Oct 13, 2009
i was reading an article in an american paper about bicycling and bicycle advocacy and one thing in that article really struck me - the author talked about how we (cyclists) are in fact, all more or less the same - whether we are racers, commuters, or bottle pickers, or anything in between.
it doesnt matter whether you dodge traffic downtown all day delivering packages, ride once a week on the pathway with your kids, slip into your lycra and head out into the wind to crush yourself with some intervals, or shred trails in the mountains on your full-sus'd mtb.
we all sit on a saddle, push pedals, and move forward. we all have to deal with the weather in all its forms. we all fall off eventually.
we are all members of the same tribe - the tribe of bike.
and, as like in every tribe, there are families within the tribe with their own customs, likes/dislikes, and ways of doing things to get from sunrise to sunset. these families include...
- racers - all of 'em in all their forms
- recreational riders, aka weekend warriors
- bmx/flatland riders
- xc mtb riders
- errand runners
- pathway users
- urban hipsters/fakengers/posengers
- and some i cant think of right now. you get the picture.
the point is this - we all have to share the same spaces, deal with the same issues, and feel the same exhileration by simply pushing the pedals.
simple - push for pleasure.
which brings me to "the wave". one of the ways that we (cyclists) can begin to acknowledge our tribe is to employ "the wave" - as demonstrated by the happy fellow above. here are the steps...
1 - using your eyes, spot an oncoming cyclist
2 - using your hand (either one will do, but the left is best), simply remove your hand from the bars and acknowledge the other cyclist.
3 - if removing your hands would be dangerous, a nod to the oncoming cyclist can achieve the same effect.
4 - bask in the feeling of connectedness with your fellow tribe member and ready yourself to wave again.
this simple gesture will undoubtedly catch some of guard and they may not wave back. do not fret. simply do it again at the next cyclist. this simple gesture lets others know that you see them, you are a cyclist too, and you are part of their ride too. this simple gesture can brighten someones day and embolden them to wave at someone else. pay it forward if you will.
be an active part of the tribe of bike. wave at me. i promise to wave back, or nod if i am afraid i might spill my drink.
Update - it appears i need to add brompton owners to the list above - especially after watching this...