well…maybe something

was i rude?

with 5 comments

I have had something on my mind for a week now. And when it happened, I must have replayed the exchange in my head at least five times to see if I was rude or not. I don’t know what the etiquette is and I don’t even know if there is one. I know with motorcycle riding there is a standard greeting by putting the hand out as you pass. I have seen this used across major highways and on neighborhood roads. I’m sure it’s no big deal, but etiquette is etiquette. For example, my mother in law makes fun of me because I don’t set the table correctly, even if it’s a casual dinner and she will normally go back and correct what I did.

Well here is what happened. I was coming down the trail and I pulled over for some bikers coming uphill. As they passed I could tell that both of them were talking to me, but since I had my music in I could not here them so I just smiled and said “it’s a beautiful day.” So I continued downhill thinking about the small exchange I just had and started laughing because I realized what they were asking me. At first I thought it was just a hello or other standard greeting, but I realized the first person asked if there were any followers and the second person asked how the trail conditions were. During this 5 second exchange my only reply was “it’s a beautiful day.” So my question is, what is my obligation to an oncoming rider that I don’t know and not riding with? Do I have to pull the earbuds out so I can hear them? I think it’s probably an acknowledgment that they are there and that I am not obligated to answer any questions. If I am wrong then I apologize for being rude.

I have had some people go above and beyond what I think is necessary. For example, Dug and I were trying to catch up to the group on Saturday along the Provo Canyon paved trail and a guy came toward us with his sign flashed early. It must have been a good 50 feet in front of us when he sat up in the saddle looked at us and gave us the peace sign. It was a blatant attempt to let us know he was acknowledging us. Dug and I must have pedaled another 200 feet and we were still talking about the gangster sign he flashed.

These are the greetings in my bag… When I encounter someone on the trail I blurt out “man it’s a beautiful day”. If I’m grinding uphill it’s a nod or a simple “thanks” and I use that when they pull over so I don’t have to stop pedaling. My favorite greeting I need to add to my arsenal is the wiggle of the fingers off the grips. I think this is more of a road ride greeting, but it says hello and shows you care because there is some effort. The next one I will try is two taps on the top of the helmet like I am loaded and ready to fire an RPG. That might be my signature greeting from now on.


Written by Sleepy

April 13, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Posted in Mountain Biking

Tagged with

5 Responses

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  1. that was so rude. i hope i never run into you on the trail. sheesh!


    April 14, 2008 at 8:40 am

  2. you’re such an asshole.


    April 14, 2008 at 9:59 am

  3. Just sing loudly along with the music in your ears. Violent Femes always seems to be what is in my head in similar situations. Then you have an easy way out.

    In my mind foucs on the ride experience, not the what ifs. Its clear that you would have done the right thing had the situation been different or replayed.

    The thing I think is rude is out of control dh’ers but that is a topic for another day.


    April 15, 2008 at 12:02 pm

  4. But what if Kelly Clarkson in playing on my iPod at the time?


    April 15, 2008 at 8:11 pm

  5. […] the way, I tried the double tap on the helmet as a greeting, and I got a blank stare and a double take. It is going to be my bike greeting from now […]

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