When Anthony and I get out on endurance rides usually over the weekends, we often get sick at the sight of each other within the opening two hours.
We are never slow to give out if the other person is breathing too heavy or chewing too loud or pedalling too fast.
However, last weekend it was something out of our hands that got our blood boiling. Common courtesy in cycling as I hope you all well know is to wave at a passing cyclist, whether they are a complete stranger or good friend. It’s simply good etiquette.
On this particular weekend not one passing cyclist returned our waves, no matter how obnoxiously we waved at them.
It blew our minds so much that Anthony took to Twitter to ask the world why they don’t wave when cycling.
Although 66% poll suggested these people just “complete tossers”, we assumed it was a case of the new people in the sport simply not accustom to the etiquette.
So if you know of any new comers to the sport please share the following rules with them.
First things first, waving!
When you pass any cyclist give them some sort of acknowledgment.
It can be a wave, a nod or simply saying “Hi”.
Even if you don’t know the person it’s a mutual sign of respect between cyclists.
Help your fellow cyclists
These days more often than not you will come across a fellow cyclist with some sort of mechanical on the side of the road.
I have seen Anthony giving his pump to a stranger as he was in a rush to get home and couldn’t wait for the stranger to fix his puncture.
I’m not asking you to donate your tools to every random stranded cyclist, but simply ask if they require a helping hand.
What comes around goes around!
Avoid epic duels
Again, with more and more people out cycling, the chances are, you’ll come across someone out training.
As tempting as it can be to give it the beans and end up in some type of epic 1 vs 1 duel, don’t do it, it’s just not cool.
If you are going at a similar speed, talk to the person. You’ll be surprised at the people you meet out cycling.
In terms of group riding the rules are slightly more complex as you often have to take into account other people’s well-being.
We noticed recently on group rides people’s intentions are good but their execution of the rules are all wrong.
Don’t call “Hole” or “Car”
Calling “hole” on a group spin is completely useless.
It instils fear and panic amongst the group. You have to either point or say where the hole is on the road or in relation to the group.
Similarly, shouting “car” has the same effect. Car up is for cars coming from behind, car down is for cars coming from the front of the group.
Here at A1 we often have strange ways of remembering rules like these.
The way of remembering some of these rules aren’t usually PC, so those who are a tad sensitive about foul language skip to the next paragraph now.
Up your $%£*, Down your $%£*
The saying to remember that “up” refers to back and “down” refers to front is: ‘up your arse and down your throat’.
Whether your group opts for the ‘double peel off’ or the ‘up and over’ method for changing the riders at the front of the group it doesn’t make a difference. However the rules when at the front are set in stone.
Half wheeling otherwise known as the long bike is the most important rule that should never be broken. It’s not to be welcomed on any group spin.
For those half wheeling merchants out there please ensure your hands are level with the person you are riding beside.
New etiquette problems
A new phenomenon has arisen in recent years, the reverse half wheel.
Here a rider rides slightly behind the rider beside them, ultimately slowing the ride down. A solution to this issue is yet to be discovered.
Those at the front should always be riding that slight bit harder to ensure those behind aren’t freewheeling.
This is particularly important on fast or slightly downhill roads.
Members of the group that can’t up their effort while on the front should do shorter turns on the front.
The show must go on
Punctures on group rides are almost guaranteed.
However, they do not require the whole group to suffer in the cold as they wait for the puncture to be fixed.
Although this isn’t an excuse to leave rider stranded.
Simply one or two riders should volunteer to help fix the puncture to get it repaired as quickly as possible while the group cycles down the road for five minutes before doubling back and picking up those riders left behind again.
Finally, a rule we’ve only really seen used on foreign soil is the swinging hand to warn riders before you get out of the saddle.
Here the rider removes his/her hand from the bar and swings it back once to warn those behind that they are about to get out of the saddle.
This helps to prevent accidents and panic when their bike moves backwards.
They are some of the basic rules.
Realistically you could probably write a book about them. Just make sure to share them with new riders and apply them to your rides and everyone can enjoy the sport that little bit more.
Most importantly, WAVE TO OTHER RIDERS!
I don’t want to hear Anthony moaning like an aul one about it anymore!