“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” - Albert Einstein

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Why Are Bicycle Riders So Unfriendly?

Hard-core bicycle riders are easy to spot, once you know what to look for. The skin-tight clothing reveals that they look to be so thin as to seem not much wider than the bicycle they are pedaling. Their clothing is covered with the names of bicycles costing several thousand dollars. You usually see them hunched over their handlebars, staring at the road ahead as they keep a steady rhythm of pedaling.
What I've learned about these folks is that they are typically unfriendly and standoffish towards other bike riders. Motorcycle riders usually wave at each other when they pass. There's a certain camaraderie shared when you encounter another person willing to take the risks of riding a motorcycle in traffic. Not so with the hard-core bicyclist. I always wave as I pass. If they even deign to look my way, the most I get is perhaps a finger raised. But even that much is unusual. Last week I waved at a pair of fellow travelers as they rode by in the opposite direction. They merely stared at me as they passed. I had to laugh at the encounter because they reminded me of a couple of lemurs.
I don't know why bicyclists are so unfriendly. I still hold out hope. I'll continue to wave when I pass them by.


Elan said...

I have noticed the same thing. The logo-filled bike jersey seems to define the unfriendly biker. Many of these guys are mean, and sometimes I wonder if they intentionally get in the way of cars to justify their mean behavior. I have been flipped off many times by these logo-wearing bike jersey dudes in tight shorts.

Maybe it's the club mentality. If you're part of a club, you're better than everyone else. It starts in school when kids divide into groups with common interests, like the jocks, the cheerleaders, the band geeks (guilty) etc. You'd think we would grow up and grow out of that sort of childish behavior, but alas, it seems to stay with us in adulthood. As adults, we join clubs and it's high school all over again.

I think road bikers, along with every other club, including the club called Church/Christianity, separate themselves from others not in their club, which causes the "us vs. them" mentality.

Florence and Gary Deeter said...

Where did you get the picture of the lemurs? Can they learn to ride bikes?

I didn't know that about the logobikers. Maybe Elan is right--the infamous holier-than-thou mentality.