Im a member of a cycling club and have only positive things to say - that said its not Dynamo!!
  • jmurt71jmurt71 Posts: 46
    Obviously the guy is being strictly compliant with the 'Euro rules' 22-24, see below

    23. One shall NEVER, under any circumstances, acknowledge the presence of a cyclist riding a bike costing less than 2000€ in ANY public place. This may be severely detrimental to one’s image. If such a situation cannot be helped, it is CRITICAL that the Euro Cyclist regard his “acquaintance” with a patrician mixture of disdain and SEVERE condescension.

    24. One shall NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, associate with triathletes. This cannot be overemphasized! It is FORBIDDEN to have any number inked onto one’s body before a race.

    25. Any physical activity other than cycling is STRONGLY FROWNED UPON. This includes any form of running or swimming and their derivatives (this includes walking). The ONLY TWO other sports with a recognized degree of euro are: cross-country skiing and long track speed skating.

    See the full rules here http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2258201150 - they're a good read (so long as you're not too sensitive)
  • I'm still with Pebbles on this. On one hand he identifies the unfriendliness out there on the roads (I assume not any other form of cycling) and backs it up by his own recent experience. But then in what context do "newbies" and "proper" cyclists get a mention? And he also mentions cycling clubs as if it were/is the distinction between being a "newbie" or "proper cyclist".

    By suggesting it seems better to avoid mistakenly acknowledging a "newbie" and just getting your head down and riding can't be seen as anything other than endorsing rude and ignorant behaviour. Just look at the words and phrases he uses... "outsiders" and "infiltrating our ranks" and "one of us". Its nothing more than elitist drivel if you ask me and putting a message across that "newbies" are to blame!!
  • Bucko75Bucko75 Posts: 47
    The way I interpreted this was that the author was saying it was a shame thay nobody "let on" to each other anymore and that rather than risk the embarrassment of waving and being ignored by the "elite"it seemed that it was better just to put your head down and carry on...........
  • Pebbles93Pebbles93 Posts: 21
    I suppose his comments could be interpreted in several ways, depending on your frame of mind at the time of reading the article - I wasn't in a happy place yesterday... Still think he isn't helping Joe Public's perception of cyclists though.
    jmurt71 wrote:
    See the full rules here http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2258201150 - they're a good read (so long as you're not too sensitive)
    These "rules" are hilarious. Come one jmurt71, own you up - you're a member of this group aren't you
  • joolzdjoolzd Posts: 245
    Well normally when I go out on my bike some do & some don't nod or wave, however yesterday they all did! Reckon they must have read the article as they all seemed particularly friendly even in the p**ing rain!!
  • hitman786hitman786 Posts: 37
    I always try to wave but this is the point we can discuss more. Why majority of us don't wave? we have many things common.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 335
    every cyclist that I saw today responded to my nod or finger wave - ranged from a 3yr old demon on a green bike with stabilisers, MTBs, and a club peleton - 10+ and got a response from everyone
  • I have noticed that when I was riding on my flat bar hybrid I was rarely aknowledged but once I got my road bike I was often waved/nodded to by riders heading towards me. I am not sure what will happen now that I have fitted time trial bars on the hybrid....
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