You are not a pro.

Well, I saw my first one today.  The cyclist who is so cool, so together, so much better than everyone else, he cannot wave to anyone else on a bicycle.

Because yes.  He is all that and a bag of chips.

This has bothered me for years, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever blogged about it, but I’m done being polite.  Today was the warmest, most beautiful day of the year so far.  65 degrees of snow-melting sunshine–a truly glorious day to be on the bike.  If you were riding, you had a smile plastered so firmly across your face it hurt.  This was the kind of day, similar to yesterday, when cyclists rejoice.  Yesterday I had that guy pull up alongside me in his car just to talk to me about going home to put his kit on and ride.  How great is that?  Today–I encountered that other kind of cyclist. The one you see look in your direction, the one you wave at, and does not wave back.

So, what gives?  Are you that focused on your training that you can’t give a discreet turn of the wrist? Even if you’re cool about waving, you’re still waving–it’s all good.  I don’t need a parade. What is really so troubling about waving to another who shares your love of the sport?

I think the bike community is one of the most wonderous communities I’ve ever stepped inside.  For the most part, the community advocates and raises money for the underdog, rides for the love of it, smiles and waves to its club members. But every year, without fail–someone out there gives us all a bad name.

I don’t really buy that these guys (and pardon me, but it’s always a guy) are so absorbed with their training that they have no awareness of others.  If the rider was cranking at a sustained 30 mph then maybe I could excuse it. Maybe that guy is a pro, and does need to focus on his training, because it’s his job.  But if your moving along at 15 mph, then wave back.  Otherwise, you’re just being an ass, and for what?

Really, tell me–what do you gain?

OK, end of rant.  Don’t make me do this again.  It’s not even spring yet.





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About Karen

Mid-life female amateur athlete focused on cyclocross, mountain biking, and road cycling.

9 responses to “You are not a pro.”

  1. bgddyjim says :


    Please take this reply with a grain of salt… I get into those zones all the time – I’m good enough to nod when I’m there (so be sure to look for the head bob), but sometimes I’m just to zonked to remove the hand from the hood (or drop). In fact, running last night I was trying for a personal best 5k and passed a guy on the sidewalk – he was nice enough to say howdy, but all I could manage (at a 6:40 m/mi pace downhill) was an ugh. I was embarrassed as all get out, but I was on a mission so I just kept going. On the other hand, of course, if your jerk was being pampas, just remember that every group has to have its jerks. They balance out the equilibrium in the universe or something…and it’s usually very lonely to be them. I think of people like that as being ill in the melon and sad.

    Either way, I’m glad you got to get out – it was NASTY over here yesterday, though this weekend is very promising.

    • Karen says :

      I’ll take a nod, any day! I have definitely had moments I’ve been so focused I tune everything else out….but it’s rare. Here’s to spring though–wave, nod, but above all else, RIDE 🙂

  2. Samantha says :

    I pass about 10-12 riders each way on my bike commute and I would say about 60% of them give some kind of wave, flick of the wrist, an index finger salute. But there’s one guy who rides a recumbent and he always gives me a big huge wave and I truly look forward to seeing him every time. After 4 years of bike commuting, we’ve never spoken a word to each other but I love that wave. And of course I give him a big one right back.

    • Karen says :

      I find those guys on recumbents are more friendly than most. I am always lifted by a simple gesture of friendliness. We’re all better for it 🙂

  3. Glenn_in_MA says :

    Thank you for that post Karen…a worthy topic IMHO! Notwithstanding Jim’s comment above, I agree with you…I could have written the same post if I had the motivation to keep my blog updated!! I would say it happens to me at least once on every ride. In my area, the biggest offenders are the local cycling club out of the LBS, which is my main reason for not joining thier group. And believe me, they are not in some training zone when it happens…not riding 2 or 3 abreast while talking! With these particular guys, it’s just pure elitism. Now that being said, I can certainly relate to what Jim mentioned…been in that situation myself! Happy riding!!

    • bgddyjim says :

      Now that’s sucky. What you do is get on the back guy’s rear wheel and suck off his draft for a while – when they start cycling their pace line, fall back and let the lead guy in ahead of you and then suck his wheel… Keep doing this till one of them protests, then hit the gas and pass them all – and turn down a road or into a subdivision as soon as you get enough space that you don’t crash them… Make sure to smile big as you go by.

      • Glenn_in_MA says :

        @Jim…wish I could…I really, really wish I was that good a rider. BTW, just perusing your blog…great job! Added it to my read list.

      • bgddyjim says :

        Thank you, If you can’t catch ’em, they’re not worth catching. Just remember, being a jerk comes with a price – one way or another, it’s going to catch up with them. It always does.

  4. Pedal Paradise says :

    I’m late to this particular party, but it hits me where I live too, so..

    I get the ‘in the zone thing’, but what really bugs me is passing me without warning. Am I going so slowly that my speed indicates I am beneath you and not worthy of a head’s up? Well, if I’m that pathetic, you might just consider whether I can ride keep riding in a straight line as you go whizzing past…

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