Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Open thread #2: Cyclists' friendliness

Over at Carbon Trace, Andrew notes a dearth of smiles and waves from fellow cyclists when he's out and about; he wonders if that's due to a lack of a true cycling culture in this country:
I think smiling and waving will occur in the United States when we get a few more cyclists on the road and, thus, create a larger, shared experience. But I think the practice will disappear again when we get as many cyclists on the road as there are in Europe. In the United States today we have individual bicycle commuting cultures. We are bicycle cultures unto ourselves because, frankly, those of us who do it don’t see so many others.


We are, then, loners. Cultures of one.
I don't know--maybe cyclists in Springfield, Missouri, are more stuck-up than the ones I encounter here. But more seriously, I commented on his post that I greet the cyclists that I pass and, almost without fail, they return it. I don't get the feeling that they feel they must do so just to be polite, either: they seem to find a small measure of pleasure in knowing someone else is on to this cycling thing.

But, you know: anecdotal evidence can take one only so far. I know only what I know, and Andrew's post made me curious about how others perceive the cyclists they encounter. So, consider the comments section your space for sharing your sense of their friendliness.

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